True art distinguishes itself from even quality art in how it evokes different reactions at different times. The same work can at one moment be politely noted and quickly set aside, with the next marked by shattering power and sweep, utterly gripping via its provided portal to its creators hearts and heads ultimately pointing to the ultimate Creator. Such is the case with Deep Cuts, the new album by veteran Christian alt rockers The Choir.
The Choir’s stock in trade has long been atmospheric fusion of dissonance and resolution; straightforward yet unsimplistic tunesmithing weaving guitarist/vocalist Derri Daugherty’s colors and melody with drummer/lyricist Steve Hindalong’s multifaceted musings on life and faith plus Dan Michael’s textured woodwinds. Deep Cuts is no different in this regard than previous Choir outings, although it bears noting the ethereal elements are more prominent this time through than on the previous Bloodshot.
What clicks on Deep Cuts is how it takes the by now familiar and makes it utterly new. The melodies are solid; the backing treatments enhancing without overpowering the fundamental tunes. Lyrically Hindalong mines relationships with God and man alongside human frailty. Morose never, thoughtful always. The album has a late night vibe; art perfectly suited for contemplation and remembrance of what was mixed with acknowledgement of what is and will be.
In a perfect world, Deep Cuts would be presented by the band to arenas packed with grateful fellowshippers. It won’t be, of course. True art seldom receives mass acclaim. But for the fortunate few who’ve caught the vision, Deep Cuts is a cut far, far above the norm.