MP3 Foolish of the World - Unconditionally
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7 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, POP: Folky Pop
Led by singer/songwriters Chris Patti and Charlie McCurry, Foolish of the World brings together pop, folk and blues sensibilities in there debut original contemporary Christian album Unconditionally. The band, based out of Winston-Salem, NC is the youth ministry "house band" at St. Leo the Great Church. Having already released a cover album entitled "5pm Sunday" of favorite praise and worship tunes played every Sunday at Mass, FOTW was determined to make their next project all original. Thanks to some gracious parishioners, this project took flight and was finally brought to fruition in spring of 2005 as a seven song all original EP entitled "Unconditionally" after the title track.
All the songs, written by Patti and McCurry, each have their own flavor, but it's pretty clear after listening to the album, which songs were primarily the brainchildren of each artist. Patti's writing, while inspired by many eclectic styles of music, is firmly entrenched in the hip Brit Pop/Rock genre that defines his favorite artists including Travis, Coldplay, and R.E.M. "Ladders," "I Will Sing," and "Fly to Me," all original Patti tunes, build on this pop tradition, however, he also takes cues from modern praise and worship in "Exalt," a local favorite. Patti's recent listening interests also include Switchfoot, Morrissey, and Longwave.
Singer and guitarist Charlie McCurry shares writing duties on this album with folk ballad "Here I Am," bluesy "Love Through Life's Steel" and the title cut "Unconditionally." McCurry's folk inspired, Simon and Garfunkel, roots are clearly evident in these tunes, but he also pulls from artists such as Matt Maher, James Taylor, and Stephen Stills.
Given such varied stylistic takes on contemporary Christian music, one would naturally doubt that Patti and McCurry's tunes could live harmoniously on one disc. That's where drummer Aaron Petersen and keyboardist Michael Piazza come in. With solid drum tracks throughout and keyboard textures including piano, EP, organ, and synth, Petersen and Piazza are able to bridge the gap between pop and folk as only a well honed rhythm section can.
The final piece to this puzzle includes the extensive production work care of John Pfiffner at HNBC studios and Oviation Sound's Evan Richey. Pfiffner produced and played bass on all tracks except "Exalt," on which bass and production credits are duly given to Richey.
The composite work of all these artists make "Unconditionally" a blend of Christian pop and folk that is a musical treat for the ear as well as the soul.
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