Put aside all the pigeonholes and boxes that Downhere has been put in over the years and open your ears to a significant creative leap for this Canadian band. Defying the trend of emotionally empty rock, Ending Is Beginning jumps out of the speakers with a message of hope to a broken world. The album is catchy without being slick, uplifting without being pretentious, rocking without being raucous. Through relentless touring the band has added to their powerful sound while dual lead vocalists Marc Martel and Jason Germain deliver carefully crafted lyrics filled with optimism and hope.
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The Best Yet From Downhere| Posted April 10, 2009
Downhere is a bad that never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think they can't possibly get any better, they go and do just that. After the brilliant Wide-Eyed and Mystified, I thought for sure this next album would be a letdown, but I couldn't be more wrong. Start to finish, it's fantastic music. Downhere is for all those tired of the overplayed typical CCM on radio.
The album has variety and something for everybody. Songs like Bleed For This Love, Cathedral Made of People, and Something Heavenly rock things up a bit and keep their message for Christ strong throughout every lyric.
Songs like My Last Amen and Coming Back Home have an old school feel to them and are surprisingly upbeat given the weight of their subject matter. The Problem is starts out quite humorous but develops into a thought provoking message on the world's problems.
Don't Miss Now and How Many Kings are great slower songs lead by Marc. But in terms of slower songs, that's usually when the other lead singer, Jason Germain, takes over. Lead single Here I Am sounds like it'd fit right in on AC radio(It's No. 5 chart performances confirm that), only it's better. Songs like Hope is Rising, All At War, and Live For You are additional great examples of Jason's deep songwriting.
The subject matter of an end being a beginning is hardly new but Downhere presents it in an enjoyable fashion. So if you're tired of the same ole, try Downhere and see what you think. I certainly can't recommend it any more.
My Top Album of 2008!| Posted October 13, 2008
This has been an AMAZING year for new Christian music. My most anticipated album all-year has been this gem by my favorite band Downhere. Sometimes an album doesn't live up to the hype after an excellent album like Wide-Eyed And Mystified, but this album is amazing, every song. As a major fan of the Canadian band Downhere since their Dove Award winning debut in 2001 and Best New Artist 2001, this band has only managed to get better this decade putting them in the ranks of my other favorite bands Jars of Clay, MercyMe and Sanctus Real, with their Brit-Rock sound being a blend of all of those great CCM artists and also the driving alternative rock that has made Coldplay an international sensation.
Ending Is Beginning immediately grabs you with the opening track Bleed For This Love, written in the person of Jesus and is a moving portrayal of His sacrifice and Love. Next, the first single Here I Am, based on my favorite passage of the Bible, Isaiah 6:8 stirs me to answer my calling as a Christian to do God's will. The next 4 tracks Cathedral Made Of People, My Last Amen, Hope Is Rising, and Something Heavenly are among the best songs ever by this great band, both musically and lyrically and the harmonizing of Marc Martel and Jason Germain has never been better. The album doesn't have any filler songs and actually closes as strong as it starts with Live For You, The Beggar Who Gives Alms and the anthemic and moving How Many Kings as a bonus track, originally on last year's Christmas album "Bethlehem Skyline".
For me, this album is truly 5 stars (98% perfect) and is my top album of 2008!
Music Review: Ending Is Beginning| Posted October 14, 2009
By Thomas Jenkins
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5
When I first heard of Downhere, and their current album, Ending is Beginning, I assumed that this album was their debut. I was wrong. Similar to several other bands in the Christian music scene, Downhere had led a musical career of several years before they were able to strike gold with a hit CHR single. Prior to Ending is Beginning, Downhere had released four studio albums, in a period of six years. The long period of relative obscurity paid off however, and in September of 2008, they released their fifth, and widely considered best to date album, Ending is Beginning.
