Christian rockers Tree63 are back with their first new album in two-and-a-bit years. In keeping with their well-rehearsed formula, 63 maintain the U2-meets-Delirious sound and pull off yet another album that has real potential, but at the same time just seems to lack that special spark.
Sunday! opens with the title track, which has a real U2 sound to it, however, the lyrics are just plain weird and don’t make much sense at all. ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming,’ is the core of the chorus – John Ellis (the group’s founder) must be really stuck for ideas if his song-writing has become this poor. And the crap lyrics do not stop there. Third track ‘World Undone’ states: ‘I will sing like a river, in full flood’. Hmm, okay, I’ll believe that when I see it. Some singers do spit a lot, but releasing enough saliva to produce a river? That would be impressive.
By the time you’ve sat through the first three songs, you will probably have realised that the album is unlikely to improve, although track four is a little better on the lyrics side of things. But a generic bridge of ‘it’s all gonna be all right’ is not that much of an improvement to be honest. And at this point I would suggest turning off the album and putting on one of Tree63’s previous releases – they are so much better.
In order to write this review, I had to go through the painful process of subjecting my ears to more torture as I was forced to listen to the rest of the album. For a band that hit the scene with so much potential in 2000 and since then has produced some really powerful stuff, Sunday! is a serious step in the wrong direction. The music is good, but the lyrics and the generic, well-worn tunes are not.
Some bands do well by sticking to a tried-and-trusted formula and similar sound, album after album. Unfortunately, Tree63 are not one of them. By album number five I would have expected so much more – this release is simply found wanting in so many ways. As a Christian rock purist, I found myself asking where all the stand-out songs like past classics ‘Overdue’ and ‘Be All End All’ (which featured on previous albums) were. If you are keen to hear what Tree63 can do at their best, then listen to 2005’s I Stand For You and stay away from this one!