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Moving On Faith - Click to view!When one thinks of the Seattle area, certain styles of music usually spring to mind, depending on one's age. Those in their late teens and early twenties will be quick to mention that popular punk rockers MxPx hail from the Greater Seattle area. Their slightly older siblings are sure to recognize the Emerald City as the virtual ground-zero point for the early '90s alternative music explosion that produced such first-wave grunge outfits as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Meanwhile, the parents of both groups can point with pride to the city's long and distinguished heritage of classic rock acts — from Jimi Hendrix in the '60s to still-active long-timers like Queensryche and Heart.

Of course, not everything out of the Great Northwest is rock-related, as Moving on Faith, the debut album from BEC Recordings artist and Seattle native Jadon Lavik, certainly proves. The leadoff song, "Following You," is an infectious, instantly memorable slice of modern power pop that gives the nod to artists like Sugarbomb and PFR. "Searching" is a likewise sterling combination of pop and praise that calls to mind FFH's also-stellar "One of These Days." The folk-friendly textures and confrontational lyrics of "Today" ("It's time we opened up our eyes / And all I'm asking / Is what you're living for today") pull a page straight from the Keith Green songbook. And the standout track "What If" shows that a Jim Croce-fronted Avalon would have sounded very good indeed.

Lavik occasionally slips into lyrical triteness, as he does on the made-for-weddings sentiment of "This Day" ("I will give more than vows and words could ever say / I give you my all this day"). Likewise, songs like "How Majestic" and "Saved by Grace" are mostly undistinguished adult contemporary/inspirational fodder. But even tracks like "Redeeming King," which bears an uncomfortably close resemblance to Chris Tomlin's "Famous One," and "Let It Go," which nets a 10 on the Evan and Jaron soundalike scale, are never less than pleasant. And Lavik's sturdy, note-perfect voice only serves to increase the appeal of his songs. While Moving on Faith's overabundance of glossy, mid-tempo pop may leave some hankering for just a tad more earthiness or grit, those planning their next Sunday afternoon drive with the top down may well have found the perfect soundtrack.
- Bert Gangl
September 2004
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