Right from the outset of their new independently released album, Starfield demonstrate an impressive ability in crafting top quality songs.
Natural Disaster is the band’s best opening track since Beauty in the Broken’s My Generation. A large proportion of songs on The Kingdom far surpass the greatness of the band’s previous albums.
“I’m the raging sea / I’m the bending tress / An unstoppable force with a wake of debris / I’m the wind and the rain / I’m the loss and the pain without you / I’m a natural disaster”
The fierce imagery of the opening song matches the haunting yet upbeat vocals and loud electric guitars. It’s a powerful opener.
Second track, Burn For You continues to impress. While the band produce outstanding rock music, they are also voicing a simple, yet effective message. The song is a concoction of a driving beat, well crafted guitar riffs and a choir of voices as lead singer Tim Neufeld asks that God would “use this faith” in his “master plan”.
Title track The Kingdom can’t be compared with other artists; it’s unique. An acoustic guitar is strummed for all its worth, Tim’s vocals are raw and the drums echo magnificently. It’s a different direction for the band as the sound moves from straight rock in the opening two songs to an acoustic singalong vibe.
Just Surrender also begins with acoustic guitars before Tim’s soft and emotion filled voice asks “Life is hard and I know you’re trying / You wear a smile but inside you’re crying / When will you admit you’ll never make it on your own?”
The pre chorus asks the listener to lay down their defenses and trust God before the chorus bursts in with: “I can hear you’re heart / I can comfort you / Don’t resist my love / just surrender”. Starfield have again raised their already high standard.
Heart and Flesh is based on Psalm 84’s line “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord”. It’s not until the bridge kicks in during the final third of the song, that everything lifts from a quiet, moody sound to a loud and passionate declaration of “I am satisfied in you”. All in all, it’s another very well structured song that doesn’t fit the mould or pattern of most worship songs today.
There isn’t a single song on the album that has been used as “filler” to support the band’s other tracks. Every note sung and played is done to perfection. All the songs are originals apart from a reworking of the classic hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus”. It’s a brave move to cover such a well loved song, but the band have done it with both creativity and sensitivity.
The blues rock style in All I Want Is You has been pulled off surprisingly well, while Innocence and Other Things Lost sees the band adopt a more experimental style.
Speak Now Jesus is perhaps a more typical worship song, but it’s delivered with the same creativity and passion that Starfield have demonstrated in their earlier tracks.
Final song Light of The World does what every last track on every album should do: It leaves you wanting more. A lot more.
An uplifting chorus which talks of being the light that God will shine through is accompanied with verses that talk of unity. The chances are you’ll find yourself singing along instantly.
Fans of Switchfoot and Delirious will love the band’s commitment to holding nothing back. The band aren’t afraid to turn their amps up to 11, even in a worship setting.
The melodies are very strong, the music is interesting and the passion is unmistakable throughout the recording. The Kingdom is without doubt Starfield's best album yet. And that’s saying something.
Rating: 10 out of 10
April 24th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes