Album Notes - Caedmon's Call "40 Acres"
I recently picked up this album Used on eBay. It's is scratch-less! Yeah! Buying stuff used sight unseen can be risky, but I lucked out this time.
Anyway, I've listened to it a few times now and I always find it interesting to read what other people think about albums compared to what I think. So I looked up a few reviews and dove in.
Now most CD review are a waste of the hard-drive they're stored on. "this 2nd CD by so and so picks up right where the band left of with their last album" really? That's a surprise since they haven't released anything since then.
The other option is the short history of the band with a 1 liner mentioning the new album and the lead off single. Also completely useless.
I did read a few good reviews that seemed like they actually listened to this record. One of them felt that the album suffers from having 3 different singers and 5 + different songwriters. I personally agree and disagree wit him. One of the reasons I enjoy Caedmon's Call is the strength of the songwriting. Since there are so many writers involved in the band, only the best tunes get through. Also this means the album has a lot of variety.
I'm also a fan of Iron & Wine, but I can't listen to an entire album in one sitting. Their EP's are amazing, because they are short. Not that I don't like what they do, but they do a lot of it. 40 Acres on the other hand, has enough variety that I don't get bored with it.
I really appreciate the distance between the writing styles of Derek Webb and Aaron Tate. They both both write these incredible personal songs that draw you in really well, they just have completely different appraoches. Derek makes me think of a beat poet in a New York subway station. Just playing the congas and just letting the words flow. Natural, intuitive, bold.
Aaron on the other hand, reminds me of Rich Mullins. Lots of scripture references and allusions. Precise, articulate, bold.
The songs are all pretty good with the possible exceptions of 'Shifting Sand' and Petrified Heart'. Both good ideas that just can't shine as brightly because of the other songs on the album. They would have been better suited to Long Line of Leavers.
As far as the Best of the Best go, I would pick 'Faith my Eyes', 'Somewhere North' and '40 Acres' as the standouts. I forgot how great a tune '40 Acres' is.
Here's the last verse and chorus
Out here the Texas rain is the hardest I've ever seen
It'll wash your house away, but it'll also make you clean
Now these rocks they are crying too
And this whole land is calling out for you
There's 40 acres and redemption to be found
Just along down the way
There is a place where no plow blade has turned the ground
And you will turn it over, 'cause out here hope remains
What a brilliant, vivid picture. Of nature, of freedom, of hope. This kind of lyric makes me think of the psalmist who said "the words of the Lord... they are sweeter than honey" They just taste good when they roll off your tongue. Kinda like in Dead Poets Society when they are reading a poem in the cave and they just can't get enough of that last line so the repeat it again and again until it becomes a chant and then into a dance. It's that true to them.
Any other lyrics make you want to dance?