Andy Hunter | Colour
Christian music has had a tenuous relationship with Moby in the past, but since 2002, the genre has had an amazing electronica talent in its fold with Englishman Andy Hunter.
It's not a talent all the Christian music world's own, since the mainstream has definitely discovered Hunter's gift and utilized it in film (Matrix: Reloaded), TV (Alias) and video games (Need for Speed Underground) -- all of those credits should include the phrase, "to name a few." That's somewhat natural, since in England, faith-based artists are all in the same marketplace with secular pop.
Hunter's new full-length effort, Colour, shows tremendous growth in the years since that debut -- which included a 2005 EP, Life -- as well as connections he's made. Among his collaborators are dance artist Shaz Sparks and former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure. Those and several other collaborations are indicative of Hunter's work becoming more accessible. While there are still moments where the music unfolds like an endless expanse before our ears, there are just as many strong songs and effective mixes of the two. Ure's work on Smile is an example of a strong song, while Technicolour, featuring D'Morgan, is an example something more oriented toward the dance floor. The fun in the words to the latter is how embracing God is equated to a rush of color and sound.
Hunter's message is clear to anyone who cares to listen. Take the closer, the final stament, You:
You are the one.
The one in three.
Three in one.
Electronica and trance music are a bit of a different flavor to Christian audiences. But they are also a more natural fit than we'd assume. By its nature, electronica has an ability to transport the listener to a different and more contemplative plane, like jam band or classical music. Hunter has penned terrific soundtracks to movies, and Colour could be a great addition to the soundtrack of your life.
Out today: Chris Sligh becomes the second American Idol contestant in as many weeks to release a CD in the Christian market with Running Back to You. Phil Stacey was the AI vet last week. Maybe this calls for an Idol two-fer in the review slot next week.
Tween popsters Jump5 always appeared to be built for a season, not built to last. But now that the group has disbanded, it's founding members are carrying on. The founding duo of Brandon and Brittany Hargest (photo, right) made their debut as Guest at Gospel Music Week in Nashville last month. You can sample their EP, Perfect, at Guest's myspace page.
What was the most played song on Christian radio last year? Well, BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) tracks that sort of thing and last month honored writer Ed Cash with song of the year for Made to Worship, which was recorded by Chris Tomlin, and songwriter of the year for work on that and other songs, including Tomlin's How Can I Keep from Singing? Click here for a complete list of the most performed songs on Christian radio, including gospel and Southern gospel outlets.
P.O.D. on TV: With very fond memories of P.O.D.'s Late Show with David Letterman appearance in 2001 to sing Youth of the Nation backed by, I believe, the Harlem Boys Choir, this sounds appealing: The San Diego band will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday (May 7) performing an acoustic version of Tell Me Why, backed by a string quartet. The song is from When Angels & Serpents Dance, which debuted at No. 9 on Billboard magazine's album chart and was the No. 1 rock album at iTunes during its debut week.
Look out for a post later this week about Ichthus going green.