Light Up the World
Colorado-based alternative CCM outfit Desperation Band's Light Up the World features 14 immaculately crafted, U2-inspired stadium jams affixed to a straight-up, faith-based foundation. Led by Jon Egan, a worship pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Light Up the World was inspired by the church's student-driven "Heartwork" project, which was designed to provide homes for orphans in the poorest regions of Africa. While the songs suffer lyrically from the dogmatic limitations of the praise & worship genre, the music soars miles above the usual neutered mix of mid-'90s alternative rock and cookie cutter teen pop by blending the chilly landscapes of electronic acts like M83 with the predictable, but engaging melodic scope of Coldplay — someone in the band listens to a lot of Sigur Rós, as instrumental tracks like "You Started It All" and "Dawn Till Dusk" just beg for a laser light show. The message may be heavy, but the music is transcendent.