Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rap, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 271. Kaleidoscope Superior – Earthsuit

271. Kaleidoscope Superior – Earthsuit

KALEIDOSCOPE SUPERIOR (2000)

Earthsuit

At the turn of the millennium a wonderfully creative and “futuristic” band found its way on to one of the most conservative Christian labels, Sparrow. The release contained several songs from the bands prior independent releases. They were also one of the very best live bands I had ever seen. The were called Earthsuit.

A few years later they would be called Mute Math.

But before the great mainstream success of Mute Math the guys that made up Earthsuit released an amazing album that combined alternative, techno, Europop, reggae, jazz and hip-hop into a single wonderful musical delight full of chewy goodness. Stirring and stunning. Passionate and powerful.

The first single “One Time” fused the hip=hop and alternative sounds into such a wonderful musical experience that should have been a mainstream radio hit. As much as I love the Christian Music industry it is a band like Earthsuit that remind me that all too often creative integrity can be the kiss of death for a band.

Though clearly Christian in its content the album spoke in a language that was i=uncommon for the CCM industry, lacking the usual Christianese and instead using intelligent, original and imaginative thoughts to convey eternal truths. Again, the kiss of death.

The jazz infused “Whitehorse” is such a great groove, and a style they would later expand as Mute Math. There is almost a Steely Dan quality to the melody with an injection of progressive jazz and soul.

I remember when it was released that every review was just staggering and heaping praise as the next big thing. But this is Christian Music and the bulk of the fan base gravitates more toward Point of Grace and Zoe Girl than to bands like Earthsuit. It really is a shame as so much amazing talent has gone unnoticed and unsupported. CCM’s loss became the mainstream music world’s gain.

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  1. November 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    This was a great album! Unlike anything I’d ever heard before!

    http://easyworshipguitar.wordpress.com/

    “1 hour to your first song”

  2. aarjayaitch
    November 13, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Amen and Amen! Fantastic album and sadly, originality = obscurity in CCM.

  3. TMc
    November 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Simple and basic requires little thought, imagination, or self examination. The masses can stay more comfortable that way and feel better about themselves. I don’t know if this is really what prevents such great music from getting bigger but it seems like it has a part.

  4. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 15, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Agree with the assessments of originality, ingenuity etc and intelligent lyrics. However, even after several listens I had a hard time remembering the melody of any songs from this album. Great sounds and arrangements…so-so songs. That was taken care of by the time Mutemath arrived.

  5. December 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This album was chalked full of originality which gave birth to an even more original sound with MuteMath. Also check out the worship side with the album Elevator Music.

  6. Greenchili
    October 28, 2011 at 9:12 am

    “wonderful musical delight full of chewy goodness”.. yup that about sums it up!

  7. John Rodermond
    March 10, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I’m noticing that this list is rife with “should have beens.” If I had a nickel for every time that is said of a group on this list alone – I’d have a lot of nickels. 😉

    It is unfortunate that so much great music is tucked away in remote corners and goes largely unnoticed. Sometimes it is even hidden in plain sight or its creators are simply misunderstood by the masses and so they disappear.

    Earthsuit is another in a long list of casualties.

    For whatever reason, creative and original expressions simply do not automatically translate to widespread appreciation. Whenever someone feels “we got it figured out” we get another formulaic interpretation of the “next big thing” foisted upon us and while we’re busy looking we tend to overlook the truly unique.

    But, to be honest, unique is hard to embrace because oftentimes it is seen as “way out there”. It seems we need some familiar point of reference in order to connect with something new – a musical expression that is both unique AND derivatve at the same time. Too innovative and people will say “They were way ahead of their time” after you’re gone. Too derivative and people will say “They’re just another Creed.” while you try to be original. Talk about having to walk a fine line.

    Add the following to the myriad of reasons why a band or an artist doesn’t get the timely recognition they may deserve: lack of exposure (or even over-exposure for that matter), insufficient financing, poor marketing, weak distribution, nonexistent radio support … or … or … and what have you got?

    So? How do we improve connectivity – how do we improve our ability to effectively connect artists with supportive listeners?

    More questions than answers, I know. Fortunately I can listen to Earthsuit while I’m digging around for more hidden gems and spread the wealth around before they fade into obscurity (looks like I’m gonna have to start my own blog – has it really come to this?)

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