Shaun Groves

Album Title: White Flag
Release Date: 2005
Rating:
Genre: Rock
In 2003 Shaun Groves, a relatively new artist received six Dove Award nominations. Mark this down in 2006 Shaun Groves will win at least one Dove Award and maybe more because his White Flag album which was released July 1st is quite simply a stunning example of just how talented Groves can be.

White Flag is a CD that combines pop driven tunes, ballads, rock, alternative and worship songs all on the same project. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is an artist who is trying to be all things to all people, quite the contrary as Groves demonstrates excellent song selection and gets an opportunity to demonstrate his versatility.

The number one track What's Wrong With This World features Shaun Groves at his best with some awesome guitar riffs and a bit of a rasp to his voice. This rock missive speaks to those who are emotionally needy rather than acting as the catalyst for change. This song alone is worth the price of the CD.

The second song on the CD Sad Song was first unveiled to Toronto fans in early March when Groves performed at Tyndale College. This is a quiet reflective song that sonically reminds one of Coldplay. Sad Song speaks to the heart of atonement and how it is in our brokenness that we become fully aware of Christ identifying with our own suffering and sorrows.

On the title track White Flag the singer waves a flag of truce signaling that he is no longer prepared to engage in a struggle of wills with God. We can identify with the words; Jesus now my fist is open / Now my sword is broken / I come in peace / 'Cause I can't get well / I can't get through / I can't get by / If I can't get you.

White Flag marks the debut of Shaun Groves the producer. Lynn Nichols (Switchfoot, Amy Grant, Delirious?) acted as executive producer and the twosome was capably assisted by recording / mix engineer Skye McCaskey.

"In an industry where most artists tend to only go ankle deep, Shaun dives in!" says Nichols commenting on the project.

Crave is driven by some great guitar riffs and demonstrates Groves' ability to get down and dirty with his voice. This is a song that should appeal to any fan of good rock music. What always distinguishes Groves from his rock playing contemporaries is the ability to clearly hear his vocals and his ability to compliment good music with outstanding lyrics.

With Heaven Hang On Groves takes his place beside great story tellers like Mark Schultz and Michael Card. The lyrics are dark and are a comment on a far too common occurrence in today's society, domestic violence. When you have an opportunity to sit and talk with Shaun Groves as I did you understand that he is a deeply caring man and no doubt the lyrics are born from a heart troubled by such events.

Listening to Only I was reminded of Billy Joel tunes from the mid to late '80's. Oh that mainstream radio would only play more Christian music because this song has such great hooks and melody.

My Enemy is an expression of God's unconditional love and how that love should flow through us to others. It is a very moving piece.

Peace Has Broken Out is sure to become a part of contemporary worship services across North America. It is a song that worship leaders and congregations alike will have fun with. History may someday reflect that Peace Has Broken Out marked a time when Shaun Groves was first recognized as one of the really good modern day hymn writers.

Shaun Groves and Michael Olson, whose CD Soul Shine reviewed a couple of months ago are touring together this summer and audiences everywhere are in for a great treat.

Rocketown Records the label started by Michael W Smith continues to produce quality artists. The label has become a leader resisting the temptation to sell out completely to commercial appeal. Rocketown is leading the way in a reformation by unleashing some of the most talented artists in the industry today.

Writer: Joe Montague


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