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How Can We Be Silent
Artist: Barlow Girl
Label: Fervent Records
Time: 10 tracks/42:06
Barlow Girl broke big as a name brand before they were a band. Rebecca, Lauren, and Alyssa Barlow were name-checked by Superchic[k] in their hit “Barlow Girls.” This song about the girls’ stance for sexual purity set the tone and direction for the band.
Thought they had previously played music as a group, they weren’t a national act until Fervent Records signed them in 2003. Their early releases have been pleasant, mild pop with hints of rock.
Their new disc, How Can We Be Silent, serves a dual purpose. They try to update their sound in a world where Evanescence is big on the pop charts. They also make a stand once again for their strong Christian faith.
Lyrically, the girls want to be sure you know where they stand. While others have pushed for them to remove overtly evangelical lyrics and make a go for the secular music world, the sisters have decided that they want to speak of Jesus. If they are so strong in their beliefs, how can they be silent about them? They choose to speak of Christ, rather than hide that faith. You cannot fault them for that.
Unfortunately, you can fault them for being a little too bland in their sound. Musically, the album rocks a little more than previous efforts. They try to reach for some of Evanescence’s crowd; for Flyleaf’s leftovers. The sad truth is that the CCM sound is too prevalent. The production waters down what are probably extremely rocking tracks live.
This disc will be a favorite with pre-teen and middle-school aged girls & their soccer moms. If you love CCM radio, this is a project you will enjoy.
By Jonathan Nelson
The ubiquitous "they" say that first impressions are everything. My first impression of BarlowGirl was that they were Evanescence Lite. "Never Alone", which dominated CHR airwaves, sounded like an outtake from the Fallen sessions. The first track from the new album How Can We Be Silent, "Song for the Broken", seemed to confirm this impression, with more of the same crunching guitars, melodic piano, and soaring female vocals.
However, the ubiquitous "they" also say that you should never judge a book by its cover, or an album by its first track. Good thing, too, as this is too good of an album to be discounted as just another Christian attempt to capitalize on the mainstream. "I Believe In Love," and "Here's My Life" both showcase the singer's commitment and dedication to her God. "One More Round" fully illustrates the life of spiritual warfare that we as believers go through.
The standout track for me was "Keep Quiet", which dramatizes the struggle that we face in trying to live our Christianity in daily life. It is a bold reminder of Jesus' words that if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before God.
Far from being Evanescence Lite, BarlowGirl is a band with a strong sound and strong convictions to match.
Josh Marihugh 10/16/2007