Independent newcomer Cloverton has had a convenient start to its career. After winning Camp Electric’s “Rock the Camp” contest in 2011, the band has been able to build a loyal fan base without the hassle of a record label. Now, with two EPs, plenty of shows and a successfully funded Kickstarter under its belt, the group found the perfect time to release its debut album, Patterns.
The album opens with a minute-long instrumental, which leads nicely into the staccato strings and simple piano melody of “Someday.” Instead of opening with words of praise or answers, the band begins by asking a few personal questions: “How long will I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” It’s nice to hear these lyrics in a world where so many modern worship albums focus solely on praise, but ignore doubts and trials.
Other songs, such as “Father’s Love” and “Bridge,” break the contemporary Christian music mold a bit with less common time signatures and nice imagery. “Bridge” concludes with one of the strongest lyrics on the album: “I built a kingdom bigger than Egypt / I built a wealth richer than gold / I built a hole that came between us / You built a bridge.”
This isn’t to say the album is notably unique. Tracks like “Green Light” fit the typical contemporary Christian song structure. (Take a deep breath: opening verse, a second verse that sounds like the first, crescendo, chorus, diminuendo, third verse also almost same as the first, then an energetic repeated chorus followed by a closing verse for good measure.)
Musically, Cloverton sounds like a cross between Third Day and Gungor, with the occasional hint of Coldplay on a few tracks. It shines brightest on the ballads, but the group will probably gain radio play with its more typical songs of praise. Regardless, Patterns is a nice start.