Album Review :
Esterlyn - Mending the Meaning (Acoustic EP)

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Tracklist:
1. Sweet Love
2. Esther
3. Still Beauty to Be Found
4. How Great Is Your Love
5. Free the Light

When I heard I would be reviewing this EP, I was excited. I remembered liking their first album, Lamps, and an acoustic EP is almost always a good time. But then I realized that I hadn’t listened to their debut since I had reviewed it back in March. I had to look at my old files to see that I had given it a 7/10. I guess in the business of the industry their record just passed over, forgotten like so many other albums I review.

But this EP has definitely served to remind me of Esterlyn. I’ve been playing it in my car for a few days now, and for me it solidifies their depth as musicians. Some bands love to rock, and when it comes time for acoustic songs, they just take their old tunes and play stripped down versions of them. On the other hand, there’s Esterlyn, who have released five original songs written purely in the acoustic form. This allows for a richer, fuller development of the sound, with well harmonized vocals, multiple guitar parts (not just chords, either!), some piano, and even a banjo. From jangling folksy guitars (“Sweet Love”) to delicate worship (“How Great Is Your Love”), these songs capture the essence of “Acoustic EP” without taking the easy road or lacking in ability. The standout track for me is “Esther,” which sings of God’s love for the broken and the outcast, and prays for help to love those in need. I like it because it presents a more holistic gospel which does not, in the words of the Prayer of St. Francis, “seek so much… to be loved, as to love.” Paul said that because of God’s love in us, we are to love others, but we rarely see songs like this one that take that second step.

Again, I’ve been impressed by Esterlyn. But unfortunately, again I am likely to forget about this CD as soon as some other exciting album comes along (and perhaps it already has in the form of my latest purchase, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida). Esterlyn are quality musicians and lyricists, but in the end their music is still lacking that extra something to give it a more lasting position in my CD wallet.

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