Review of The Art of Celebration by Rend Collective
I’ve been on a little adventure all by myself the last few days, hidden behind my earphones, listening to the new album The Art of Celebration by modern day psalmists, Rend Collective. The album is their fourth and my first real introduction to their music which turns out to be top class and an eye opener for me.
Their sound is a cocktail of energy, fun and joy with a twist of a céilí feel to it. A gathering of great musicians who play and enjoy music together and above all else have the craic. Like all bands Rend Collective has a story and a message to tell which is delivered with powerful driven drum beats and strong guitar chords. If you like your Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice or Elbow you’re gonna enjoy the music on this album. It’s got big percussion sounds with beautiful orchestral and acoustic sections, catchy chorus lines and it’s all mixed with a concoction of marvellous ‘all out knees up’ instruments such as the ukulele, brass accordion and uilleann pipes. Listening to it I can imagine a great ‘shin dig’ of a performance but of course without the brawl.
My Lighthouse, the first single and video released off the album delivers the message to me as a questioning Catholic Christian that the Christian faith is still very much out there. The lines “Fire before us | You’re the brightest | You will lead us through the storms” tells this listener that the beacon is still alight and ready to guide me away from danger. Hmmm. See, this was a part of my life I had switched off from despite my strong Catholic upbringing and this tune along with the rest of the album stopped me in my tracks a little. Rather than questioning the source of and the truth behind my faith I started questioning why I had stopped practising it for years! I just love eye openers 🙂
So, for most of the album I found myself whistling along to it until I came to Finally Free. This tune is just one of those beautiful celtic sounding numbers that have the knack of creeping up on me, tapping me on the shoulder and handing me a tissue 🙂
Damien Rice’s tunes has the same effect on me as it happens and I can’t explain why but this track did the same so out of all of them on the album I feel a real connection with this one in particular.
The changes of tempo in More Than Conquerors with its strong pacy guitar strumming and definite drum beats made this another favourite of mine. All That I Am had that Lumineers marching band, singalong feel to it and it just flows so well. “Boldly I Approach” branched off a little into your animated soundtrack big production sort of tune which made me go “Oh” with a smile.
This is a great time to release the album, Easter being a big celebration period in the Christian calendar. The album surprised me having listened to church choirs all of my childhood and early adulthood at mass. The quality of musicians I’m telling you is second to none and as for the lyrics I think it’s time I revisited that certain area of my life 😉
Review by Nicola Timmons