Rock music has always been a hotbed for not so perfectly pitched
vocals like Rod Stewart, Geddy Lee of Rush, and
Jamie Hartman of Ben's Brother. Now Thriving Ivory
joins that roster with the coarse textures and high pitched register
of their lead singer Clayton Stroope. His rough vocals skim
across the melodies creating a layer of sandpaper-like abrasions rubbing
against the wavelets of orchestral rock and power pop channels. Produced
and mixed by Chris Manning, Thriving Ivory's self-titled album
takes the spiritual side of the road in modern rock with tracks like
"Overrated" and "For Heaven's Sake" showing that
faith is the starship that pulls people from the clutches of despair.
Faith is the dominant force that drives Thriving Ivory's songs, like
in "For Heaven's Sake" when Stroope tells, "Pull yourself
together / Before you set yourself apart / Make every door you walk
through / A living work of art / For Heaven's sake / For Heaven's
sake there's more at stake." Many of the images in the lyrics
express emotional pain and dissatisfaction in life. The songs are
written in third person as Stroope's words come off like a pep talk
or guiding force to the protagonist in the stories. The music is good
melodic rock propelled by power pop shafts and harmonizing chord movements
that regulate the dynamics. Each song is equal in value to the others,
with flouncy showers made by keyboardist Scott Jason and soaring
vibrations speared by guitarist Drew Cribley molding the melodies
as the rhythm section of bassist Bret Cohume and drummer Paul
Niedermier chisel the crests across the movements.
Thriving Ivory's self-titled release has a Christian rock emission
reflective of Jars Of Clay, Switchfoot, and Australia's
Alabaster Box. It's an enjoyable album but it lacks anything
that would make it outstanding. Stroope's vocals are unique sounding
and congeal into the melodic netting, but the songs are too generic
sounding to make a case for Thriving Ivory's potential. The band's
strength rests in their lyrics which focus on the power of faith and
the only factor in their music that sets them apart from anyone else.
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