Album Review :
Tree63 - Sunday!

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Artist: Tree63
Album: Sunday!
Label: Inpop Records
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Sunday
2. Becoming
3. World Undone
4. Alright
5. Foolishness
6. There Is a Kingdom that Cannot Be Shaken
7. Almighty Silence
8. Walking Home with You
9. Not as This World
10. New Creation
11. The Revolution

Once, somewhere between 1995 and 2001, there was surge of CCM bands that were genuinely good. Jars of Clay, Newsboys, Third Day, DC Talk, Deleriou5?… they all rocked in a way that was spiritually empowered and musically creative. These were the bands of my childhood, and as I got older, so did they. And thus they moved into the territory of the cheesy, cliché, and irrelevant. (Okay, Jars of Clay and Deleriou5? didn’t, but that’s beside the point.) Worst of all, there were no new bands to take their place. Even the new ones jumped into the wrong spot and only made the cheesiness factor of CCM grow and grow. So here comes Tree63, one of these newer bands that has shared a stage with the past-their-prime Newsboys, with a sound actually worth paying attention to.

It was a shocking discovery, and at first I couldn’t understand it. For someone with a bit of a vendetta against CCM, I shouldn’t have enjoyed Tree63. But then one day it hit me… they’re not cheesy. The music, the lyrics, the spiritual content: it’s all genuine and original. None of this is forced. The upbeat rock song “Sunday” presents the twisted idea that Sunday is even more worth looking forward to than Friday (while on a deeper level telling the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection). “Alright” is a slower piano-based tune that comforts someone going through a hard time. “The Revolution” brings the most hard-hitting lyrics on the album, starting with the lines “Who will feed the hungry if we don’t? There’s people losing their lives ‘cause we won’t. If we believe but we still do not follow, then maybe we don’t believe.” These are the types of words that address the real issues of our faith at this time, instead of following the popular route of writing another boring weather metaphor about God. Of course the songs all talk about God, and I’m not saying that God is boring, just that certain concepts or techniques are well beyond tired and that Tree63 attempt to move CCM beyond them, which in my opinion garners them one big THANK YOU.

And if it wasn’t for this powerful spiritual content, Tree63 probably could have made it as a band in the mainstream market. Their softer songs could easily bring in fans from the Coldplay, The Fray, Snow Patrol crowd, and the faster rockers could attract another crowd from the nearest U2 concert. Hailing from South Africa, the band has a mission and voice to sing for those without a voice. Sunday! Is a cry for the helpless, a word of encouragement, and a prayer of thanksgiving to God. The album ends with this prophetic vision, “Full stomachs and both parents, and a church that acts like it really believes that the Good News is good news for everybody everywhere.”

9/10

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