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Farpoint - Grace CD (album) cover

GRACE

Farpoint

 

Prog Folk

3.05 | 5 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars On FARPOINT's sophomore effort we find a toning down of the folk and Celtic elements in favor of a slicker and slightly harder edged style. As a result, "Grace" may be of greater interest to the average neo progressive fan. Whether one considers this a step up or step down for the South Carolina band will depend on one's preferred company among the sub genres.

I don't wish to suggest that the alteration is radical by any means, but we do find more dominant and somewhat distorted lead guitars than previously. Farpoint still opts for Christian slanted spiritual themes and tends to melodic and lengthy compositions with fairly conventional and pleasant arrangements. The twin vocals of Dana Oxendine and Clark Boone trade off each other, often in the same passage, which remains a positive force in the lineup.

Not surprisingly, it is in the material that is more overtly Christian that Farpoint shows the most conviction and verve, particularly in the divine title cut with its devotional lightly chanted vocals. Even here, the message scores points across the spiritual spectrum because no preaching is involved, just reflections on one man's epiphany.

Other favorites are the more acoustic "Dawn" with Oxendine's chirpy flutes and dulcet vox, and "Ghost", which sounds like a more focused and toned down KARNATAKA and IONA. "H2Origins" and "Yesterday" are both played at a similar tempo and could have been pared down or even merged. But it is later in the disk that the quality factor flags, as "Nevermore" and "Falling Down" just sound like conventional AOR and soft rock respectively. An argument for keeping within a 60 minute guideline for CDs, especially in a prolific band that is (or was) releasing almost annually.

While I can taste the sincerity and humility in the strains of FARPOINT, I can't give more than a guarded recommendation for this disk. It's nice for sure, but somewhat more conventional and less eye opening than one might expect from a state of grace.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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