Review Summary: My Epic offers much more to enjoy than a mere acoustic EP suggests.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
My Epic's second album Yet was a surprise standout in 2010, as thoughtful as it was forceful. Boasting a much tighter and more memorable set of songs than their debut and a more original vision than the group's somewhat derivative post-hardcore EP, Yet succeeded in just about every respect. Not especially excited about minimalist acoustic strumming, I was disappointed when I learned that Broken Voice would be an acoustic EP rather than a full album.
But to my surprise, Broken Voice is every bit as worthy of one's attention as its predecessor. Even in an acoustic format the group excels at making songs that are musically interesting. Opening tracks “Centuries” and “Beloved” are moody and understated, but “Alone” quickly wakes up the listener with its methodical clapping and dynamic chorus. The addition of piano and strings gives the song an earthy quality while the lyrics recall the stark nature of songs like Yet's “Lower Still.” For a collection of outtakes the EP sounds remarkably consistent, and the overall style of the release (probably heavily inspired by Thrice's 'Earth' section of The Alchemy Index) doesn't feel too out of place for the band.
“Deathbed” is less ornate than the preceding song with only acoustic guitar to accompany the vocals, but fortunately the guitar is always interesting enough to make up for the rest of the band's absence. No chord-strumming here; instead, we are treated to carefully-picked melodies that sound simply beautiful. “Lazarus” is even better, with a warm and almost hopeful tone that's different from the minor-key stylings that dominate the other songs.
“Garden” is probably the most intimate song on the album, its lyrics stark and powerful regardless of whether one shares the group's Christian faith. The bridge makes a compelling case for the prettiest-sounding moment on the album. “Childbodybride” has an almost blues-inspired sound and electric guitar, but doesn't feel out of place and injects a bit of energy into the finishing stretch. “Doxology” is a nice take on the Christian hymn that brings the album to an appropriate close.
Few contemporary Christian artists can boast the raw creativity, musically and lyrically, of My Epic. The group's songwriting bears a stark, uncompromising quality that is leagues above the generic themes of similar artists. As this album continues to show, My Epic is a remarkably honest band, and the sentiments expressed by their music flow naturally from within rather than being shoehorned into the music to attract a certain crowd. The result is another record that anyone can enjoy regardless of their faith, which shows that My Epic is in their own league.