Abel - Lesser Men
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Record Label: Come&Live!
“If I’m the apple of my father’s eye, why do I bend, why do I break on the whims of everything?” opens “Standing Still” before rolling into yearning indie rock that’s hammered by skepticism, though eventually it finds peace in faith. On Lesser Men, that’s the vibe Abel strikes, encasing spiritual worship in powerful music that carries hints of everyone from Brand New to As Tall As Lions. But it also has an element to its sound that’s entirely individual, making it one of the more riveting listens of the year.
The album highlight is probably “Atlantic: The Broken Hearted King,” whose proclamation “I can hear the trumpet sounding in the distance” is actually accompanied by a host of angelic trumpets. But plenty of other tracks come fairly close to matching its beautiful indie sprawl, many of which aren’t so “indie” themselves. “I saw the ice break on the bow and rip our hope to pieces,” sings Kevin Kneifel in “Titanic” over a contemporary hymn melody and an entertaining bass line. And “Take Me Home” is as standard an acoustic number as they come.
Still, the brightest gems are the ones that aren’t so straightforward, like “Come Ye Weary,” which rides an ambient build-up to a climax wrought with desperation: “So surrender your love all who are weary!” The title track and “The Martyr” evoke Brand New, while “Saints” chants “If only we had eyes to see you with… if only we could be children of love” like a ritual number.
Lesser Men is a meditative album for anyone looking for an indie edge in Christians spirituality. The atmosphere it creates is intensely transcendent, but lively and inventive at the same time. Not many artists can claim both characteristics, but Abel does it with an admirable cohesiveness. “And the heavens come undone, and the chorus is resounding, it’s resounding within me,” says “Atlantic: The Broken Hearted King.” On Lesser Men, it’s evident.
Hey, so I just thought I would point out that the link that says "view artist profile" takes you to Annabel, Arose, not Abel's actual AP profile. Just saying, it'd be cool if that could be fixed :) Nice review though, thanks!