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Across The Sky - Click to view!Who would have thought that an album with the cover that Across the Sky's self-titled debut has wouldn't be a rock album but rather a pop album with only the slightest hint of rock? This is exactly what duo Justin Unger and Ben Kolarcik were aiming for: a pop sound with only a twist of eclectic rock. With a disc that has gained positive reviews across the board, it is surprising to hear it's a pop band that is behind this album.

The song that presents the stronger, rockier side of this two-person team is "Give it All Away." For a topic that is as widely used as placing everything in God's hands, "Give..." sheds a new light on it. It deals with the revelation that we as Christians should strip ourselves of all that impedes our relationship with Christ. "So why do I insist / on possessing what will only weigh me down / You said separate yourself / from all the treasures of the world / Now I'm starting to understand what I should do." It continues into a lengthy chorus about giving "it" away. While the repetition pounds the idea into the brain, the listener gets the point after only a few lines of "I give it all away."

The most heart-felt track on the record must be the song about unending love for Christ: "First Love Song." If you can read into the song, it represents what Christ endured and how we can lean on Him for everything. But in all actuality, the entire song can be taken ambiguously if you don't ponder the under-lying meaning. The guys admit openly that this is truly the "very first love song" and they managed to hit the truth with their premier message.

"Shooting Star" tells the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32) through the eyes of that son. Once he returns to the father - or in this case the Father - he is safe. "Still / you're ever faithful / Still / you're ever strong / Now I can call you Father." The prodigal son realizes that no matter what he does or where he goes, God will lead him back to Him and be welcoming with open arms.

The guys also do an amazing rendition of the popular Michael W. Smith song "Do you Dream of Me?". This song has been re-recorded by numerous other acts, but many of them can not match the vocal domination that Across the Sky presents. Their voices mesh so well that at first listen, it sounds extremely similar to Michael W Smith. There is even a guest vocalist (Jennifer Morrison) that adds a third dimension the vocal ranges and makes it that much more entrancing.

Pop music is slowing giving way to the hard-edged sounds of rock and punk, but bands that can combine the two genres are going to have greater staying power and greater success. Across the Sky is a new band that has found a way to create an excellent pop album. They are a duo that will most likely be one of Christian music's well-known bands. If you haven't yet heard this band, I would recommend you check them out.
- Ashley Nier
February 2004
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