YOUR CHRISTIAN MUSIC RADIO & NEWS SOURCE

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Christian Music Family Rewards
Read this month's magazine
Albums / Smalltown Poets / Third Verse
Third Verse

Third Verse

Lou Carlozo
Known for its tireless touring and pronounced affection for the Gin Blossoms, Smalltown Poets has produced pop that’s more potent than many of its Christian peers. Still, a few observers (including this critic) have wondered whether the group has yet to tap its artistic potential.

On Third Verse lead vocalist Michael Johnston and company take a commendable step towards toughening and sharpening their sound, drawing on a range of rockin’ influences from David Garza to Collective Soul. Judging by a nine-song pre-release (all that was available at press time), Smalltown has embraced more angular textures without losing its knack for crisp melodies. Perhaps the peak moment is the cover of The 77s’ tune "The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes and the Pride of Life." Despite its tongue-twisting title, this number could easily pass for a classic Byrds tune with its 12-string electric guitar and yearning chorus harmonies. Like a man with his back to the wall, Johnston delivers his vocal pinned against a pulsating down-tuned bass. It’s a beautiful, sad song that chronicles the dark side of human nature with stark emotional honesty.

Elsewhere, "Clean" unfolds from a stripped drum loop into an engaging volley of guitar lines and feedback, propelled by a sweetly soaring chorus. And for fans of the vintage Smalltown sound, "Every Reason" boasts a ready-for-radio chorus (and owes more than a passing nod to the Blossoms). Still, there’s room to mature; lyrically, Smalltown is solid but often formulaic. But alas, growth often comes one album at a time. Third Verse raises the musical bar a notch. Now, if the band can live up to its moniker and take chances with its wordsmithing, greatness awaits. -- Lou Carlozo

 

 

ALBUM TRACKS

 
Song Title Length Play Price Buy MP3
 
Every Reason
Album: Third Verse
3:41 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Any Other Love
Album: Third Verse
4:04 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Firefly
Album: Third Verse
3:35 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Clean
Album: Third Verse
4:35 $0.99 Buy Song
 
The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes, And The Pride Of Life
Album: Third Verse
4:16 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Waterfall
Album: Third Verse
4:14 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Beautiful, Scandalous Night
Album: Third Verse
3:54 $0.99 Buy Song
 
No Kinder Savior
Album: Third Verse
4:19 $0.99 Buy Song
 
That Line
Album: Third Verse
4:58 $0.99 Buy Song
 
100 Billion Watts
Album: Third Verse
3:33 $0.99 Buy Song
Get the Flash Player to play songs.
9.9900

FAN REVIEWS & COMMENTS

 
Be the first to comment!
 

SMALLTOWN POETS ALBUMS

 
Third Verse
(October 2013)
Third Verse
0 user reviews
Under The New Sun
(October 2012)
Under The New Sun
0 user reviews
Smalltown Poets Christmas
(November 2011)
Smalltown Poets Christmas
0 user reviews
Listen Closely
(December 2006)
Listen Closely
1 user reviews
It's Later Than It's Ever Been
(October 2004)
It's Later Than It's Ever Been
0 user reviews
Third Verse
(January 2000)
Third Verse
0 user reviews
Smalltown Poets
(March 1997)
Smalltown Poets
0 user reviews
 
Todays Christian Music Rewards