South African band Tree63 thunders back with a second American album, The Life and Times of Absolute Truth. The album is a logical follow-up to the Dove Award winning self-titled album that spawned two number one hits.

Tree63 continues its blending of sonic rock ‘n’ roll and pop, a sound reminiscent of Delirious? and U2. The guitar work is top-notch with sometimes haunting, often energetic riffs.

What the album lacks is a clear follow-up to the hit, “Treasure,” a song that could get into your brain in a single listen. Though this album has some very strong hooks in “All Hands” and “Surprise Surprise,” the songs on the new project lack the staying power demonstrated on the first Tree63 album.

Lyrically, the band continues to fight against the “worship band” misnomer it earned while touring with Delirious? and SONICFLOOd. Though songs like “No Words” and “All Because” are clearly praise songs, much of the album focuses on the struggles of the band’s own “life and times.”

“Surprise Surprise” is one song that quakes with a blatant honesty about the band members’ personal struggles: “I’ve had such a hard time trying to keep my promises / The things I say I just don’t do / I need some rescue from myself.”

Tree63 was offered a secular record deal since their last project if they would tone down the message. They refused. A good decision, because although The Life and Times of Absolute Truth falls short of their previous project, the album is still one of the best Christian modern rock albums in recent years.

Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.

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