Sounds like … Sarah McLachlan, Karin Bergquist, Dido, Dolores O'Riordan, Christine Denté , Brooke Fraser, Adie, and other alt-pop vocalists with haunting, beautiful voices.
At a glance … stunning vocals and a well-crafted alternative sound characterize this impressive return from the lead singer of Chasing Furies.
Aside from Christian rock diehards, it's doubtful that many people remember Chasing Furies. The sibling trio amassed acclaim across the board with their lone studio album, 1999's With Abandon, only to disband shortly after word of mouth about their achingly impressive debut began to spread.
Almost a decade later, Sarah MacIntosh is finally stepping out on her own with a worship album. Which might seem odd to fans since the vertical, God-centric lyrics on the independently released The Waiters, the Watchers, the Listeners, the Keepers & Me are a far cry from the impersonal, sometimes cryptic poetry of Chasing Furies.
Attribute the lyrical change to a shift in focus, prompted by MacIntosh's move to California and her acceptance of a ministry position at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego. It ignited a passion in her for worship music, which in turn led her to record a hymns album (Then Sings My Soul, 2004) and guest on such albums as Michael W. Smith's Worship Again and David Crowder Band's Can You Hear Us?
Enough history—Waiters isn't your mother's worship album. It's got a life of its own, combining MacIntosh's hauntingly beautiful vocals with a highly polished alternative pop/rock sound courtesy of husband Jonathan MacIntosh (formerly of Luna Halo) in the producer's chair and on guitars, as well as session veterans like Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting) on drums and Brent Milligan on bass. Together, the four create a terrific alternative pop/rock atmosphere rivaling the best that today's modern worship has to offer.
Part of the charm is MacIntosh's extraordinary voice. Even the simplest lyric is augmented by MacIntosh's flawless, angelic delivery—equal parts Karin Bergquist (Over the Rhine), Christine Denté , and Dido. With such a voice, not all of MacIntosh's songs need to be corporate; instead, some of them are used to inspire and sing over the people, inviting meditation, reflection, and conversations with the Divine.
Waiters is wonderful album—a welcome return of sorts for MacIntosh that establishes her as a talent to watch in 2008, whether you fancy yourself a fan of worship, alternative pop/rock, or both.
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