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Fetch the Compass Kids
Artist: The Danielson Famile.
Label: Secretly Canadian Records 
Length: 12 tracks 

The latest offering from Daniel Smith and company comes across as somewhat of a concept album, dealing with the daily battle between flesh and spirit. It has the trademark Danielson sound with Smith's ever present falsetto delivery, combined with the production genius of Steve Albini.

The album kicks off with the powerful "We Don't Say Shut Up," with its message that we need to slow our lives down a bit and enjoy them, as in the Biblical urging to "be still and know that I am God."

On the title track, the Famile urges us to give in to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit which will guide us to a closer relationship to God.  And the flesh vs. spirit battle comes out strongly in "Rallying the Dominoes." This is followed by the Psalmic "Sing to the Singer."  Over and over again the band finds new ways of directing us to closer relationships with our creator.

Other tunes that stand out include "The Wheel Made Man," and "Good News For the Pus Pickers" (which will be enough to keep the CCM crowd away).

Musically, there isn't much new here.  But the album works well.  The most amazing thing about the whole Danielson phenomenon is that this oddball assortment of siblings can put out such wacky music (usually relegated to novelty songs) with blatantly Christian lyrics on a mainstream label, and find their biggest audience in bars and clubs.  One can only imagine what they sound like after you've had a few too many.  And no matter what you think of their music and performance art presentation, you can't help but give them credit for being salt and light in the real world.  They are out there proclaiming the Gospel to the lost, rather than preaching to the choir.  God bless the Famile!

Ken Mueller 9/13/2001



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