On their fifth Sparrow album, the members of Avalon once again demonstrate the impressive gifts that have made them one of the most acclaimed groups in contemporary Christian music: vibrant vocals and an unerring song sense.
Although Philips is no longer a fully functioning separate entity (having been merged with Decca), Universal Classics is celebrating the label's highly regarded half-century by remastering and reissuing 50 vintage titles over the course of this year.
Six months before the release of Leroy's eponymous debut, four of its tracks were secured for film and TV spots: the blues-etched opening track "Good Time" (ABC sitcom The Job), the hip-hop-inflected "New World" (the film 10 Things I Hate About You), the hot-buttered soul vibology of "Trans Am" (TV's Felicity), and the straight-up rocker "Make It Hot" (two upcoming films, Chain of Fools and Joy Ride).
Growing up in Portland, Maine, the six members of Rustic Overtones were far enough from the big-city din to develop their own sound but close enough to absorb the diverse influences (rock, funk, hip-hop, punk, ska, swing, space-age pop) that they exhibit on their first national release.
The debut full-length from the Webb Brothers—Justin and Christiaan, the sons of singer/songwriter Jimmy Webb ("Wichita Lineman," "MacArthur Park")—is a smart collection of California-style orchestral-pop fused with Elvis Costello sensibilities.