The Light Meets the Dark
The Dove Award-winning Christian combo achieves an austere, emotionally resonant grandeur in these tracks, avoiding artifice or bombast in favor of a simple message of compassion. The same uplifting tone present in the band’s breakthrough hit “By Your Side” is heard throughout this album, expressed in intimate, strikingly poetic terms. “Healing Begins,” “On and On,” “Strong Enough to Save” and similar tunes frame Mike Donehey's yearning vocals with atmospheric tracks built around stately pianos, sparse guitars and tastefully-applied strings. Tenth Avenue North returns to the themes of shame and forgiveness again and again, touching upon the snares of materialism (“All the Pretty Things,” “Empty My Hands”) and self-obsession (“House of Mirrors”) along the way. “Oh My Dear” is especially moving in its depiction of a relationship tested by a heart-wrenching secret. Buoyant tracks like “Hearts Safe (A Better Way)” and “You Are More” underscore the hopeful content of the lyrics.