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Carolyn Arends
[ feel free ]

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FEEL FREE (1997)
Feel Free - Click to view! Like most people, you may think that Carolyn Arends is the piano-based, poetic pop artist who wrote "Seize the Day" and "Reaching", the artist who sings soothing inspirational ballads and has a passion for her Lord and her music. Shattering all preconceptions, Carolyn has changed, and, well, let her explain... "I Can Hear You reflected my folk influences - I wrote most of the songs at night in my parent's house or at my apartment trying not to wake up anyone. On this new record, I got an entire year to put a band together and discovered we could make a lot of noise." CA's old pop/folk style becomes alternative folk rock and her quiet keyboard has been exchanged for guitar with distortion. That's not to say she's not still a poet; on all of the tunes on Feel Free, be they a rock song or not, Carolyn weaves a poetic, challenging and encouraging message into the song. Another added bonus: Feel Free is an interactive CD with interviews, facts and even a music video! It starts off with the rocking "Do What You Do," (inspired by the late great philosopher Dr. Seuss) which talks about living your life on the edge. The incredible #1 radio hit "New Year's Day" is about God forgiving us daily and making "every day New Year's Day" (pretty cool concept, huh?). The funky style of the title track, "Feel Free," about being honest in friendship, changes back to her pop/insp. in "There You Are," though this time basing the song on guitar, not keyboard, as I Can Hear You did. Tracks five through seven continue Carolyn's alternative/rock styled songs; "This I Know" tells us about the simple things being profound, "Big Deal," examines the principle of making room for people to grow and not being so intense, and "Last Thursday" challenges us to share Jesus unashamedly with the world. "Do We Dare?" expresses the wonder of God's creation, while the pop-with-a-hint-of-Celtic closer "Father, Thy Will Be Done" can be summed up with these lines: "When my faith in You is strong ~ When my faith is almost done ~ Father, thy will be done". Carolyn Arends "makes some noise" and gives us many poetic snapshots of life as it is in her 1997 record Feel Free.
- Josh M. Shepherd
May 1999
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