Chasing the Horizon
By Christa Farris
No matter how meticulous some musicians are about making their art an individual effort, there are a few artists who must still toil to shake off inevitable comparisons to their musical mentors. Like The Wallflowers’ frontman Jakob Dylan who once loomed in the shadow of his famous father, on his second solo record Mitch McVicker also rises above the constant references to his friend and former musical collaborator, the late Rich Mullins.
On Chasing the Horizon, McVicker accomplishes this challenge by crafting a vocal approach and sound that has clearly evolved from early contributions—especially Canticle of the Plains—and become his own. There is a new, throaty intonation with a broader range present that at least complements, and often surpasses, the introspective nature of the songs.
Also adding to the album’s individual flair are the contributions of Phil Madeira on electric guitar and organ, The Choir’s Steve Hindalong on percussion and This Train’s Mark Robertson on bass. These artists’ precise playing, along with quirky harmonica additions by McVicker, creates a warm, organic ambiance, with that jangly guitar sound only a coffeehouse setting can deliver.
While the musical aspect of this disc keeps you pleasantly engaged, the record’s lyrics aren’t quite as memorable. It’s like the music creates a palette of colors that never quite get formed into words. McVicker explores themes of grace and redemption, but unfortunately falls short of adding new ideas to the long-running conversation.
Chasing the Horizon is a step above McVicker’s self-titled debut, and
his sense of melody places him within an emerging list of young singer/songwriters
in Christian music like Justin McRoberts and Bebo Norman.
Provided by CCM Magazine