Daniel's Window

(Cul De Sac Records 2002)Daniel\'s Window - Illuminate

In typical pop-punk and pop-alt style, Daniel's Window's "Illuminate" is full of power chords and is fronted by commanding female vocals by Heather King that sound to have a pinch of Gwen Stefani mixed in. But unlike most pop-punk and pop-alt records, "Illuminate" starts off with a prayer on "Open The Eyes Of My Heart." Trying to create "positive worship music," Daniel's Window certainly have their work cut out for them.

The power rock of "I'm Gonna Dance" incorporates, as most of their tracks do, a DJ scratching rhythms and rap. Unfortunately, on the track, it goes from King's smooth vocals to another band member's in-your-face rapping; the parts end up overlapping and creating a chaotic few moments that don't really make sense. "I Will Live For You," a pop duet ballad sounds very unlike the previous two tracks until the rap returns, this time in the background. Keeping in the easy pop style, "Hosanna" returns to the power pop heard earlier.

Daniel's Window fully explores their, apparent, hip hop and street side on "Your Everlasting Love" where the rap takes the lead and King's vocals are less the focus. The song's rap (as announced by "Here comes the rap") discusses racism, God's love for all races; but what about love for all genders, ages, sexual orientations, et cetera? But that's enough about theology. With dramatic piano rumbling during the intro, "Trading My Sorrows" keeps the band's standard pop alt sound while "Every Move I Make" with its juvenile sing song chorus of "la la la" over the rap is the album's most tasteful attempt at rap inclusion. "Illuminate" also explores groove with "Lift Your Name Higher" but stays close to the easy rock ballad formula on "Awesome Is The Sight" and "Sing Hallelujah." The album's closing and title track, "Illuminate," is a mid-tempo pop alt track that offers a good finish.

The problem with band's like Daniel's Window is that they don't appeal to anyone except those looking for Christian music; because if you aren't interested in the message, everything rests on the instrumentation and making completely unique parts that stand out is incredibly hard. Daniel's Window aren't bad at what they're doing, but, at the same time, they don't really stand out for originality -- lyrically, what can you say about religion that hasn't been said already? While musically, their sound is very safe.