Have you ever had a moment when the world stood still because the music that you were listening to somehow began to wash over your soul, where you had to remind yourself to breathe? And upon listening you just knew that the world was going to be ok – not just ok, but better. And you having had this moment became undeniably different, changed. Some artists/groups (those we would bless with the title of classic) have an ability to create music that transcends genre, space and time and that will demand you listen to the album and want to keep listening the next day, a week later, forever. Beautiful Eulogy achieves this brilliantly with their debut album, Satellite Kite.
Hello From Portland -an instrumental intro which sounds more like Explosions in the Sky than any hip hop you’ve ever heard – intentionally pulls you in (they even include the sound of rain, drawing you into the world of the NorthWest) and sets the vibe for the album. The intro prepares the listener for what he or she is about to experience and challenges him or her to open his or her ears to be able to catch it all – I personally had to hit rewind a few times to take it all in. In the first verse of An Open Letter… Odd Thomas even addresses the listener with, “dear whoever has ears to hear listen and pay attention”, and similarly I ask you to slow your day down and take in my dissection of SK.
An Open Letter to Whoever’s Listening is Braille, Courtland Urbano and Odd Thomas’ mission statement of sorts, defining the paradigm and parameters of the content that is to follow – namely that all of life is spiritual and that one’s theology (or beliefs) will dictate his/her response to the difficulties and joys encountered. Covet abruptly pulls back the curtain and honestly exposes the temptation we are faced with to measure success by the size of ones bank account. After Odd Thomas looks at a very external measurement of success, Braille then looks to some unrealistic standard of internal fulfillment as a measurement of success and in both cases we find a pretty grim end – but with a few changes musically and some perspective, we find hope at the end of the song. Take It Easy is a bit of an ironic name for the fourth track on the album, being that the title and the beat are light hearted and yet the trio (also feat. Catalina Bellizzi) tackles the heaviness of the weight of love lyrically.
The String That Ties Us serves as an interlude and explains the title of the album as well as further defining the framework of the content within.
The rest of the album continues to ebb and flow, balancing the weight of existence with the joy that is yet attainable in this life. A couple of other mentionables are:
Anchor – (this one holds a special place in the hearts of the Soul Anchor Collective family, as it seems to be a response to the same scripture (Heb. 6) that our label/blog was founded on). This song uses an extended metaphor, the anchor and its necessary chain, to elaborate on the meaning of the kite string. This one is haunting and has gotten repeated rotation at SAC.
Satellite Kite – The title track is reminiscent of a collision between The Album Leaf and Explosions in the Sky and describing it is a bit like trying to describe color… difficult – interestingly, the emcees are explaining the difficulty we have describing God using any earthy medium.
Beautiful Eulogy – The final track brings the listener full circle and emphasizes the hope that is touched on throughout all of the preceding songs. The music serves as something like an anthem and is a source of encouragement for the listener and the artists alike to march into the ominous future, knowing that the winds that blow cannot sever the line that connects the kite to the one holding it.
I’ll leave you with one of Odd Thomas’ lines: “a little bit of music and theology never really hurt anybody”.