tree63 – “Land”


12 tracks @46:35
Grade = A

Tree63 returns after seven years and it’s a welcome return.

Lead singer John Ellis says, “I hope listeners can take away that sense of ‘thank God, I’m not alone, somebody else feels this lonely and forgotten and hopeful and bewildered and resolved to carry on the journey.’ My own recent experience leads me to the realization that even though we believe we will reach our destination across the hazardous sea God asks us to cross, it won’t be an easy voyage, and often we arrive shipwrecked and battered. The guarantee, however, is that we at least arrive.

“When I typed up all the lyrics before the vocal sessions, I realized this theme of some kind of ‘hazardous sea voyage,’ a kind of Jonah-like deliverance tale, was emerging,” Ellis says. “I thought about Jonah and the various perils of promising to journey with God and the reticence that comes with facing some of the realities of that journey.”

The band sounds great. (They did win a Dove back in 2000 for Rock Album) The first single “Alive” rocks and I like the chanting. The bass-driven “A Whisper” is an inclusive message of salvation. “Standing On It” has a modern folk vibe.

Overall, the lyrics are simple but inspiring and real. “Hard To Believe” is very solid.

The record was made, ironically, after a successful “good-bye tour” and then a Kickstarter campaign.

Ellis says, “There was absolutely no plan to go back to the band. I was spiritually in a different place and I couldn’t reconcile my future with what I’d done through Tree63.

“The three of us (in tree63) are all very different people, more so now after seven years apart from each other, with broadly different world views. Somehow, though, we all seem to instinctively know what Tree63 should be doing. It’s almost an unspoken thing between us.”

Rob S.

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