Dizmas | Dizmas
It's always a good sign when you're listening to an album if your fingers drift over to the volume button to turn it up. Something's caught your attention and you want more. Dizmas has several such moments on its new self-titled album, affirming Forefront Records made a smart move bringing the act into its fold.
In the press release announcing the move -- which was inside the EMI family, from Credential Recordings to Forefront -- it was billed as demonstrating Dizmas', "focus and commitment to the Christian marketplace," which makes sense. While Credential is primarily made up of crossover acts, Forefront has long been home to explicitly Christian artists such as dc talk and Audio Adrenaline. It's also worth noting both of those bands are no longer going concerns -- well, there is always talk of a talk reunion -- and Rebecca St. James is infrequently releasing new music these days, leaving tobyMac and This Beautiful Republic as the label's standard-bearers for the moment. So Forefront could probably use another strong act, and Dizmas shows strength in what the label bought and promise for the future.
The 10-song disc is essentially a best of Dizmas' two Credential releases, 2005's On a Search in America and last year's Tension, plus four new tracks. The quintet of tunes from Tension are the album's primary strength and reason for that wandering finger syndrome we mentioned. The songs from the previous records are billed as "remastered," and while sometimes you have to be a sound engineer to appreciate redone works like that, tunes such as Shake it Off do seem to have a bit more clarity and pop than their previous incarnations. Different is the best of the new bunch, with angular guitar parts showing some adventure in the band. The other three, Save the Day, Worth Fighting For and Yours, are also solid efforts that show a bit of mellowing and thoughtfulness in the band. Overall, the Forefront debut is a good Dizmas primer for folks who haven't tuned them in already. It'll be interesting to watch for the Lancaster, Calif., act's first full effort with the label to see where this move takes Dizmas and whether their music will still make us want to crank it up.
Also out today: Former American Idol conten-dah Phil Stacey joins the Christian music fold with a self-titled debut; newcomer Josh Wilson also debuts with Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup; Salvador adds some Latin flavor with Aware and recent Rupp visitors pureNRG drop Here We Go Again.
Top 10: P.O.D.'s When Angels and Serpents Dance became the latest album by a Christian market act to debut in the Top 10 of Billboard's general market album charts. The disc moved 34,000 units to check in at No. 9.
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