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Future of Forestry
Credential Recordings
12 tracks

I've had this CD sitting here for some time now, and I have picked up this CD to review it at least half-a-dozen times. On my first listen, and on every subsequent relistening, the overwhelming impression for this reviewer is that Future of Forestry sounds like Coldplay, with a different lead singer, trying to sound like U2. FoF is a very talented band, musically. The instruments are all played skilfully. The arrangements are very intricately layered, and the soundscape works very well to support Eric Owyoung's vocals, which at times sound rather Delirious?-ish.

But there just isn't a real identity to the the band's music. This isn't uncommon for first albums, and in particular, gives me great hope for Future of Forestry's musical potential. The opening track, "Open Wide" sounds like the sort of song U2 would make if they were just starting out now. "All I Want" and the title track (not to mention most of the rest of the album) have a very Coldplay vibe to them.

There's not a bad song on the album, really. On the other hand, repeated listens to the album did not make me like this album any more or any less than my initial impression of, "This is pretty good, but I'm not going to run out and see when their tour is passing this way." I never got the sensation that I needed to immediately relisten to the album so see what I had missed. There is nothing particularly exceptional about this album. It feels safe, without any real challenge to the listener musically or lyrically.

Lyrics like those for "All I Want" hint at FoF's background as a worship band:

I will go where glory meets the crude and weak
I will go where mercy meets the shame
I will go where strength will find the small and meek
I will go where magic meets mundane

And You're all I want
You're all I want
You're all I'll find
You have my heart forever
You are all that I could need

I will go where grace and healing love restores
I will go where peace and rest is known
I will go where friendship finds my heart in Yours
I will go where beauty leads me home

While certainly poetic enough, there really isn't anything said here lyrically that hasn't been said time and again by various worship-oriented bands. Given that the whole worship band phenomena has not been my personal cup of tea, this might explain my basic indifference to this album as a whole.

The one song which did seem to stray outside the pattern a little lyrically was "Sanctitatis" with its Latin lyrics, and the song which musically broke the mold was "If You Find Her" with its beautiful acoustic setting. As a result, both these tracks stand out from the rest of the album.

I truly believe that Future of Forestry can become one of the best bands there is today. They have the raw musical talent, and, at times, the musical imagination to pull it off. In my opinion, they're not quite all they could be yet. There is enough potential here, however, that this album is certainly worth a listen if you do like U2 or Coldplay or other bands of a similar ilk.

Alex Klages


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