Edin – Adahl
The debut album from two sets of brothers from Sweden (Bertil and Lasse Edin and Simon and Frank Adahl) was like a breath of fresh air sweeping across the Christian Music scene. Though they share the same home country as the previously reviewed Jerusalem, the musical styles they employed could not be any different. Where Jerusalem stayed with powerful, guitar driven hard rock, Edin-Adahl was all about pop, rock, world music and new wave with an emphasis on melody and harmony. They even scored a moderate mainstream hit with the song, Like the Wind.
They were one of several European acts that the fledgling label, Refuge, tried to bring to the United States. Of all of those artist it was Edin-Adahl that had the greatest impact. But still it was not enough to bring them to the forefront of most CCM fans at the time.
It was difficult to choose between the bands first two releases (Alibi and X-Factor) but I went with Alibi because of greater diversity in musical styles and ground breaking results of the release. When this album was released most of Christian music would never venture into New Wave, reggae tinged or synth driven rock. Alibi did this and more so, all without sounding disjointed or scattered.
The opening track, Wake Up, kicks off with a solid funky groove similar to Squeeze or Steely Dan. The vocal harmonies of the brothers keeps the song from sounding ordinary and the production quality was so superior to nearly everything else in the christian market at the time. Lyrically the entire album was better than what Jerusalem provided, but were not all that more pedestrian than most of Christian music, and at least they had the excuse of translation issues.
Theme from the album were common Christian music fare, but this album was all about the music and vocals. Driving power pop rock drives “On the Cutting Edge” while pure 80’s pop radio ballads like “Your Life Is In His Hands” would have worked just as well on a Peter Cetera fronted Chicago album.
Stand outs include the reggae driven title track with steel drums and old school organ laced keyboards and the rock/worship anthem “Let All the Earth Proclaim” driven by intense harmonies and surprisingly edgy and loud guitars. In fact, I was always surprised someone like Petra never bothered to cover this gem. “For the Rain In Your Heart” sound more ska than reggae and preceded the Supertones by 20 years.
Edin-Adahl never received the recognition their quality works deserved and that is real shame. The first two releases deserved their day on CD, but as far as I have been able to ascertain they never made it. That is a true travesty especially when one considers the true high quality production.
EDIT: I wanted that Simon Adahl and Bertil Edin did release solo albums that are worth tracking down. Simon’s synth driven pop/new wave album was entitled “I’m in Touch” and Bertil’s more rock driven new wave was “Across the Borderline.”