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160. Redemption – White Heart

REDEMPTION (1997)

White Heart

Just when this band got their act back together, they break up!

After several years of floundering in mediocrity and, well, quite boring corporate rock and failed attempts at a more alternative sound, they produced the most mature and musically precise album in their career and it would prove to be their last.

Originally a praise rock band with Toto like leaning, White heart was probably the second biggest rock band in CCM behind only Petra. But several band member changes and the inability to find their niche in the heavily nuanced and changing musical landscape, the band kind of disappeared for the true rock fans. Attempts at alternative like “Inside” proved beyond the bands pay scale. But the aptly titled “Redemption” was just that.

More acoustic driven and harmony focused, both musically and lyrically the band made huge strides in regaining its artistic presence. The ballads were less syrupy and appeared for honest and authentic, especially the wonderful “Honestly.”

The rockers are less anthemic and more stylized. I like to refer to this album as one filled with “smart rock” songs. Nothing flashy and limited production tricks, just great rock performed well and written with maturity and smarts.  There is also, for the first time in several albums, the sense that the band was not trying to copy what was happening and music and just decided to be themselves. This was the first album since “Tale of Wonder” to have the same feel.

Great album and a great swan song.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 17, 2011 at 3:33 am

    I definitely liked this one and thought it was better than anything they had done besides Freedom.

  2. Bill B
    February 20, 2011 at 2:02 am

    My personal favorites of White Heart are Tales Of Wonder and Highlands. Personally, I think these two albums were their best by a LARGE margin. 🙂

  3. Brian
    February 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Agree with Bill B also loved Freedom.
    But this was a noteworthy release.
    The song Fall On Me is worth the price of the whole album.
    Production values and use of percussion were outstanding.

  4. Brent
    March 8, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Freedom was their defining moment in music; it is an album that can go head-to-head with ANY secular or Christian recording. Redemption is a great closing album with a very introspective and soul searching feel. The sound is so raw and original. Its their 2nd best.

  5. Greenchili
    March 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I was kinda secretly hoping this album would make the list.

    On a side note this album was created after Ric Florians divorce with his wife. Bill Smiley talked him into coming back and writing “thru” the tough times he was going thru. Then of course they disbanded. Supposedly they have been trying to get back with the lineup from “Freedom” for some type of freedom based tour.

    Not sure if anyone knew but supposedly “Power House”, “Tales Of Wonder” and “Highlands” were supposed to be a three parter covering different phases of a Christian’s growth. Can’t remember if the 1st was supposed to be pre or post saved. But that’s the basic gist of the three albums.

  6. Greenchili
    March 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Whoops forgot to mention.. despite being a mistep… Inside had a couple decent tunes on it. “Ritual” has a great build up of a song (reminded me of “Beat Of A Different Drum”) and there were a couple of other nice songs.

  7. y2daddy
    February 4, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Man do I love this album. The three songs The Vine, Fall On Me and the closer Jesus do more for me in terms of worship than most songs I hear in church.

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