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Follow the Narrow
Artist: Clear
Label: Ardent
Length: 13/73.35

Follow the Narrow

After an unsatisfying indie-pop influenced debut, Clear has moved in an acoustic direction. The mixture of acoustic instrumentation and familiar bright-production on Follow the Narrow seem to fit the band much better and result in a much stronger follow-up.

Alison Ogren's vocals (which still bear a remarkable resemblance to those of Sarah Masen) are very much the focus here and mesh nicely with the accompaniment, but the production occasionally pulls them out a little too much while the music is sometimes a little muted. It would be interesting to hear the songs live to see whether they have a harder edge in that setting.

The band share writing duties, and the lyrics focus on fairly familiar subjects but Clear has a fresh and poetic take on them. As with the music, the lyrics could be sharper and that is hopefully something that will come as the band develops.

Definitely a step in a better direction, whether it's the change of style or simply the way the band have grown, this is definitely the stronger of the band's two releases to date and an enjoyable folk-pop release.

James Stewart 10/16/2000


James Stewart is a writer, web-designer and student based near London, UK. He co-ordinates the Greenbelt festival's website and runs the Britlinks website, dedicated to Christian involvement in British and Irish music.


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