Album Review :
Orphan Project - Spooning Out The Sea

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Band: Orphan Project

Title: Spooning Out The Sea

Label: NuPlusUltra Music

Release Date: June 30, 2009

Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Reach
  2. Angels Desire
  3. Fallen
  4. To Me
  5. One Dark Moment (Providence)
  6. My Goodness
  7. Head On Your Platter
  8. Empty Me
  9. The Battle Rages On
  10. Spooning Out The Sea

Sadly, it seems like so much of the Christian music industry today is just another avenue to realizing a dream of becoming a rockstar. But I remember a day when the message was the ends… and the music was the means to those ends. When a person would have laughed at the notion of only being “Christians in a band”. And while I’m certainly not naive enough to think that everything’s always what it appears, even in hindsight, it’s undeniable that the overarching focus of the Christian market used to be evangelism… with entertainment simply the vehicle to disseminate the message of the gospel of Christ. Sure, plenty of the bands back in the day, even on some of the labels, were like a youth group amateur night, but at least they had the brass to stand up for what they believed in. Orphan Project reminds me of a lot of the things that I loved about those days.

Orphan Project, not to be confused with The Orphan Project, is a 5-piece that cranks out some old school metal. Not really hair metal, but there’s some of it in there. Not really power metal, although there’s some of that in there too. Progressive? A bit. Modern? A bit. Anyway, the sound may be a melting pot of influences, some of which are a little dated… but if you still spend your off hours wearing your Messiah Prophet t-shirt around the house and warning your wife that eventually you’re gonna grow your hair back out, you’re gonna think you’ve died and gone to Heaven. This CD’s all about big arena rock vocals with a modern bent, crunchy guitars that aren’t afraid to lay down a nice solo every couple of minutes, ethereal keyboards, and some sweet raise your rock fist and pose type of goodness. Okay, so I was imagining the posing part. And the bandana tied to the mic stand part. And the red Nike high-tops part.

Sorry, where was I. Right. Musically, Orphan Project compares well to bands like Seventh Wonder, StrangeLand, and Images Of Eden. Not that any comparison is gonna be spot on, but that’s the general ballpark. I’d also throw in Fall Of Echoes as well, but since some of the guys from Orphan Project were in Fall Of Echoes, that just seems like a cheap gimme. On the other hand, if you liked Fall Of Echoes, chances are good that you’ll like Orphan Project as well.

Lyrically, these guys aren’t the most creative band I’ve ever heard, but the message is obviously the key to them. And the message itself is awesome. The gospel is presented in no uncertain terms and with unabashed zeal. Many of the lines are taken directly from scripture. Consider the song “My Goodness” which says, “behind it / I’ll find it / intentions unmentioned / can it ever be said / it was done in love / when we can’t do a thing / that does not serve ourselves / all that I’ve done / and all my goodness / all that I’ve made is burning away / my righteousness is filthy rags now / and my sacrifice despised as Cain’s / I try to / I’d die to / start again”. Or how about “Empty Me” which says, “Lord, You’re the mover of mountains / Lord, You’re the filler of seas / and You see the little ones crying / and You hear the dust under my knees / as I plead / bear all this weight / so I can run again / take all these scars / so I can heal / try me to see / who You really are / give me Yourself / fully empty me”.

The standout track was “Fallen” which is a powerful song about God’s grace and willingness to be our ever present help in times of need. The guitars hooked me and the message held me.

Overall: Orphan Project’s “Spooning Out The Sea” is a fine balance of nostalgia and progression. It’s got the old school vibe for sure… but it’s also a lot like that classmate at the twenty year reunion that doesn’t look like they’ve aged a bit since high school. So warm up your air guitar for an abundance of wicked solos and get ready to rock it.

www.myspace.com/orphanproject

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