Review: Celebrate

Catholic Parent Magazine

March/April, 2001

Hailing from the Great White North is Catholic Christian modern rock band, Critical Mass. It's truly a Canadian family affair with brothers, husbands and wives and brothers in Christ comprising this octet, under the banner of John 6: 35, 51.

"Completely" is the pivotal sophomore effort to their debut album, "Faith Looks Up", and it's completely better . . . more polished production, more seasoned songwriting and more professional, confident performances abound. And that's critical for a second CD.

These reverent musicians emerged from their church, primarily as a praise and worship team. Since then, they have molded themselves into an officially sanctioned rock band, with all its rights and privileges. Serving the youth of their Ontario province, throughout Canada and into the states has been the privilege. They bring with them not only timely music, but sound Catholic teaching and testimony.

Sonically and stylistically, Critical Mass' music draws from a sinktrap of influences, some identifiable, some not so. I hear a heavily reliant vocal band like secular alternative rockers The Jayhawks or The Rembrandts (You know, the "Friends" TV show theme song?). Lyrically, Critical Mass is quite direct, avoiding any safe, watered-down milk toast interpretations of their Godly message, like the song "Jesus, We Trust In You," based On St. Faustina's Chaplet Of Divine Mercy.

Keeping them grounded in the faith, the essence of Praise & Worship is still quite audible amidst the Rock & Roll, with songs like "Share It With The World," completely appropriate for the Mass liturgy.

PJ's OK: Critical Mass won "Best Modern Rock / Alternative Album and Best International Group for its first album at the United Catholic Music and Video Association Unity Awards. "Completely" also captured Best Rock Album honors at the Canadian Gospel Music Association Awards.

--- P.J. Littleton