NewWorldSon, a new band from Canada, describe themselves as a soul band. But this is not old school soul. Salvation Station has a modern, up-to-date edge to it, with plenty of hints of rock present.
For the bulk of the CD the simple yet often effective pattern of catchy choruses and spiritual lyrics is used. To give an indication of the catchiness of the lyrics, I was able to sing along to several songs on the first listen.
Salvation Station starts strongly with the title track, Salvation Station, which is one of the best songs on the album. It is a lively opening to the album, and even includes train horn samples, an earlier indication that this album is a little different from the usual. Working Man starts off with hints of the James Bond theme tune, and goes on to include the line “I am a special agent of the lamb”, putting a unique spin on what it means to be a working man, working for God, not for money.
Down from the Mountain, as well as musically being a good song, lyrically is a great reminder that while the mountain top experiences with God are great, there comes a time when we need to come ‘down from the mountain’ and let people see how we have been changed by that.
Gimme and Empty Heart are both cries to God, filled with passion and can easily be sung along to – the tunes are great, and the themes of wanting to be filled up by God, and wanting to “know you love me” are likely to be relevant to you, no matter where you are in your walk with God when you listen to the CD.
NewWorldSon have a unique sound, and are clearly unafraid to take risks and try things that are a bit unconventional (such as the kazoo on the song City Bus Love Song). I feel that in that there is a great lesson for us, to avoid the pressure to conform, and not be afraid to do our thing for God.
Although the band is a Christian band, and all the songs have Christian themes to them, there are no stand out Biblical links to most of the lyrics à la Third Day/Delirious. However I feel this makes the album more accessible to non-Christians, and the simplicity perhaps is a reason why multiple listens are not needed to get the full meaning out of any of the songs. The one main exception is the song Babylon is gonna Fall, which updates the story of the tower of Babylon to modern times quite effectively, and provides a timely reminder that ‘one day soon’ the worldly towers of money and success are going to fall.
The final few songs on the album (Waiting till the rapture come and Pledge of Allegiance) are the weakest songs on the album, and perhaps it is not a coincidence that these are the ones in which the soul music roots come across most.
However the good songs far outweigh the weaker ones, and overall I would recommend this CD – a definite purchase if you are into soul music, and worth checking out if you want to try a new musical genre. Salvation Station gives you some great Christian songs in a style that is probably a little different to your normal, and in my opinion that is a great thing – the world doesn’t need fifty different bands all sounding like Casting Crowns !
[All4God Rating Scale: Less than 3: Not great 4-6: Average 7-9: Worth checking out 9+: Highly recommended]
Out: Now (USA), 12th May (UK)
Links: NewWorldSon website
Buy it: Cross Rhythms direct (£9.97 preorder)
Review by Peter McMurray