Flap Your Wings (album)

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Flap Your Wings
FlapYourWings.jpg
Studio album by The Choir
Released July 4, 2000
Recorded Neverland Studios,
Berry Hill, TN, 1999, 2000;
Earful,
Franklin, TN, 2000;
Dark Horse Recording,
Frankllin, TN, 2000;
The Mission,
Ashland City, TN, 2000
Genre Alternative rock
Length 39:57
Label Galaxy21
Producer Derri Daugherty
Steve Hindalong
Tim Chandler
The Choir chronology
Let It Fly
(1997)
Flap Your Wings
(2000)
Live at Cornerstone 2000: Plugged
(2000)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Phantom Tollbooth 4/5 stars
HM (not rated)[1]

Flap Your Wings is the tenth studio album by Christian alternative rock band The Choir, released in 2000. It earned the band its first Grammy Award nomination in 2002.

Recording history[edit]

After the band's "To Bid Farewell" tour documented by Let It Fly, the members of The Choir had decided to move onto other things. Lead vocalist Derri Daugherty and drummer and lyricist Steve Hindalong began producing a variety of other Christian artists, along with the highly successful City on a Hill worship music series and related tours. Hindalong released an independent solo record, Skinny. Bassist Tim Chandler returned to his computer education position in California. Saxophonist Dan Michaels created a new record label, Galaxy21 Music, and quickly became a respected music executive. The Choir still got together once a year to play at the annual Cornerstone Festival, but the band had gone on extended hiatus, with no indication of when or if they would ever record again.

During this downtime for the band, Michaels decided to create an officlal website for The Choir, where members could interact with fans directly, as well as sell older, hard-to-find merchandise. What the foursome didn't realize at the time was that the internet was becoming the new paradigm for indie artists like themselves. A band with an established fanbase like The Choir no longer needed to tour relentlessly to keep their listeners eager for new music. Not surprisingly, this eagerness soon became persistent demand.

Even so, it was a one-off concert at a music festival in Albuquerque during the summer of 1999 that finally convinced the members of The Choir that they missed playing with each other and still had something to offer musically. So, on Thanksgiving weekend later that year, Chandler flew out to Nashville and sat down with Daugherty and Hindalong, and the result was five new songs. In May 2000, Chandler returned to Nashville, and the band wrote five more. Without any grand plan other than the enjoyment of playing music together, The Choir suddenly had an album's worth of new material.

The second recording session took place only mere weeks after the death of Gene Eugene, lead singer and songwriter for Adam Again, who had died suddenly on the floor of his recording studio, The Green Room, in Huntington Beach, California. Eugene, a prolific producer and engineer for literally hundreds of albums, was a close personal friend of The Choir, and had worked on a handful of their releases, including the seminal Chase the Kangaroo. Only 38, his death came as a shock, and as a result, the song "Hey Gene" was birthed during this period, incorporating lines from Michaels' eulogy at the funeral. It would eventually be released as the first single from Flap Your Wings.

It was also on Flap Your Wings that The Choir's twin strands of worship-minded songs and confessional lyrics about love and loss finally came back together, after diverging during the early 1990s with Kissers and Killers. To that end, "Beautiful Scandalous Night," originally recorded for the worship record At the Foot of the Cross, Volume One: Clouds, Rain, Fire, was re-recorded to close out this album. Other God-focused songs on the record include "Flowing Over Me", the title track and "Mercy Lives Here," written by Daugherty after he visited a club in Akron, Ohio filled with a strange assortment of characters.

Hindalong's family life is once again the subject of much of the rest of the album. "I Don't Mean Any Harm" is written as an apology to his wife and kids, while "A Moment in Time" is about Hindalong's first date with his wife, Nancy. "Shiny Floor" is a metaphorical song about the band's fractious relationship to the music industry, based on real incidents in which Hindalong spilled a drink on a friend's kitchen floor, then tripped over a microphone cable in the studio a few days later. Finally, Chandler added a track of his very own, "Sunny," which attempts to find hope in even the most tragic of events—an ongoing, trademark theme of The Choir.

Because the band viewed Flap Your Wings as an independent release for their most avid fans—using the Cornerstone Festival as the launching pad for its release—The Choir created a raw and unvarnished sound for the album, more akin to Speckled Bird than Circle Slide. As a result, the band was as stunned as anyone else when they learned that Flap Your Wings had been nominated for a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album, the first for The Choir after almost 20 years of recording. Although the band was the front-runner in an online Christianity Today poll of readers about which album they'd like to see take the Grammy that year, The Choir eventually lost to the multi-Grammy winning group dc Talk for their EP, Solo. Still, the overwhelmingly positive reaction from both critics and fans to Flap Your Wings was enough to convince The Choir to continue recording new music.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics by Steve Hindalong and all music by Derri Daugherty, unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Flap Your Wings" (Music by Daugherty, Hindalong) – 3:15
  2. "Shiny Floor" (Music by Tim Chandler, Hindalong) – 4:23
  3. "Mercy Lives Here" (Lyrics by Daugherty) – 3:33
  4. "Hey Gene" (Lyrics by Hindalong, Dan Michaels; Music by Daugherty, Hindalong) – 4:31
  5. "Sunny" (Music by Chandler) – 3:39
  6. "Flowing Over Me" – 3:52
  7. "Cherry Bomb" – 5:12
  8. "I Don't Mean Any Harm" (Music by Chandler, Hindalong) – 4:47
  9. "A Moment In Time" (Lyrics by Hindalong, Daugherty) – 2:54
  10. "Beautiful Scandalous Night" – 3:51

Personnel[edit]

The Choir[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Pelt, Doug (November–December 2000). "Reviews / Flap Your Wings". HM Magazine (86): 86. ISSN 1066-6923.