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Everyone - Click to view!Delirious? signing a San Luis Obispo band? Yes, it's true. The guys from the UK have taken some California boys under their wings, yet Everyone doesn't sound like every other west coast band. They've embraced a European style of soft melodic rock and chosen to write simple songs of praise. This album won't catch the ears of most California rockers, but it has a coffeehouse feel that will linger after rap core and surfer rock has dissipated.

Soft acoustic guitar and familiar lyrics dominate the album, as in "Jesus Savior." Jeff Searles sings "Jesus Savior, Prince of Peace / You are the door unto the sheep / Son of God, Living Sacrifice / You are the light of the world / No higher praises a king heard / Than the Christ who died for us / You deserve the anthem of our praise / We will live to worship only You." He croons delicately in "Dream of You," "Lovely Way" and "Thank You," each song expressing similar, expected worship images.

Yet the album as a whole remained too predictable. The songs blended into each other so much so that it was hard to differentiate between tracks. Although this can be good for moments of quiet reflection, I generally found it to be a weakness rather than a strength. Unlike their British forefathers, Everyone lacks a listener-friendly energy. Songs like "Hold On" and "Crazy" delve more into a true rock sound with some electronic influence, interesting bass lines, and a bit of U2 flair. But other than these movements, I left the project disappointed.

I also wish more attention had been given to the lyrics. The title track sings, "Everyone sing this song / Jesus You're the Son of God / Everyone bow down low / To Jesus Christ the saving one." The rest of the songs hold this simplistic quality-taking images so common and, dare I say it, overused in modern worship songs. Many Christians might find the imagery too overworked. And even in writing that, I cringe, because why should statements like "Jesus washed all your sins away" be considered trite ("It's Alright")? Perhaps the guys in Everyone use cliché imagery to appeal to the baby Christian or the non-saved individual on the cusp of salvation. One lyric that makes me angry is "Red white and blue with love for you" ("Dream of You"). If this is an American/British/French image of salvation, it excludes the other nations, whose people are just as much in love with Christ as those in the "civilized" world. I might be reading the image wrong, but felt so out of context and awkward.

But let me conclude with the positive gem titled "Only For You." This culminating track is by far the best recording on the album. It begins soft, soon incorporating drums into crescendos of "I'll live for You, my King." Then the chorus comes with electric guitars and strong vocals singing fresh imagery: "And if the mountains and the sea / Were to slip away, far away / And the sun and the moon / Had left their skies for the final day / There'd still be You." If more songs had been created in the style of "Only For You," this album would have been much stronger overall.

I really hope this band continues making records. I hope to see them improve. I want to see Furious? Records and a good producer help glean more diamonds out of Everyone's unsharpened rough.
- Hollie Stewart
May 2004
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