Friday, March 25, 2011

Jenny & Tyler - Faint Not (Album Review)

Finding a husband/wife acoustic duo in Nashville is admittedly not that hard to do, so each one has to have something unique to offer if they want to rise above the collective noise. For Jenny & Tyler, that uniqueness is found in honest, hope-filled lyrics delivered through powerful, earnest vocals. For their latest release, Faint Not, Jenny & Tyler showcase their talents by writing songs that deal with both the beautiful and ugly aspects of life within the light of a promised future. In their own words, Faint Not “chronicles our journey of faith over the past year and a half. It’s about not growing weary in seeking truth, loving God, and loving people.” These concepts are hard enough to live out, much less distill down into a 4 minute song, without coming across as flippant or clich├ęd. But that’s one of the areas where Jenny & Tyler really stand out; their ability to convey these big truths in a genuine and believable way. Their vocals and melodies carry the lyrical weight perfectly and help each line settle into your head and heart. They don’t shy away from the painful parts and they don’t cheese over the positive parts. Each song carefully strikes a balance between the two with a longing hopefulness holding it all together. Faint Not also has a really cool musical vibe of acoustic based folk-pop songs that are fleshed out with great instrumentation and equal moments of emotion and reflection.

If there’s such thing as an album’s thesis, the title track, “Faint Not,” would absolutely be it. It totally encompasses Jenny & Tyler’s spirit of endurance and expectancy in the midst of heavy situations. The verses detail the circumstances of what our eyes see and the choruses encourage us to hold tightly to what our heart believe. It’s truly a beautiful thing when a song can point out darkness and light in such a truthful, uplifting way. This psalm-like approach can also be felt in songs like “Dreaming of Peace,” “Through Your Eyes” and “Holding On To Hope.” Jenny & Tyler sing about the beauties of married life as well in both tender (“As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating”) and humorous (“Stop Staring At Me”) ways. The pleading “Carry Me” contains a nice guest vocal, as they are joined by Mac Powell (Third Day) for the comforting call and response chorus. If there’s any question of whether these Nashvillians-by-way-of-Delaware truly feel at home here, they answer it by turning in a great cover of the Carter Family standard, “Anchored in Love.” Led by mandolin, acoustic guitar and gorgeous vocal harmonies, this is absolutely one of my personal favorites from the album. Each song on Faint Not reminds us that the answers are not found in ignoring the news or in disconnecting from our conflicts but in facing the storms with faith and hope. Jenny and Tyler accomplish the daunting task of challenging us to fully engage life, while encouraging us to not be taken under by the struggles. This talented duo has been popping up in more and more places lately and one listen to Faint Not will show you that it’s well deserved and only the start of even greater things to come.

You can purchase Faint Not (as well as their other albums) directly from Jenny & Tyler HERE.

Also a bonus for this week only, Jenny & Tyler are giving away Faint Not for free via Noisetrade:

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