Album Review :
Destroy Nate Allen - Awake O' Sleeper
Artist: Destroy Nate Allen
Album: Awake O’ Sleeper
Label: Quiver Society
Release Date: 07 October 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson
Upon seeing the name Nate Allen, I assumed this project would be one man with his acoustic guitar, which has been done a million times over, but I was still somewhat excited to see what Nate had to offer. As I opened the CD, I saw a picture of a guy in his twenties with a thick beard and thick black-rimmed glasses, sitting down at a piano. This picture made me much more excited to see where this thing was headed.
Then I hit play. The first song, “Holiday,” was alright musically: upbeat acoustic guitar with a bass behind it and Nate’s voice leading with a bit of an echo, possibly unintentionally. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the vocals on this track, and they turned my excitement into worry for the rest of the album. Thankfully, a slower track, “Ambulance,” came next to show me that Nate Allen’s voice sounds best when he sings softly. Following was “Deep and Wide,” which is even slower and sounds even better. “Don’t Walk Away” is another slow acoustic track with a girl singing in the background during the chorus, making it my favorite song on Awake O’ Sleeper. Throughout these songs, additional instruments vary from tambourines and brushes to bass or keyboard. “Anchors Away” is a reminder of the vocal styling used on the opening track, before everything comes back down with “Last Call,” a more pleasant-sounding, soft, slow song which deals with doubt and fear.
Nate Allen can write some quality guitar parts and makes great use of the tambourine throughout the eleven songs that make up Awake O’ Sleeper. One can tell he put a lot of effort into this release and must respect his giving it away for free or donation through his website. The lyrics on this album are enjoyable, and are all straightforward and to the point, borrowing themes directly from scripture and daily life. The problem comes with his singing. I honestly do enjoy a lot of the slower songs, but when he tries to sing a louder more upbeat song, he doesn’t have as much control over his voice and it comes out somewhat harsh. If he continues to write more songs like “Don’t Walk Away” and “Last Call,” Destroy Nate Allen could turn into a quality project.