Album Review :
Calling Out Closer - The Parallel EP

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Band: Calling Out Closer

Title: The Parallel EP

Label: N/A

Release Date: December 4, 2009

Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Continental Complex
  2. Emily
  3. The Difference Between Fantasies
  4. Nights Like These
  5. Dawn
  6. Perfect Risk
  7. Hear You Sing
  8. Love Pours Down
  9. Dusk

Calling Out Closer is just one of those bands that’s hard not to like. Not that I’m trying, mind you. They may not do everything perfectly or have all of the polish some bands seem to effortlessly acquire, but Calling Out Closer is one of those hard working bands that puts in a full day’s work for each step forward they take. I don’t know these guys personally, that’s just the way they feel to me as a reviewer. So let me begin by saying that they must have been putting in extra hours on nights and weekends, because this 9-song EP is definitely a couple of big steps forward. Not that their last CD was a slouch, it wasn’t… it’s just that the improvement is in-your-face obvious.

Calling Out Closer is a 5-piece out of Reading, Pennsylvania that shifts gears a little on this release and redefines their sound in a way. By that, I don’t mean so much that their sound is different, but rather that it’s been refined. And not so much that they added to it, it’s more that they cut away some elements and made it sleeker and more streamlined. Like a Pinewood Derby car. Sure you could simply slap the wheels on that little block of wood and call it a car. But until you start sanding that thing down and smoothing out the rough edges, the only thing you’ll be putting in the trophy case is a consolation prize. Thanks, I know… sweet analogy.

Anyway, this time around, Calling Out Closer captures a smooth alt-pop sorta sound that’s somewhere along the lines of Death Can For Cutie and Augustana. A mixed bag for sure, but the mellifluous crooning and the passion is all there.

Lyrically, this EP is all about glorifying God and enjoying life. There aren’t any deep questions posed. There aren’t any dark undercurrents. It’s heartfelt praise and humble thanksgiving. Take the song “Love Pours Down” for example… it says, “Lord, we boldly come to Your throne / where Your mercy runs from hands of old / Lord, in time of need / Your grace is full / satisfied by a hungry love / and we ask for more / could You shine brighter / may I come closer / would You hold me tighter / pour love over and over / and I will retire my strength for Your fire”. Or how about “”The Difference Between Fantasies” which says, “looking at the sky / we’ll see the beauty and the majesty / and all that God has set in place / a picture so inspiring / but nothing in the sky / could be as beautiful and lovely as you / in whom my heart I give / the one who means the world to me”.

Standout track was “Dawn”. I loved the way it built up before cutting loose. The only downside was that the song only lasted for two minutes. Bummer.

Overall: Calling Out Closer’s new 9-song release, “The Parallel EP” is a breath of fresh air. A big breath. Almost a full-length breath. It’s a huge step forward and should be a welcome addition to any alt-pop aficionado’s collection.

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