Album Review :
All Sons and Daughters - Season One

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Band: All Sons and Daughters
Title: Season One
Label: Integrity Music
Release Date: 3/13/12
Reviewer: Josh Hamm

Tracklisting:

  1. Alive
  2. Let it Shine
  3. All the Poor and Powerless
  4. Brokenness Aside
  5. I Am Set Free
  6. Your Glory
  7. Dawn to Dusk
  8. Reason to Sing
  9. Oh Our Lord
  10. Spirit Speaks
  11. Buried in the Grave
  12. All Praise to You
  13. Wake Up
  14. Reason to Sing(Reprise)
  15. Your Love is All Around

All Sons and Daughters sound like someone was listening to Gungor and then thought to themselves, “This would be better if we made more lo-fi and slowed it down.” The result is fantastic. The worship duo is comprised of Leslie Jordan, a worship leader for various churches, and David Leonard, whom some of you may recognize from Jackson Waters, and who toured with NEEDTOBREATHE.

Season One is their debut album on Integrity Records, and rather than recording all new songs, it’s a compilation of their two previous EPs, Brokenness Aside and Reason to Sing, with two new songs thrown in for good measure. So if you’ve already got the EPs, you know what to expect, if you don’t, well, you’re in for a treat.

Simplicity is the key for them, as they sing to spread their message, and they write lyrics which are straightforward in a typical worship song format. I’ve always struggled with the lyrical aspect of a lot of Christian music, as most bands I prefer have what I consider to be more creative and poetic lyrics, as opposed to what I call the “Hillsong” approach, which, while having an uplifting and gospel centric message, can often miss the mark creatively sometimes. But I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if something is a little cheesy or cliché as long as it is delivered with passion. And All Sons and Daughters are dripping with passion; you can hear it on every song.

Lyrics are striking, such as on the song “Brokenness Aside” where they sing, “Will you call me child when I tell you lies, cause all I know is how to cry” and then end the song in harmony, repeating “You make it beautiful” in a cry to God in way that is similar to Gungor’s “Beautiful Things,” and just as heartfelt. They make no qualms about why they are singing. They are singing to bring glory to God, first and foremost. In “Let it Shine” this is made clear in the opening verse, “ There are a million truths for every lie, so speak it out loud and let it lift high.” It may not be groundbreaking songwriting, but it’s honest and heartfelt and full of truth.

The instrumentation is fantastic as well. Simple chord progressions coupled with nicely placed strings sections in the background and a mix of piano and guitar driven songs create a soothing atmosphere of sound to surround the listener. Some of the songs also make good use of percussion and electic guitars, but it’s mostly a stripped down acoustic sound. Leslie and David’s vocals nestle snuggly inside of the lush sound and soft guitar. These are songs for rainy days and a cup of hot chocolate. They’re songs for church service. They’re songs that comfort and inspire, and suitable for virtually any mood or occasion.

Hightlights of the album include “Brokenness Aside,” a song that slowly builds and then ends on a soft note, which addresses our need to cast our old selves away and take refuge in Christ Another great song is “Reason to Sing,” a great slow song which is a terrific spotlight for the duo’s voices working in tandem.  There is only one glaring problem, and that’s the lack of up tempo numbers. Although there a few faster songs, such as “Let it Shine,” there is still a restrained quality to them, and as a result, it can get a little monotonous listening to the whole album beginning to end.

Overall: All Sons and Daughters is a terrific up and coming worship band which will be sure to capture your interest. The soft, harmonizing voices of Leslie and David deliver passionate lyrics over a layered intrumental background lead by acoustic guitar and piano. They may not be the most innovative or creative group out there, but they are a solid, worship focused group worth listening to, though if you’ve already got their 2 EPs, there’s not much new music to be had here.

RIYL: Gungor, The Civil Wars, Leeland, Jackson Waters, The Vocal Few

 

 

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