Ratings and Reviews
Refreshingly modern Choir sound
I played electric guitars on "Birds, Bewildered" back in August 2017 and the early mix and the few songs written then did not indicate anything exceptional yet. Steven Leweike did a superb job mixing and producing at Yackland studios in Nashville. The final compilation is both classic The Choir with Derri's vocals being as sweet and smooth as ever with the exception of "The Way You Always Are" which sounds like it was recorded earlier in their career. Steve Hindalong's drums are solid and never overpowering but always complimentary. What you will find on this disc is a "rhythm" and a "groove" that has been missing from the band's more atmospheric offerings over the past ten years. All of the songs are catchy and offer both tragic, sad songs of lament and remorse over bad decisions made as well as fun and somewhat silly tunes like "Californians on Ice" and "We've Got The Moon" (Listen for the Ukelele - a first for The Choir). This is perhaps the most enjoyable project the band has made in some time. Atmospheric-laden guitars are still present in songs like "The Time Has Come" and "Only Reasons". But more up-beat songs like "Magic" pierce the atmosphere and give the listener a hook to hang on to. "Dizzy Wounded" shows what Choir fans have always known - that Steve Hindalong is a master of prose while "House of Blues" reminds the listener that sometimes it is better to burn it all down and start over than to live in a bad situation. Give every song on this disc a listen to at least once and enjoy what these talented musicians/songwriters have to offer this time around!
Give Bloodshot a Shot!
As a longtime fan, I'm always excited to hear a new Choir project. This one does not fail to excel both musically and lyrically. There are some great layers of atmospheric and crunchy guitars layered over Steve's always inventive and driving percussion (he's much more than a "drummer.") Lyrically, there is a range from silly to blissful and remorseful to tragic. Lyrically the Choir have always been honest and not shy about revealing struggles and relational pain in life, biut this album takes that to a new level. Yet it is not depressing or dark, just painfully honest about the human condition we all find ourselves in. Derri's voice is just as beatuiful as ever breathing life into Steve's lyrics. Steve takes a turn behind the mic on The Way You Always Are, "how 'bout that?" Great songs and perfomances on this album. Give it a listen and you will be drawn back again and again.
Will be a classic.
Top notch album by The Choir. Will definitely listen on repeat for quite a while.
About The Choir
With their origins in Orange County, California, and their current incarnation based out of Nashville, Tennessee, atmospheric alt-rock outfit the Choir have undergone their fair share of changes throughout their long career. Formed in 1984 under the moniker Youth Choir, and built around the distinctive playing of guitarist and vocalist Derri Daugherty, the evocative lyrics of drummer Steve Hindalong, and the inventive, ambient post-rock flourishes of guitar player Marc Byrd, rounded out by saxophone and Lyricon player Dan Michael and bass player Tim Chandler, the band spent its early days infusing its signature blend of shoegaze, soaring alt-rock, and melodic psych-pop with a spiritual core. Prolific and critically lauded, but unable to bridge the gap (financially) between CCM and the mainstream -- successful faith-based alt-rockers such as Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, and Sixpence None the Richer cite the Choir as a significant influence -- the band considered closing up shop in 1996, shortly after relocating to Nashville and releasing its ninth studio album, Free Flying Soul. Wisely, they chose to stick it out and landed a Grammy Award nomination for 2000s independently released Flap Your Wings, which led to successful subsequent recordings like O How the Mighty Have Fallen (2005), Burning Like the Midnight Sun (2010), The Loudest Sound Ever Heard (2012), and Shadow Weaver (2014), the latter of which saw the group moving in a more secular direction. ~ James Christopher Monger
- Nashville, TN