The album starts off with a solid almost worshipful track, “Bleed For This Love”. The next track we’ve all heard before, “Here I Am”. The song is based off of Isaiah 6:8, with the worshipful chorus, Here I am, Lord send me, somehow my story is part of your plan, fitting quite well, and avoids being too cliche. Although it’s plainly tailored all too well for radio, it’s a pleasing listen, and nothing is harmed when the bridge takes a Copeland-ish feel on the vocals. After another solid track, “Cathedral Made of People” follows one of the highlights of the album, “My Last Amen”. Starting off with an edgy piano intro, and continuing that piano throughout the song, it takes a Queen feel, and is quite enjoyable. When I first heard this track, its edginess put me off a little, and until I heard it again, I didn’t think much of the song, or the band as a whole. Here however, Downhere shows a keen willingness to venture out into new territory, something that sadly isn’t seen enough in the music industry.
Sadly though, they don’t manage to avoid all of the pitfalls of most modern music. Some of the songs toward the end seem to blend together, and there’s a noticeable difference in quality between the first half of the album and the second half. For example, “All at War”, and “The Beggar who Gives Alms” seem a little too familiar, albeit there’s nothing inherently wrong with the two tracks. Overall though, these problems are slight, and there’s definitely more good than bad here.
Downhere has done something many have tried and failed to do; they’ve created a solid mainstream pop album with lasting appeal. Not meaning to rant about the industry, but sadly, many Christian bands have been satisfied with popular music and little to no musical talent. Downhere has and venture out here. managed to break the mold . While a little more artistry would have been nice, songs like “Bleed For This Love” and “My Last Amen” are a solid example of this band’s great potential. So while they still may be working a few kinks out, Downhere is definitely here to stay.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
SOLID RADIO ROCK FROM CANADIAN FOUR-PIECE| Posted September 24, 2008
Downhere is still doing what they’ve been doing for most of this decade: crafting solid radio rock songs north of the border. The Canadian four-piece wows critics and wins awards yet still continues to mostly fly under-the-radar, regardless of the musical quality of each album. Perhaps that will change with this new effort.
Ending is Beginning finds the quartet working with producers Mark Heimermann (dcTalk) and Stephen Gause (Jars of Clay) to create a slightly expansive set of songs—a natural progression of studio familiarity and musical maturity. Still, Downhere fans will get what they want from this one.
The highlight here, by far, is “Cathedral Made of People.” The song is an exhilarating reminder of the power of the church and, musically, rises and falls perfectly. If only the rest of the album achieved the same height and depth. “Live for You” maintains the same musical intensity with its straightforward cry and prayer to live a life focused on God alone.
Don’t Miss Now” and “Beggar Who Gives Alms” slow things down via piano, and the sequencing is perfect in each case. The humility displayed on the latter closes the album well before giving way to bonus track “How Many Kings.” By the close of this collection, you realize these songs are too good not to be heard. Let’s hope this Ending is truly the beginning. –Matt Conner
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Christian Music Planet. Click here to visit ChristianMusicPlanet.com today!
Really love "Don't Miss Now". Dedicated it to my daughter who has just finished her "Warrior Leader Course" & is about to be graduated. I wish her and all who took the couse, "The best for the Future & God Speed.
Pleasant surprise| Posted February 11, 2009
I saw this CD at Wal-mart just before Christmas, but didn't get it, because I'd only heard one of their songs, the very popular "Here I Am" over and over, and I didn't know if anything else would be good. But now, having borrowed the CD from the library, I can only say two words; birthday present!!! The lyrics are fresh, new, and use words I hardly ever hear. My favorites are "The Beggar Who Gives Alms" (love the imagery!!) "The Problem" (new way of thinking about life) "All At War" (metaphors rock!) "How Many Kings" (beautiful chorus). What I really enjoyed was the way the two vocals switched off, and the myriad of music styles used. It gave the album a first-listen unpredictability. A really great album.
(By the way, I laughed out loud at the climax of "Don't Miss Now". Am I the only one who expected them to burst out with "Sherry", a la Jersey Boys?)
Wouw!| Posted November 04, 2008
Wouw...downhere is back in town.. with a amazing new cd. I love Something heavenly and of course last amen! The music is so extrodanery.. :D The music is a real word to GOD!