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Album Review of Jesse Biondi's

People of the Light

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 3)

South Carolina musician Jesse Biondi’s first solo effort finds him exploring new territory but also offers something very familiar to DAYLIGHTwasting fans. Instead of doing another full blown rock record, Jesse decided to share his passion for Praise & Worship. People of the Light is full of songs that are ready for Christian radio. There’s nothing groundbreaking within the music or lyrics, but this album is a perfect representation of Praise & Worship and offers great encouragement. From the opening electric guitar lines of “Fill Me” to the gentle conclusion of “Enough,” there is a nice variety in this five song set to attract a whole range of listeners.

“Fill Me”: The opening track is what some might compare to an “amped-up” Chris Tomlin, and it is the closest in sound to Jesse’s former band, DAYLIGHTwasting. Often under-mixed in Praise & Worship, the drums are very close to the forefront and play a prominent part in making “Fill Me” the hardest rocking song on the collection. The passionate vocals come from a cry out to God to “fill me up, so I can be poured out again.” During a particular dry season in Jesse’s life, he realized that too often we are not praying for God to send His rain. The rock delivery perfectly complements the prayer and request for a filling. The song also boasts a sing-a-long chorus with nice musical changes that keep the track fresh.

“People of the Light”: The title track of the album finds the phrase “People of the Light” mainly used within the bridge of the song and is memorable enough to be a chorus on its own. The chorus itself uses the popular analogy of light and darkness in the world. The description of God’s light shining over the earth and we as “light bearers” makes the song feel like it could be a precursor to “This Little Light of Mine.” That’s where similarities to the popular children’s song end though. “People of the Light” is again a more rock oriented song that sounds very similar to the popular secular band Muse. The drums feel somewhat urgent on the verses, and the anticipation builds to excellent lead guitar lines that drive the song. It also features one of the best guitar solos on the album.

“The World Around Us”: After being filled with God’s light, the Great Commission comes into play. The album starts to calm down some in terms of its sonic assault, but the passion is still displayed in “The World Around Us.” After becoming equipped, Jesse declares that he is now ready “to share Your heart with the world around us.” Wonderful ebbs and flows complement the song’s sound that is sometimes stripped bare and other times full of instruments singing together. The opening chords work well with the hand drums that are a departure from the full drum set featured on earlier songs in the album. Another aspect that sets this song apart is the use of an organ for some of the more beautiful pieces within the arrangement. This song makes good use of the “gang vocals” style of recording that again gives us a very memorable chorus.

“Your Love”: Jesse stated that he wanted his songs to be very singable, and you will find that throughout this solo release. “Your Love” seems to find an especially welcome place on the lips of the listener. This album seems to take you on a journey. After bringing the tone down a bit with the previous track, this song puts the album in a particularly somber mood. The feel of the music matches the delivery of such heartfelt lines as “I’ve got to get back to you.” Though there are valleys in life, there is always hope in our Lord’s love. Such a message is the point of “Your Love,” and it resounds in a cry of “Your Love washes over me! Your love, it brings me peace!” The song builds from its somber tone and delivers dramatic plays in the music. The mix of songs has always been something that I feel lacking in much of popular music, and the solo here seems a little too buried in the mix. That does not stop “Your Love” from easily being one of my favorite songs on the album, though. Many Praise & Worship songs can be ambiguous with whose love they may be singing about, and it is pleasant to hear Jesse cry out the name of Jesus in the final chorus. (Download a FREE copy of “Your Love” here.)

“Enough”: The album closes with a peaceful and comforting track about grace. As Christians, most (if not all of us) experience times when we fill like we are not enough. This was what Jesse Biondi felt before composing “Enough.” The song confronts this thought, but it in turn reflects the joy that is in Christ. We do not have to be enough! “If it wasn’t for Your grace...” God uses the most imperfect people to do His will. No matter what skills or talents we have or lack, we are made enough because of God. It’s not anything that we can do on our own. The song is mainly based around acoustic guitar and cello, with the cello adding beautiful lead lines within musical interludes. Minor percussion also compliments the starkness of the song near the end. Somewhat reminiscent of the vocal delivery on the classic song “House of the Rising Sun,” Jesse’s subdued vocal delivery on “Enough” becomes more passionate as the song concludes. Grace perfectly sums up the beauty of what God’s love is, and it is a fitting end to People of the Light.

Album available through all major Music download sites (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)

From: Volume 1 - Issue 3


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