Album Review :
The Radiance Effect - Separate & Change

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Band: The Radiance Effect
Title: Separate & Change
Label: N/A
Release Date: August 22, 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Bring Me Down
02. Nothing To Lose
03. Make It Happen
04. Hello Beautiful
05. Out Of Control
06. Prodigal
07. Never Let Go
08. Tonight
09. Happy Foo
10. She Said
11. The End

It never ceases to amaze me just how much music is out there. Granted, the vast majority of it is mediocre at best… but there are gems waiting to be discovered all around us. And when you stumble across one of those gems, it’s a good day.

The Radiance Effect is one of those gems. Not without it’s issues, this 4-piece rock outfit hailing from Springfield, Missouri is definitely one to keep an eye on. Or should that be an ear on? Whatever your chosen sensory device may be, keep it tuned in their direction… because I expect great things to come from these guys. Playing a tight brand of alt-ish rock, The Radiance Effect are firing on all cylinders. With soaring vocals and lots of stutter-step guitar rhythms, their music is infectious and strikes me as sort of a hybrid of Emery (without the growls), Ivoryline, and This Providence.

The lyrics are well thought out and can actually be somewhat insightful rather than just the typical abstract lines intended to sound deep and meaningful. So many bands say so little that it’s refreshing to find a band that actually speaks to you through their lyrics. The Radiance Effect don’t shy away from dipping into spiritual topics now and then and aren’t afraid to deal with the good and not so good aspects of life. Consider the lyrics to the CD’s opening track, “Bring Me Down”. Sounds like a bit of a downer already, right? Not so fast… “I’m so tired of this repetition / you’re always trying to bring me to my knees / you’re wearing me down, because you don’t want the competition / you don’t want to live what you believe / tear me down, I don’t care / I’ll get back up again / tear me down, I don’t mind / I won’t be there for long / you won’t bring me down / I’m not backing out / we’re gonna take this fight / and go one more round / here’s your choice to make / so please make no mistake / ‘cause it’s all or nothing now / when it’s time to break out / I’ll admit that you had me beaten / but I’m stronger than ever before, and you can’t figure me out / there are pieces of me that you’ve broken / but I’m still as whole as I’ve ever been / I’m gonna fight, even if I never win / I’m gonna fight / I’m gonna fight”. Actually pretty encouraging, huh? Kudos for that.

Standout track was “Prodigal”. The middle track on the CD is a great balance of musical chemistry and inspiration. Equal parts smooth melody and edgy groove, it’s easily the highlight of “Separate & Change”.

The only real downside to this release is that it tends to get a bit repetitive in places. But this is hardly worth bringing up. If you like the music, you certainly aren’t going to mind that some songs are a little similar sounding now are you? Of course not.

While researching this band a bit, I came across a testimony on one of their tour blogs that I really felt showed the heart that these guys have. This particular blog entry dealt with a rough day when their van broke down while they were on tour. What I appreciated most about what I read was the fact that their desire in the situation was to give God the glory. So I figured I’d share it with you. “We were so overwhelmed and amazed at how God took care of us using people we had never even met, and burdening them to meet our needs. We serve a big God. I have never in my life had to have that much faith for anything, and I think that’s what God was trying to teach us. It’s one thing to write and sing songs about our faith, but living those words is MUCH harder. Thanks so much to all of you who prayed for us; we know there were a lot of you, and we wouldn’t have made it through this without your prayers. God truly works in mysterious ways. Whether it’s by telling a used car dealer to send customers to his competitors, or whether it’s something as crazy as giving 6 complete strangers a ridiculous amount of money so they can buy a van. Thanks to Johnny, Rachel and her mom, and to a very sweet family in Georgia for listening to Him. You probably saved our lives.”

Overall: The Radiance Effect’s “Separate & Change” shines in all the right places. This is a CD to enjoy now, or at least after it comes out next month, and a band to watch in the future. And hey, from what I gather, they have like the coolest merch guy of all time, so what’s not to love.

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