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Smalltown Poets
[ listen closely ]

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LISTEN CLOSELY (1999)
Listen Closely - Click to view!Are you listening?

"I'd like to remind you..." Begins the intro to "Quasar" "...That these five young men have been called by God to communicate Christ in a creative way..."

The Poets are back with their sophomore album, Listen Closely. Search high and low, but a better title for this project will not be found. There is a wealth of subtle nuances and profound truths that will only be noticed by those who are willing to pay attention. The Wisdom of Proverbs whispers in the lyrics of these songs, just waiting to teach you something about life, about God, about how you should view things. Those who have ears...

The album starts out with the catchy "Call Me Christian" which shows off the Smalltown talent with a perfect blend of acoustic and electric guitars, and a great keyboard. "Gloria" has to be one of the best songs on this CD. Co-written with the guys from The Waiting, "Gloria" grabs your ear with a contagious beat and proceeds to exclaim the joys of praising our Lord. "I'm bringing gloria, giving gloria, and to the Father may the greater glory be..."

An A++ goes to SP for their outrageously inventive "48 States." Imagine the sound of a civil war-era drummer, add Keith Green styled keyboards and a generous helping of Poet guitars, and you have a song that is original in all ways!

Laced with the sweet sounds of a mandolin, "Long, Long Way" slows things down a bit. "I'm a long, long way/ From where I left to begin this refrain / From where your mercy and grace remain / From where you sit is it true, I'm not that far from you." Michael Johnston's smooth vocals make this one an easy song to listen to.

"One of these days" is a disappointment when compared to the rest of the songs on this album. Written, played, and sung by keyboardist Danny Stephens, this song sounds as if it would be more at home on the soundtrack of a depressing movie. Not the grand finish that one would hope for.

Exclude the fizzling ending, and this is a CD with very few flaws. Smalltown Poets have created an album that is both wise and entertaining at the same time. Wonderful truths delivered with interesting musical style is something that is not to be missed. Go get it, and please, Listen Closely!
- Melissa Miles
September 2001
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