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Mission Temple Fireworks Stand

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Album Review

If the cover depicting Sawyer Brown as a bunch of tough yet well-groomed carnies wasn't an indication that their 2005 effort Mission Temple Fireworks Stand captures a rougher, rowdier version of the veteran country-pop band, the opening title cut confirms it. A galloping bluesy rocker, patterned on a gospel-tent singalong but sounding like pure Southern rock, it's a welcome change from the cautious crossover pop of 2002's Can You Hear Me Now and it's a good indication of what the overriding character of the album is. Throughout much of the rest of the album, Sawyer Brown favor loose, lean, humorous country-rockers, whether it's spiking Steven Curtis Chapman's "Tarzan and Jane" with "ooga-chakas" lifted from Jonathan King's take on B.J. Thomas' "Hooked on a Feeling" or doing a spirited cover of the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself." It's as if the group heard the raunchy sounds of Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson and decided the way to compete was going for straight-ahead Southern rock. Of course, this is Sawyer Brown, the group that first came to fame on Star Search, so they haven't abandoned their taste for big sentiment, and they have two of their most unbearably mawkish numbers to date here: "With You Daddy," a tale of a father dying from lung cancer, and its flip side, "One Little Heartbeat at a Time," a tale about a newborn baby. These are syrupy, drippy tunes, but they don't slow down the album too much, since most of the record moves along briskly — the hooks are plentiful, the band sounds tight, and the production is uncluttered, making for their best record in over a decade.

Customer Reviews

I Don't Understand - But nice to have you back!

I believe it was four years or so since thier last offering, but it was worth the wait. Those who have found a reason to become a Sawyer Brown fan at sometime or another during the boys career will rediscover it here. Some good rockin', a tender song or two that will make a tear well up, a hot cover (Keep Your Hands to Yourself) catchy hooks and even some of the thoughtfulness Mr. Miller learned to write about in "The Walk" & "Cafe on the Corner" days. Although the thought and meaning on this album are written by an unheard of writer with the gem "They Don't Understand". A song that mainstream radio has been afraid to give it's deserved airplay, is worth the purchase or download itself. The uptempo title track makes you wonder at first and then challenges you not to get hooked. Why this disc is not getting more attention is what "I Don't Understand", but why these guys have lasted so long and why they should keep going is easy to understand with a listen to this disc.

The boys are back!

Love it! The singles 'They Don't Understand' and 'Mission Temple Fireworks Stand' had been released a few months early and I downloaded them here. After getting and playing the CD the first time, I found new favorites. 'Your Faith', 'All I Want is You' and 'With You Daddy' are really great. If you're into country-rock, you won't be disappointed with this one!

A Very Strong Showing for Sawyer Brown!

This is now my seventh album from Sawyer Brown and they have never sounded better. I really like the tempo and energy of this album. The one thing that really shines in this album is thier faith (Mission Temple Fireworks Stand) and the song writing. If you are a fan of lyrics, like myself, you will be very impressed with the subject matter which may give you pause to think about things in a different light (They Don't Understand). From light and funning (Tarzan and Jane) to very sentimentmental (With You Daddy and One little heartbeat at a Time) this album is one of thier best. One last thing – this album plays fast, you get hooked in and before you realize it, you have come to the end. To that I say, "play it again"!

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Apopka, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of those rare acts who actually became stars directly from winning Star Search, country-rockers Sawyer Brown wound up enjoying a long, hit-filled career and remained commercially viable into the new millennium. The group originally grew out of country-pop singer Don King's touring band, with guitarist Bobby Randall and drummer Joe Smyth signing on in 1979, and bassist Jim Scholten, keyboardist Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard, and guitarist/future lead singer Mark Miller all arriving in 1980. King stopped...
Full Bio