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Out of the Grey
REVIEWS: [ 6.1 | gravity ]

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6.1 (2001)
6.1 - Click to view! I find it very easy to be cynical about songs reflecting on God's love. Oftentimes, such songs portray a philosophy of "God's love gives me the ultimate high". The singer would be appalled to hear it thus stated and would staunchly deny that he is saying anything of the sort, but that is the philosophy he is communicating. Rarely do Christian musicians dig deeper than this when speaking of the wonderful mysteries of God's love. The mere mention of the word is often seen as enough witness of how Christian love is different than the non-Christian variety (which, incidentally, can usually be summed up as, "Baby, your love gives me the ultimate high"). Welcome to the shallow world of Christian pop music.

Yet, in every area of darkness a little light must shine through, enlightening others and sparking a fire that eventually consumes the dead wood. And in this area, that little light is Out of the Grey's latest release, 6.1. It is an album about love, but not the kind of love that gives the listener a warm, bubbly feeling inside. Rather, it is an album that explores the meaning of true love and how true love ought to affect us and bear fruit in our lives. Using heart-grasping lyrics and tight production, Scott and Christine Dente show that true Christian love has not been forgotten.

Though the word "love" is consistently mentioned throughout the CD, it is best exemplified when it is not used but implied: It is the story following the word that demonstrates an understanding of what the word really means. "Truth Breaks Through" is the best example of this demonstration, reminding us that our love is a better teacher than our words. The Dente's understand that love is not just a teacher, however, but also a friend ready to share burdens ("Tell Your Story") and a means to live life differently ("Out of the Ordinary"). Furthermore, God's love has great effects on us: it strengthens us ("Brave"), makes us joyful ("Shine Like Crazy"), calls us to see the light ("What's it Gonna Be"), and blesses us ("Grace, Mercy and Peace").

The effects of this love are also felt in the music. Monroe Jones employs his producing skills, combined with Scott's guitar prowess, Christine's heartfelt vocals, and the duo's songwriting experience, to create a contagiously joyful vibe that penetrates the CD. 6.1's sound is not that of your typical pop album, however. The guitar on the CD is thoughtfully inserted, showing up in unexpected but appropriate spots; keyboards are tastefully used, avoiding the overly-electronic sounds of much pop music; the vocals suit the lyrics, expressing joy, resolve, reflection, and peace at the proper times. Indeed, this album is arguably Jones's best work as a producer: he has helped create an experimental masterpiece that ought to be recognized for its solid, exploring nature.

6.1 is one of the most lyrically and musically challenging albums of 2001, but it is also one of the most overlooked. Lyrically unified and musically complete, this album has no out-of-place songs or uncomfortable moments. One could even say that it shines "like crazy". Future fans will have good reason to lament when they discover 6.1 and realize the artistry that went with less notice and praise than it deserved. So, buy it and start a trend. Share it with your friends, and let them discover not only its beauty, but the beauty of the message that makes this album so great: genuine Christian love will show itself to be so. And when it has shown itself, you will be given much joy. Skeptical? Just ask the Dente's: I'm sure they would be glad to tell you.

GRAVITY (1995)
Gravity - Click to view!Peace. Serenity. Though most youth lean toward rock music, there are times when everyone needs to relax and unwind. And for those moments in your life comes Gravity, the 1995 release that passes as the ultimate Christian cafe experience. Amid the atmosphere of Scott Denté's soothing acoustic licks and his wife Christine's heavenly voice come deep, poetic words of life that are sure to strengthen and encourage you in your daily walk with Christ. From such cuts as "Stay Close" (Many times I've seen the wonder of His ways ~ Lost in the closet of neglect ~ But the door is always open ~ To the turning of a phrase ~ A brilliant light spills inside to show the way), you'll see this isn't your typical CCM preaching or gospel cheerleading--its a beautiful, gifted couple using their incredible songwriting and vocal talents for God's glory. They employ what could be secular songs ("When Love Comes to Life," "Bird on A Wire") and redeem them in a poetic, unassuming way. "Pretending" and "The Weight of the Words" are especially hard-hitting tracks, both simply and eloquently talking of the burdens and confusion lifted when Jesus changes your life. For those who believe that a cafe/easy listening album isn't complete without a love song, "So We Never Got to Paris" sits on love song expert Timiester's chart between The Beatles' "Here There Everywhere" and Carolyn Arends' "Good Thing Going." To put it plainly, get this album. You'll love it.
- Josh M. Shepherd
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