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THIS IS THE MOMENT (2003)
This Is The Moment - Click to view!"I'm lost without you near me / I'm helpless and I can't speak / When I can't be with you / My heart has no home / This is the moment / I've waited for / This is the moment / Here in your arms, today." -"Lost Without You Near Me"

In moments of intimacy with Christ, we become the most aware of our need for Him. The Psalms are full of prayers by David and Asaph that plead to experience the presence of God. Worship allows us to be the most open and entirely real. The Violet Burning exemplifies this desire to be near God all throughout their newest studio recording, This is the Moment. The band marries the original sounds of Demonstrates Plastic and Elastic with the worship transparency of Faith and Devotions of a Satellite Heart, establishing a delicious recording that incorporates both worlds, topped with a radio-hit style that invites listeners from a larger audience. Yet This is the Moment is not about the crafting of a hit album. It's about the embrace of a loving Savior for one more day.

The freshness of their sound welcomes people who desire new ways in which to express their love to God, something beyond the traditional church feel. "Lovesick" opens the album with an edgy taste of electronics, guitars, and vocals. Michael Pritzl sings, "I know I'm / in forgiving seas tonight / Healing me in slow / glowing light / ...Lovesick, I am amazed / Got it, lovesick." One wouldn't expect a desire for God to be lovesickness, but that's the charm of The Violet Burning. They take the unexpected, the every-day, and twist it into lyrics that bring a new level of understanding. "Radio Jesus Superstar" establishes the same effect. The lyrics read, "I can't wait, gonna go full on / The radio Jesus superstar / The very first time I met you / You were hanging on my heart / I can't wait, gonna go full on / The radio is playing / My favorite song / The very first time I met you / You were singing in my heart." Only this band could equate meeting Christ as hearing Him sing in the heart like a radio superstar.

If that borders blasphemy in your mind, never fear. The Violet Burning has plenty of songs that echo traditional images of Christianity. "The Only One" sings, "You are the only one I need / The love that carries me / You are the only one I hope for / My Lord, my God, my King." The pop-rock feel of this song would fair well as a radio single. "Lord, Rescue Me" showcases Pritzl's soft vocals in an abundance of reverb. As he petitions, "May I sing this holy song?" the listener can sense the reverence of the moment. "Let it Begin" places baptismal images into a soft musical arrangement: "Get me to that river / Take me, on, down deep / I've got to get this dirt off / Let it begin inside me." "Manta Rae" incorporates drums in a soundtrack one would find appropriate for Glory (Columbia/Tristar Studios, 1989) or any other Civil War movie, and the lyrics embrace themes of "People Get Ready" (Curtis Mayfield). It's a new calling-away/rapture song, describing when we will "leave these burdens behind" and "sail right into that holy place."

Simply because this band focuses on heavenly-minded songs doesn't mean they aren't any earthly good. One of my favorites off the album is "I See Stars," a love song between man and woman that remains romantically sweet and artistically classy without delving into the ultra personal. Pritzl sings, "And I never, never / I never wanted more than this." It's a fitting tribute to the miracle of love.

The only negativity I could see placed against this album might be from fans longing for the experimentation found in Demonstrates Plastic. But as a new recruit to the world of The Violets, I loved the accessibility found in this CD. I was not left out in the cold by an over-dominance of electronics. I found the album to be a perfect blend of musical genius and lyrical honesty. This is the Moment is a moment than needs to be embraced.
- Hollie Stewart
December 2003
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