Hope Rising

Hope Rising

Hope Rising (2009) finds Georgia-based singer/songwriter Steve Fee and his bandmates offering hosannas against backdrops of surging guitars and rippling drums. Those drawn to anthemic worship numbers will be uplifted by “Rise and Sing,” “Greatly to Be Praised,” “Your Love Is Better Than Life” and similar modern-rock hymns. Fee’s ability to lead the faithful in shaking the rafters is obvious, but of equal interest are their more reflective, subtly textured numbers. “Everything Falls,” a sleek tune built around piano, conveys a sanctified message of reassurance, while “Arms That Hold the Universe” (written in response to a tragic Illinois church shooting) has a luminous, slightly unearthly grace about it. Electronica elements color a number of tracks, especially the “Promised Land,” combining techno-dance rhythms with a traditionally rooted melody. “Send Me Out” — a galvanizing declaration of mission — closes the album on an ascending note.

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