"I almost never listen to "worship" music because I find the lyrics mind-numbingly dull and repetitive. Perhaps singing "He is worthy" over and over is wonderful to God's ears..I won't presume to answer that..but to MY ears it's just lazy songwriting.
What Shane (Bernard) and Shane (Everett) have going for them is lyrics that are INSPIRED by the Bible...but not mere verbatim passages set to music. The Bible is PROSE...not song lyrics..and this duo understands that what reads well doesn't always SING well. At least they USUALLY do..there are a couple examples of really bad lyrics here which keeps me from giving an unqualified recommendation.
The sound musically is mostly acoustic pop with occasional left turns into harder edged rock and some interesting instrumentation for flavour. (Wurlitzer, vibes, melodica, and "Dewalt", whatever that is) The pair's breathy voices blend well on the choruses.
HIGHLIGHTS: "God Did" is a paean to grace and a sly attack on the legalistic approach to Christian living as Bernard notes in the last verse "Maybe do's and don'ts were made to show/How much we do and don't ever make it". "He is Exalted" is simplistic lyrically but a nice update of a Twila Paris 80s megahit song. (One of her better tunes pre CRY FOR THE DESERT). "Waging War" finds the group longing for a day when following God isn't a struggle, when "what was once a pearl now sand/blows away in light of Him". "Make Believe Jesus" is not the indictment of Christianity the title might seem to indicate..rather it's a call for Jesus to make himself as apparent to non-believers as He is to the natural elements He commands. (Inspiration comes from Job 37:12) "You and I" is a jubilant declaration of Jesus' grace ("Come with what you do not have/And buy what's undeserved") over a backdrop with guitars that soar through the stratosphere. "Yearn" is an honest, simple heartcry for a more passionate encounter with God. "Acres of Hope" uses the imagery of God as suitor..seeking the love of those He created. ("How the story ends is/Love and tenderness in Him/Not safe, but worth it..") A pair of praise choruses, unassumingly produced, close out the CD. It feels utterly appropriate.
LOWS: "Saved by Grace" is a GUILTY pleasure by virtue of its catchiness, but I can't let the bad lyric go without commenting. The hook is "By grace you have been saved (X3)/By grace you have been saved through faith/Through faith". That's it. B-A-D.
BOTTOM LINE: Much better than most of what gets Christian radio airplay in terms of lyrical depth and nicely textured to boot. If they can get rid of the low spots next time out, they have a chance to make a classic. As it is, this is still very good."
Voices Like Angels
Kimberly Edwards Taylor | Richmond, VA USA | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only thing I'd like to add to the well-deserved accolades is that their voices are smooth, like BUTTAH!! "Clean" is not only a title, it's a description - at one point I had this cd playing for one week straight. It's a truly unbelievable gift. Thanks, guys."
M. Ellis | 10/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Clean" is far and away the best Christian CD I've bought in the last year. It is pure and simple praise... so many of the lyrics are directly from the Bible. It's awesome to be able to put in a CD to study or drive and just relax in the Lord. "Clean" is a audio manifestation of the Lord's peace. Definitely worth the money- Shane and Shane have found their annointing!!"
Lyric Writing That Challenges and Encourages
S. Farrior | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank you, Shane, and thank you, Shane, for writing incredible lyrics. While your style may be "monotonous" to some, your lyrics bring me back to the point.
"To see the Lord, the Promised Land, where all sin's pearly gates look bland-and what was once a pearl, now sand that blows away in light of Him"
That's one chorus of a great album full of inspiring and challenging lyrics."