Satellite Soul (Forefront)
Satellite Soul

By Victoria Moon

Finally, Neil Young has found the Christian music industry.

Okay, okay, maybe it's not really the conversion experience that some of us might have hoped for, but Satellite Soul should satisfy even the most die-hard Young fan.

Tim Suttle, the band's lead singer, songwriter and player of most of the instruments, is definitely from the rough-and-ready Neil Young school of music. His voice is a mix of Young's stylings from around the time of Harvest Moon and the passionate rawness of Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows. The music, too, fits somewhere between the Seventies and Nineties, mixing Hammond B-3 organs, Hohner harmonica and acoustic piano with nicely distorted guitar and crunchy rhythms.

Perhaps the best thing about this album, though, is its country music-simple, but realistic lyrics. A great example of this is "Fool," which takes an honest and unflinching look at the harshness and pain of this world. To the "straw man" argument that it is foolishness to believe in God, Suttle asserts

"I will be a fool for you any day/I don't claim to understand why you were pleased to do it this way/but I will be a fool for you anyway/I can't explain your promises/but I can claim them anyway."

The songs on this project are less about great, theoretical pondering or CCM cliches and much more about everyday people trying to get by in a big, confusing everyday world while holding on to a simple faith.

In short, this is that rarity in Christian music: an artistically strong project with thoughtful, direct lyrics steeped in a modern acoustic-rock setting. Passing this project by would mean you'd miss out on one of the best CCM releases in a long time.