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Sawyer Brown

Mission Temple Fireworks Stand – 2005 (Curb)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Sawyer Brown

Sawyer Brown may not be a groundbreaking country band, but its latest at least contains enough unexpected wrinkles to keep the listener tuned in.

The title track's lyric, for example, mixes a tent revival vibe with 4th of July fireworks references, yet still comes out sounding like the gospel truth. The group also covers the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands To Yourself." These two tracks, along with the jungle-spiced "Tarzan And Jane," give this disc much of its party time feel.

The underlying celebration, however, is balanced out with a few serious sentiments as well, including "They Don't Understand," which underscores how difficult it is for children to comprehend the complexities of our modern world, and "With You Daddy," which details the sad story of a father dying of cancer. The band can swing Tarzan-like between these two emotional extremes, primarily because vocalist Mark Miller is so adept at changing emotional gears. It should also be noted that contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman has four writing credits, giving an expressly Christian lyrical attitude.

There's hardly a dud in this bunch.