For review of the Goodness & Mercy LIVE album, click here.
Leave it to a new Christian group to rise out of one of the most atheistic spots in the country.
Portland, OR ranks as one of the top godless cities in America but that hasn’t stopped Athey Music, a worship “collective” (which is soooo Portland) consisting of siblings Brooke and Joey Meador and Peter Elliott along with other invitees who contribute on vocals and the usual instruments, from releasing their debut album Goodness & Mercy.
No, this isn’t a rehash of existing Christian pop songs or their interpretation of the celebrated tunes from Hillsong or Elevation, Athey Music used the coronavirus and lockdowns as inspiration to write and record new music resulting in a thoroughly complete record for anyone looking for answers, hope and inspiration or who simply wants a little relief from our restless world.
Athey Music derives its name from the band members’ home church Athey Creek Christian Fellowship, located just outside Portland, where popular Christian alternative rockers Kutless got their start more than 20 years ago. Unlike their predecessors, Athey Music takes a softer and more pop-oriented approach, infused with a bit of country sounds, to singing and songwriting. Moreover, Joey Meador released his solo EP Come To Be four years ago, a straight forward pop record that garnered an invite to perform live at the local KINK-FM radio station studios.
Athey Music successfully incorporates the differing vocal ranges of the Meadors and Elliott, as the three each get their turn as lead singer on individual songs, giving the 12-song, 50-minute long Mercy & Goodness some complexity, depth and originality. Just as you tune in to Brooke Meador’s stunning falsetto, Joey Meador drops the bottom out with commanding vocals on the next song, then Elliott steps up right in between.
Athey Music Goodness and Mercy Review
Goodness & Mercy first immerses you into enjoyable pop rock with “Gimme a Hallelujah” sung by Joey Meador, who also plays guitar, which you’ll have a hard time sitting still to once it builds into its stride, and especially during the chorus. Brooke Meador, also on piano, takes over for the equally well-crafted “Our Great Hope” and hands the mic back to her brother for the slower and deliberate “He Is Good.”
Elliott, also contributing on guitar, gets his turn on “All I Need” delivering a vocal contrast that takes a few bars to adapt. “So Very Good” slows it way down in this Brooke Meador sung bluesy track featuring a prominent slide guitar that would go over very well at the Grand Ole Opry. Joey retains the slide but with a slightly less bluegrass sound for “Father” then picks up the pace for the melodic foot-stomper “Closer Than a Brother.”
A stripped down “Trust” takes a bit to get going as Elliott leads you on a slow contemplative walk about faith, then Athey Music makes a definitive turn towards contemporary Christian pop with Brooke handling vocals for “Never Far Away” and “Not Alone” while Joey sings “Fill My Cup.” Elliott closes the album with “Refuge” which slowly builds into into a perfect finish for the album.
Expressive and tranquil, Goodness & Mercy integrates multiple music genres for a broad audience and while the purely gospel centric lyrics certainly will serve the faithful well, even the irreligious looking for something different should find some joy in Athey Music.
Athey Music Goodness and Mercy Songs:
- Gimme a Hallelujah
- Our Great Hope
- He Is Good
- All I Need
- So Very Good
- Closer Than a Brother
- Never Far Away
- Fill My Cup
- Not Alone