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4Play: Third Day, Antlers, Brandon Heath, Gus Gus

Kristi Kates - June 27th, 2011
Third Day - Move - Provident
Third Day’s 11th set, recorded in the band’s own studio in Georgia, features 12 tracks that blend together heavy, Southern-rock influenced instrumentals with soulful, introspective, pensive lyrics and hooks, with a focus on faith. While the songs here are very specifically focused and solid in their beliefs - some of the most inspirational being “Surrender,” “What Have You Got To Lose,” and “Don’t Give Up Hope” - the album adds yet another dimension via the band’s collaboration with The Blind Boys of Alabama on “Lift Up Your Face,” and encouraging tune that showcases both the band’s traditional rock abilities and their positive attitude.



Antlers - Burst Apart - FK
At first listen both more accessible and warmer than Antlers’ previous release in 2009, Burst Apart also introduces more details with each listen, from the quietly indie-rock opener, “I Don’t Want Love,” through similar standout tracks “Parentheses,” “Hounds,” and “French Exit,” each with carefully arranged parts and sneak-up-on-you hooks. While a few of the vocals are a little over-the-top at times, the majority of the set works well and plays through as a cohesive and catchy unit; listening on headphones will offer up even more layers of keys, guitars, mesmerizing beats, and vocals that range quirkily from mumbles to wails.




Brandon Heath - Leaving Eden - Provident
Award-winning GMA vocalist Heath writes once again with longtime collaborator Jason Ingram on several songs for this set, including the album’s first single, the distinctive “Your Love” which easily shows the marks of both songwriters. More electronic music elements have crept back in to Heath’s sound on this set, although the songs here are still definitively pop and should appeal to a wide range of inspirational-music fans. “Only Water” leans on acoustic guitar to pretty effect, while “The Light in Me” is reassuring and direct; “It’s No Good to Be Alone” focuses on community, while “Stolen” focuses on Heath’s vocals.


Gus Gus - Arabian Horse - Kompakt
If you recollect the early ‘90s - and liked much of the overseas-arriving dance music of that time - then chances are you’ll like Gus Gus’ latest, which pulls elements from that era and adds in the production clarity of today. Don’t think you’re going to get away from synths on this one - they form the foundation for pretty much the entire set - but they’re used skillfully and with decorum, especially on such tunes as the title track (with its gypsy-dance flair), the organ/accordian sounds that weave through “Selfoss,” and the forward-thinking sounds of “Be With Me” and “Over,” both featuring Earth Hakonardottir’s idiosyncratic vocals.
 
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