40 Acres

40 Acres

It’s fitting that a band inspired by England’s first Christian poet should take their mission seriously. Caedmon’s Call tackles day-to-day spiritual issues with a thoughtful air on 1999’s 40 Acres. This doesn’t mean that this album is aimed only at the head — the group’s acoustic-based sound has an insistent melodic drive that recalls early REM and 10,000 Maniacs. Banjos, accordions and even a Mellotron are employed to add shape and texture to their guitar-based tunes, and the songs here reflect the festive live sound that made them a popular college act in the early ‘90s. Caedmon’s Call applies this energy here to songs dealing with spiritual weakness and doubt — “Shifting Sand” and “There You Go” for instance. The struggle to find love and commitment finds expression in “Table For Two” and “Daring Daylight Escape,” and the title track is a wistful invocation of the band’s Texas heritage. Rural in atmosphere and universal in theme, 40 Acres is one of the band’s most appealing releases.

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