Listen Up! – March 2017

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Artist: The Narrative
Single: “Moving Out”
4/5 Stars

Indie pop group The Narrative was formed in 2008 by Jesse Gabriel and Suzie Zeldin. The Long Island duo’s latest album Golden Silence (2016) isn’t altogether praiseworthy but has a mentionable song in “Moving Out.” The lyrics discuss a longing to return to the simplicity of nature rather than the encroachment of cities and suburbs. Musically the song is a reflection, opening with industrial-type sounds that lead to the main form. This subtly gives way to a more organic ending as much of the instrumentation stops, leaving just their two harmonizing voices and a guitar to close it out. The lyrics “I see the city try to swallow what I used to call home” are representative of how we can overcomplicate our faith, crowding out the simplicity of the Gospel without realizing it. Sometimes we just need to remember to keep it simple, that’s all.

Artist: Trip Lee
Album: The Waiting Room
3.5/5 Stars

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Trip Lee began his Christian hip hop career in 2005 and has since released six studio albums and two books. Trip’s latest addition The Waiting Room (2016) is a solid album with clever lyrics and impressive instrumentation. Thematically it explores a wide range of topics and emotions. Songs like “Too Cold” and “Still Unashamed” are reminders that we’re not to conform to this world and there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to the Gospel; whereas songs like “Ready” and “Billion Years” are assurances that death has been conquered and there will be a day without suffering.  Trip’s lyrics can even get blatantly political at times, especially in “Lord Have Mercy” and “IDK.” Nonetheless “IDK” is my favorite track due to its tasteful arrangement and the honest struggle of shaken faith. If you’re a fan of hip hop this one is worth checking out.

Caleb Trimmer