by: MercyMe

MercyMe return from the platinum and Dove Award buzz of Almost There and Spoken For with Undone. It's a melody-rich album that mixes soaring balladry with a little fizzy rock pizzazz, tying everything together with Bart Millard's easygoing vocal and faith-based lyrics. "Where You Lead Me" kicks off the album, building from a spare acoustic guitar and vocal to an outsized crescendo of keening synthesizers and the cleansed racket of the band's two guitarists (Barry Graul was added to the lineup in 2003). That formula also guides "Everything Possible," though it opts for a more propulsive beat, and also features a cool instrumental breakdown full of chunky power chords. Lyrically, it's the usual devotion to the Big JC -- the lush "Here with Me" might be a Robbie Williams pop gem were it not for its devotional bent. At the same time, Millard also spends time on Undone dealing with the relationship between his faith and his earthly worries and responsibilities. "How can I further Your kingdom/When I'm so wrapped up in mine?" he asks in "In the Blink of an Eye." "Though I'm living the good life/Can my life be something great?" The lines reference Millard and MercyMe's still-fresh ascendancy to CCM's upper crust, where more pressure and bigger tours probably put a premium on praise & worship time. "Homesick" is a delicate ballad about being apart, while the atmospheric title track is full of quiet resignation. With its slick production and MercyMe's full lineup of guitars, percussion, and keys, Undone suggests the tangent of Nashville contemporary country that favors straightforward pop melody over any sort of hard twang. Likewise, the album's more upbeat moments reflect the trend in secular adult alternative toward earnest vocals over whitewashed rock (à la Vertical Horizon). Both sounds work well for MercyMe on Undone, doubtless giving fans of the band's music and devotion plenty more to believe in. ~ Johnny Loftus

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