First things first, I’d be the first to admit that I am not the intended target audience for this debut album release, ‘Seeds’ by Christian singer-songwriter Sean Stone from Arizona.
One of my favourite bands from when I first started becoming very interested in music, was the titans of thrash metal, Slayer. Their seminal 1986 album ‘Reign in Blood’ had song titles like “Angel of Death” and the malicious “Jesus Saves” in which their lead singer Tom Araya spits out lyrics such as these with venom:
“Jesus saves, no words of praise / no promised land to take you to / there is no other way”
While I still listen occasionally to classic metal, my tastes have changed over the years and I’m now more likely to be found listening to some Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen, and taking pleasure in the wondrous lyrics that these men can put to music. With this in mind, I made a conscious effort not to pre-judge Sean Stone, who is described on his website as a “Christian Pop Folk Singer-Songwriter”.
The first thoughts that occurred to me upon listening to the album were that it’s very inoffensive, and there is a soft warming tone to the guitar on most of the songs. He also possesses a voice that is very easy listened to as long as you don’t go into too much in-depth analysis of the lyrical content. However, this is my opinion and there would be plenty of people on this planet who would take great heart from these sorts of words. The world’s a funny place. Not all people are alike – and how boring life would be if they were.
There is a huge market for this middle of the road Christian folk genre and the third song on the album “Blessed Sight” would be very catchy if unlike me, you could find any relevance in your own life from the lyrics. The fourth song on the album “For God So Loved” also has potential. Its simplicity has merit but I feel it lacks the killer hook required to lift it from the ordinary to the good.
I find it hard to be too scathing about this album as it would be all too easy given my views on the merits of this sort of music. There is a countless amount of truly awful music on the planet. In my neck of the woods, teenagers and the more experienced regularly go to see concerts by the likes of Nathan Carter and Mike Denver. Despite my astonishment, they pack the crowds in to see them every time they play. This album is not as bad – so at least it has that.
It could sell bucket-loads given its subject matter, however I would never consider recommending it for anyone I had any feelings for. I would just feel too guilty.