The Pieces Fit

Considering Lily

ForeFront Records, 1999

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Considering_Lily

REVIEW BY: Michael Ehret

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/23/1999

The temptation is great to dismiss this new incarnation of Considering Lily (which is itself an incarnation of the former Serene & Pearl) as nothing more than a way for ForeFront Records to indulge Audio Adrenaline guitarist Bob Herdman. After all, Herdman's wife, Jeanette, is the lead vocalist and Audio A is one of the labels premiere acts.

Plus, Jeanette has no previous recording experience - at least that the label has mentioned.

So, the temptation is great - no denying it. However, to do so would mean turning a deaf ear to Jeanette's pleasing lead vocals on The Pieces Fit. And so, Considering Lily (minus Serene Allison, Pearl Barrett's sister, who left the group to be a full-time mother) moves onto the next stage. They do get a valuable assist in the producer's chair from former Audio A guitarist Barry Blair and on bass from that group's Will McGinniss.

This is a group that deserves a listen. Jeanette Herdman and Barrett co-wrote every song on the album. More so than Considering Lily's previous effort, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Pieces Fit seems an honest expression from these two women's hearts. Considering Lily from 1997 tried too hard to be hip - and in the end sounded like Alanis Morrisette-lite, which was in direct competition with another premier ForeFront artist, Rebecca St. James. The "Alanis" comparisons for St. James were unfortunate. Her change in sound was more a maturing process, than any attempt to copycat - but I digress.

Considering Lily's new album has a decidedly modern-pop accent, rather than an alternative sound to it. The disc is full of pop songs that should be bubbling out of the radio speakers all summer long. To achieve that end, the duo used a lot of drum loops and programmed keyboards. Underlying, and supporting, it all are Barrett's soothing harmonies. Her contribution to this disc cannot be minimized.

The disc's first song, and first single, "Great Expectations," is based on the promise found in 1 Corinthians 2:9: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind can conceive what God has prepared for those who love Him." Actually, it sort of reminds me of Serene & Pearl's "Crazy Stories."

"Great expectations/There's so much waiting for me/Anticipation/As you reveal my destiny/I may not know every road/But I know positively/Great expectations are what you have for me."

The song bounces along like a convertible Volkswagen Beetle on a summer afternoon, fueled by the keyboard programming of Michael Quinlan, who also produced the track. Truthfully, there's not a song on this disc that disappoints in a major way.

Oh sure, some of them have a certain amount of "school girl" pretentiousness in the lyrics ("Still wishing/still dreaming/soul searching/for meaning" from "Waiting For The Day") and the sound occasionally comes across as too much of a mix between Debbie Gibson and Wilson Phillips, but, really, that's being snooty.

Not every book you read is C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" right? And you don't really watch only PBS, do you?

This disc is fun. It's celebratory. It encourages. It affirms. It worships - in its own little cute way - and there's nothing wrong with that. Music is not this terribly serious endeavor that you really have to suffer to create. Sometimes it's just pure joy and you just stand back and let it flow over and through you.

Enjoy The Pieces Fit. You might as well, you'll probably be hearing the songs on the radio all summer long.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1999 Michael Ehret and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of ForeFront Records, and is used for informational purposes only.