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Reborn

Avalon

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Album Review

It took emancipation from the very machine that put them together, EMI, for Avalon finally to take the reins and start anew with Reborn, their first independent project. It appears the liberty afforded the quartet an opportunity to upend the entire Avalon record-making paradigm: there is no big-budget producer on deck, not a single power ballad to bet all the chips on...the group's mug isn't even on the front album cover, a first for one of the band's regular studio albums. All of the above are anomalies signaling that this is not your mother's Avalon, but an entirely refashioned outfit, one that favors take-no-prisoners pop/rock over inspirational sentiment, aggressiveness over adult contemporary sameness. At the core, Avalon are still a vocal pop foursome, so knob-turner Ian Eskelin (Stellar Kart, Everyday Sunday) makes sure to keep his ear to the ground in terms of melodic value and immediacy, while adding an edge and rock sensibility that are very much his. Avalon have never sounded this liberated, this unconcerned with pandering to a formula — they're almost oblivious to the positive-hits mentality that was once their bread and butter. In this band that must be considered in relation to the sum of its parts, Janna Long, the sole original member left, isn't the only one carrying the vocal weight, but everyone is, even the newer initiates — solo, in duos, in trios, and sometimes the four of them at once. There's nary a dull moment here — things move so briskly and fluidly that this is perhaps the most fun Avalon have had in the studio since 1997's A Maze of Grace. Hands down, Reborn is the best album Avalon have released this decade.

Customer Reviews

Great Crescendo!

Liked the first few songs well enough, but I felt from Destined onward that this release just kept building momentum until the last song which is superb. Sweet! Well done, Avalon. Liked the tweak of the group sound with Amy - it's different from Melissa's voice, but resonates well.

Another Great Album

A lot of changes to the group, little bit different sound but as with every album all great songs.

Biography

Genre: Inspirational

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s

The CCM vocal quartet Avalon includes Jody McBrayer, Nikki Hassman, Janna Potter and Michael Passons. After debuting with a self-titled album in 1996, the group toured with Michael W. Smith, Twila Paris and Steven Curtis Chapman. The singles "Give It Up," "This Love" and "Picture Perfect World" all did well on the inspirational/adult contemporary charts, sparking the group's second album, 1997's A Maze of Grace. Hassman left the group and was replaced by Cherie Paliotta before Avalon returned to...
Full bio
Reborn, Avalon
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries