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Monday, March 12, 2012

Caedmon's Call -- Caedmon's Call

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9/10

Like most folks, I've found some things for myself, and some things have been passed down to me.  I am the oldest cousin on the younger of two tiers of cousins, thus I've had stuff passed down to me from the older tier.  The older tier was also a great resource in answering my mother's age-old question, "What should I get my teenage son for Christmas?" Well, in the good old Christmas of 1998, the answer to that question was, "Get him this Caedmon's Call CD."
That was a good move.  Caedmon's Call's (haha, double possessives look funny!) intellectual, highly spiritual folk-rock sound mirrored the music all these older cousin's friends' bands were making, bands these cousins were taking me to see play.  I was primed for it.  This was also a good move because I come from exquisite genetics and everyone in my family has good taste.
And finally, we all had a good laugh that the album cover reminded us of this one:
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From another great band that sounds nothing like Caedmon's Call.
So anyway, I guess I'm supposed to be writing a review or something.
This is artfully written, enjoyably performed as I said above..."folk rock." I guess the fact that it has drums, a few patches of electric guitar, and an actual pulse is the "rock" aspect.  The lyrics are the thoughtful college kid variety--that's who this band spent their early years playing to (hey, it's like they WERE my older cousins).  This band was Derek Webb's gig before he got all solo, and he does great work with his songwriting here, composing half of the tracks, and many of the best ones. Actually, almost everyone of these songs is a "best" one.
The best thing about this debut album is that it sounds like the work of seasoned veterans.  Every guitar lick and organ line seems to come from a place of wisdom.  The triple-vocal threat (one of which is a woman) also adds to the album's diversity of sound, and a butt-kicking Rich Mullins cover in the middle proves that this band isn't afraid to take chances and mix things up a bit.
So while you do get a few of your basic, "I'm in a coffee house thinking" songs, the prevailing sentiment of this album flows against that to the point that there is an actual song titled "I Just Don't Want Coffee." This is an album of many autumnal colors that would just as soon rock out as meditate, and songs like "Not the Land" are toe-tappers that prove Derek Webb could have possibly had a career in punk music.

I'm proud to still spin this album to the point that the plastic's falling off. Thanks, cousins!

1997 Warner Alliance
1 Lead of Love 3:57
2 Close of Autumn 4:56
3 Not the Land 5:04
4 This World 3:45
5 Bus Driver 4:57
6 Standing up for Nothing 4:56
7 Hope to Carry On 2:48
8 Stupid Kid 4:01
9 I Just Don't Want Coffee  5:59
10 Not Enough 3:40
11 Center Aisle 5:46
12 Coming Home 4:21

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