By Brian Hiliker
“May the 4th," yes, it is obviously Star Wars Day which is very significant to fans of the franchise all over the world. However, this year’s “May the 4th” was also quite significant for Christian rock artist Plumb. This is because May 4, 2015 saw the release of Plumb’s latest album: “Exhale". In this article, I will be reviewing “Exhale” as part of my series about five of the best Christian albums of 2015. So, with all of those pesky introductions and announcements out of the way, let’s begin!
“Exhale” is the title track which starts out sounding a bit like it’s emerging from some kind of a dream-like state. However, the choruses explode in this song and are definitely the high point of the song. The bridge is repetitive and feels like a song that would be perfect for a congregation to sing at a worship service.
“Lord I’m Ready Now” is a contemporary Christian anthem. The lyrics describe the process of letting go of one’s old ways in favor of turning over a new leaf as a Christian. The piano parts in this song do a great job of setting the pace for this anthem of praise and worship.
“Smoke” feels very spacey. Plumb’s lyrics talk about walking through a valley and I think those lyrics match perfectly with the song because the music really feels like the sound of walking through a valley. Overall, the song does a great job of taking the listener to a very “other worldly” place.
Second Half of the Album
“Broken Places” feels very emotional. The beat sounds like it is from a Dubstep song. However, the other elements of the song keep it sounding like traditional contemporary worship music.
“Faithful” makes use of some exciting drumbeats and keeps them up front in the mix. The piano parts are simplistic, which leave plenty of room for Plumb’s vocals to take “center stage” in the song.
“Champion” opens with some guitar parts that sound similar to the guitar playing style of U2’s The Edge. The keyboard parts add extra shimmer to the song. Overall, I think “Champion” would be a great addition to any worship band’s set list.
Final Songs of the Album
“Sleep Will Be Sweet” has some mystical keyboard parts in it. Lyrically, the song appears to be describing the peace that comes with being a believer in Christ. Near the end of the song, Plumb’s vocals get a delay effect added to them which really livens up the track.
“When You Walk Into The Room” details the memorizing feelings that come with worshiping God. The string section in the second half of the song widens the song and gives it a “larger than life” vibe.
“Restored” starts with floating background vocals and swaying string ensembles. The drumbeat in the chorus reminds me a bit of Kelly Clarkson’s hit song “Already Gone”. The string section at the end of the song makes for a fitting ending to both the song and the album.
I would say that this is my favorite album from this series. As much as I enjoyed all of the other albums, there is just something about the singer-songwriter genre of music that has always impressed me, and Plumb is no exception. I would recommend this album to anyone who is looking for some good contemporary worship or singer-songwriter style based music.