It has been quite a while since we have heard from Out of the Grey, a band made up of husband/wife duo, Scott and Christine Dente, who burned, oh, so bright from 1992-1997, released a couple more band projects through the early oughts, then seemed to fall off the map a bit. They have released some projects as a duo in Christine’s name, but in an age when record companies are reluctant to support artistry in favor of endless worship releases, the landscape of music making has become very challenging. Thankfully, people appreciated their label releases enough to be interested in crowd sourcing a “comeback” album. In the ’90s the duo managed to pull off a series of albums that were perfect pop with intelligent songwriting, accomplished production, and seemingly endless hooks that embedded themselves in the listeners’ soul. I am here to report that the band’s fans will not be disappointed. The pop sensibilities are still in place, though the energy levels are less frenetic than previous releases, which is just fine. None of us are sweet young things anymore and this is a poignant, reflective, and thoughtful pop album.
Now that the couple are residents in the Nashville area, this album has more of a Nashville feel than previous records, and the local country flavors have added a deeper sound, undergirding the record. And it really works. You may have to spend a couple of weeks making friends with A Little Light Left, and it’s worth the time because repeated listening will reward listeners as the album’s hidden charms have a chance to reveal themselves.
This is a grown up record with songs that are born out of life’s bittersweet experiences. Scott and Christine are singing from real joys and challenges and sharing the journey. Highlights include “Giving Up Slow” which describes the deepening of a relationship with God and the realization that there is a great deal of security to be discovered if we learn to trust. “Bubble Girl” is a delicious piece of acoustic pop that captures the moment when young adult children want to escape from home and begin finding their way in the world. One joy of this release is the fact there are a couple of songs where Scott takes the lead vocals. It is cool to hear more of his voice than usual, despite having a world-class singer like Christine on the record. “Speak” feels like a further instalment in the journey that started with “He Is Not Silent”. I love the vibe captured on “Dropped Off” with its rockabilly guitar tones and, once again, Scott’s impassioned vocal. Songs like the title cut and “Hard To Die” once again display the quality of the songwriting on the album, in which the duo write intelligent songs about spiritual and relational matters without spoon feeding the listener with all the answers. Instead this is mature artistry that allows us a glimpse into the journey as we listen and learn from poignant, beautiful songs that gently nudge us towards a richer life. Sometimes the best Christian music invites us to ponder rather than smacking our heads with easy answers. If you’ve been yearning for music with more depth than your average Christian hit song on the radio, do your soul a favor and download A Little Light Left.