Fro Yo Soul Recordings
Release Date: June 17th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Love on the Radio
- Perfect People
- Anything and Everything
Remember the times of the past when artist groups like Point of Grace, Avalon, Out of Eden or The Katinas were popular in Christian music? That might be hard to cast your mind back- to the 1990s and early 2000s, but sadly, big vocal groups like those 4 aforementioned aren’t necessarily as popular, or even as active, now compared to then. With Avalon taking a hiatus, Out of Eden disbanded, Point of Grace moving into country music and the Katinas producing albums independently, you’d hardly hear any music resembling to the pop/funk/soul/urban/90s music that each of these bands were famous for… until now. Introducing The Walls Group, a band of siblings out of Texas, are now taking on the mantle of being the group that harkens to all the sounds and nostalgia of back then, while also giving their own fresh flavour in the contemporary music they produce- and the infusion comes across quite well. With an age range from 15-22; Darrell, Rhea, Paco and Ahjah Walls have given us 4 beautifully crafted songs ahead of their full length album later on during the year. With endorsement and advocating from popular gospel singer Kirk Franklin, The Walls Group are certainly going to flourish in an industry craving for something new (or some older style melodies) that many people may not have heard or experienced on the radio in present time!
Premiering as a music video in August 2013, “Perfect People” is a song to be matched with as one of the catchiest, enjoyable, and hopefully popular, pop/R&B/gospel/soul songs of the 2013/14 period. With an engaging whistle to bring the melody, all four vocalists each sing out their own stanzas, and lists the reasons why ‘…this song is not for you…if you never cried a river, or had your heart broken in two…if every day you wake up the skies are blue…’ With engaging vocals and a powerful electronic music hook that breathes a sense of enjoyability and anthemic presence throughout the song, we are brought to the bridge, where the group shout out- ‘…all the perfect people make some noise…’ followed by a few seconds of silence. This phrase says it all message-wise for the album as a whole- there are no perfect people, and once we acknowledge that we all have qualms, issues and things we need to address, we can rest knowing we are not alone in the trials that we face. With a happy, jovial and upbeat song to convey the message with, “Perfect People” is a gem, and my favourite song on Love on the Radio EP.
“Love on the Radio”, the title track and first song on the EP, brings with it a daring, enjoyable and unique start to the 4 tracks, in a message that reminds us all that we as Christians ought to show love wherever we are, even in the realm of radio/music- where much of entertainment lies. With electronics and the harmonies of all four singers being the backbone of the song, we are met with a moment of gospel meets electronic as The Walls Group echo a theme of being not ashamed for God to be their mantle as they discuss for us to declare love ‘on the radio’- either metaphorically or even literally as we share our faith in any way possible.
Drums and layered vocals bring “Satisfied” front and centre as we hear the Walls siblings discuss the theme of us being satisfied in God- if our plans for a ‘good life’ come to pass or even if they don’t. One of the most thought provoking songs I’ve heard all year, it is in this dilemma of figuring out if we’re satisfied with our material things or not that we can truly discover if our love for God runs and deep, wide, high and long as we previously think or even assume. Ending the EP with the violin prominent “Anything and Everything”, a musically subdued melody that is the most worshipful of the 4 tracks as The Walls Group declare out their praises to God and remind us that ‘…we choose the one who makes all things new, so we’ll do anything, everything just to spend a lifetime with You…’; I am able to relax and worship alongside the 4 siblings in what is one of the most musically unique album releases within the last few months.
‘…The Walls have an undeniable family bond and sound. It’s so refreshing to see this group of brothers and sisters united in harmony and in spirit. After experiencing The Walls, you won’t be the same. I love seeing family and ministry merge into something powerful. Yes, that’s The Walls…’ Spoken by Jonathan Nelson, an award winning Gospel songwriter, we are met with a great testimony of a group that provides us a unique look at the infusion of electronic, gospel, soul, pop, praise and CCM. Call me a fan, advocate of the group or even one who is eager for their full length album after my listen to the EP, The Walls Group is one of the standout new artists of the year, and if the album is anything like this EP, The Walls Group will probably be my pick for best new artist of the year. Well done Darrell, Rhea, Paco and Ahjah for such a poignant 4 song collection!
3 songs to listen to: Perfect People, Love on the Radio, Satisfied
RIYL: The Katinas, Out of Eden, Avalon, Point of Grace, pureNRG