Album Review :
Abel - The Honest Love

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Band: Abel
Title: The Honest Love
Label: Dreamt Music / Facedown Records
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Dressed Like A King
  2. Song Of Simon
  3. The Honest Love
  4. My Melody
  5. The World Sings

I’m a procrastinator. Always have been; probably always will be. If you don’t believe me, I’ll send you a picture of this huge stack of CDs sitting here waiting for a certain reviewer to get off his butt and review them. Yeah, that would be me. So needless to say, when I get a CD for review along with a message that it officially drops the next day and could I pretty please with cherries on top post a review by then… well, the sense of urgency is good medicine. Not to mention great motivation. And, hey, it always helps when you actually like the music.

Abel is a 3-piece out of Poughkeepsie, New York that plays a soulful indie-rock that’s somewhere along the lines of Ascend The Hill meets So Long Forgotten. While not the most original music I’ve heard lately, Abel’s 5-song EP, “The Honest Love”, is a solid release and one that’s definitely worth your time to check out.

Production is top notch; as would be expected on a Dreamt Music / Facedown Records release. Instrumentation is good. Lots of bang and crash on the back end. Lots of melodic guitars and pleading vocals up front. And some keys sprinkled here and there as well.  Abel does a good job of maintaining the individuality of each of the songs.  No two ever felt quit the same.  Of course the general vibe is consistent, but this isn’t just about making superficial changes to song structure, it’s about well-crafted music.

Lyrically, “The Honest Love” is just that. It’s forthright and engaging and speaks to the heart as well as the intellect. The tracks come off as creative without sacrificing the overall message. And that’s a good thing, because Abel isn’t one to beat around the proverbial bush lyrically… these guys keep their faith in the forefront and lay it all out for the listener. Consider the EP’s opening song, “Dressed Like A King” which says, “there’s a call to arms / you’re a coward at heart / and it shows all around / there’s a battle at hand / you’re dressed like a king / but your gold weighs you down / so throw off your burden / and be saved”. This could be revelation to some… you mean that image isn’t everything? That maybe, just maybe, it’s about character and what we are on the inside that truly matters most. This album will move you in more ways than one and leave you thinking about not only the music… but the message as well.

The standout track for me was the title track, “The Honest Love”. This is just an awesome song. Great rhythm and a worshipful message.

Personally, albeit slightly pressed for time, I was pleasantly surprised when I first sat through this EP. It’s unobtrusive and easy to like. With 5 tracks, clocking in at just under 24 minutes, this is enough music to enjoy, while still whetting your appetite for more.

Overall: Abel’s not gonna blow your mind, but then, they certainly won’t be putting you to sleep either. “The Honest Love” is a solid effort and a worthy release. And for the reviewer outta Cleveland that labeled these guys as a Coldplay rip-off, let me suggest that you ask Santa for a hearing aid this year.

www.myspace.com/abeltheband

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