Sunday, October 31, 2010

MWK - The Sanctuary Live Sessions - First Reaction

As promised Thursday night, The Sanctuary Live Sessions, an acoustic EP was made available for download tonight on MWK's web site - and they're letting you choose what you think it's worth. This is the first time that I've heard of an artist doing this, but I think its nice that even if you can't afford much, you can still get the music. The EP is a compilation of 9 songs, all of which but 1 were released on previous albums. The new arrangements are in a word - gorgeous. I love the piano throughout the album and it's really nice to hear Neal doing backing vocals. He and Andy harmonizing is just incredible. Make Me, which to me is a song with a challenge weaved through it (Make me fall for you, as if I had nothing else to do) is now a piano ballad, which closes the album perfectly.

Till I'm Blue opens the EP with an arrangement similar to the original but with some amazing guitar playing by Neal. Add in backing vocals and Andy's voice which has matured over the years, and you have a song that captures the attention of the listener from the get go. And if that's not enough, having A Circle's Anthem right after Till I'm Blue will just make you stop what you're doing and just listen. This is my favorite track on the EP because I love how strong Neal's vocal is in the song. We don't get much backing vocal from Neal at all when he plays with David's band, so its really nice to hear it. I love his voice - its a great compliment to Andy's.

I'm a huge sucker for piano mixed in with the guitar, so I think after A Circle's Anthem and Make Me, Railway Reality is my next favorite. I can't even describe the emotion that I get from that song with the band, so to hear it so stripped down makes it more raw and intimate. I think stripping down all the songs on the album to just guitar and piano makes them much more emotional and intimate - and that's the best part overall. Heaven and Worse is the new song and it fits in with the flow of everything else. It doesn't sound out of place at all - you definitely know its an MWK song.  I'd love to hear this one full band. One True Thing, A Scarlet Letters, Waterside and Undertow round out the EP. Undertow  was never really a favorite, but the more I listen to it the more I really like it. A Scarlet Letters is just gorgeous stripped down to the guitar and it really brings out the emotion and want in it. Waterside has always been a favorite of mine, but acoustic it brings a whole new life to the song.

I've never seen MWK live, but I'm hoping one day I'll get the chance to hear this music live and experience it the way so many of my friends have. Until that day comes, I'll be experiencing them through the music that they've graciously shared with the world. If you haven't checked them out, I'm highly recommending you do so. I'm not just saying that I recommend this music because they're David's bandmates - I'm recommending this because they are immensely talented in their own right and deserve to have all the success when it comes to their music.


  1. With any luck, bb, we'll get a few MWK shows out of this. :) Hope you do get a chance to see them live, because they're ~amazing.

  2. Piano/guitar, and especially acoustic, are favorite genres of mine. Thanks for the review!