Album Review :
Calling Out Closer - Stars And Broken Hearts

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Band: Calling Out Closer
Title: Stars And Broken Hearts
Label: N/A
Release Date: 2008
Review By: Scott L


01. Define My Fire
02. Suffer Me Gently
03. Never Fall
04. Death Of The Pessimist
05. Burn In Me
06. The Places We Are
07. Pursuit
08. Stars And Broken Hearts
09. Something For Hope
10. The Child’s Eyes Unseen
11. Broken Still
12. Name Of Glory
13. Greatest Debt

Calling Out Closer is a 5-piece from Pennsylvania that plays a beautiful brand of piano-rock. Of the 13 songs on “Stars And Broken Hearts”, some are more piano and some are more rock… but all maintain a heart to glorify God through music. And they do so without sounding cheesy or contrived.

One of the things that stood out the most on this CD was the huge diversity between the songs. As with any album, some songs are stronger than others and some styles lend themselves more readily to what Calling Out Closer is trying to accomplish, but there really is something for just about everybody here. Some tracks come across a little groovier. Some have a bit beefier guitar. Some have more crash. And some mix it all up together.

Speaking of mixing it up, the production is pretty good on this release. A little fuzzy here and there, but all in all, well done. Everything is distinguishable and evenly leveled.

These guys would do well sharing the stage with the likes of Abandon, Esterlyn, or Nevertheless. Depending on the tempo of your church’s worship service, you could probably pull off a couple of these songs without much of a hiccup.

Lyrically, there’s no way not to get the message these guys are putting out. Check out “Greatest Debt” and 11 minute song drenched in passion and an almost folk-ish tone that reminded me of a band I used to dig called Five O’Clock People, “Father, please save me from / living a life without your Son / Savior, of all I know / always let your glory show / Oh Holy One, let me not forget / you have paid my greatest debt”. Or how about “Burn In Me” which says, “a single rose / in a crown of thorns / object of beauty / object of scorn / blood and tears are / creating mixed emotions / my inconsistencies aren’t / deserving of your devotion”.

The band’s MySpace says, “The band seeks to utilize its members’ varied individual musical tastes, creating a fluid quality to its sound that is both purposive and thoughtful, yet involuntary and casual. The guys construct music in search of a place where one instinctively belongs and yet remains compelled to create change. Familiar, yet new. Reminiscent, yet original. Calling Out Closer similarly grounds its lyrics in the same vein, hoping to shed new light on old subjects such as love, hope, faith, neglect, despair, and doubt. But the common thread entwined throughout the band’s work spins from a concrete belief in a God who fully exists in both the infinite and the intimate, in both the physical and spiritual.”

Standout track was “Never Fall”. Mostly due to the piano thread that wove it’s way through the song. This track actually reminded me a lot of Waking Ashland.

Overall: Calling Out Closer’s “Stars And Broken Hearts” is 52 minutes of music that will appeal to you from every angle. Great music with a great heart to glorify God and share the gospel.