Benjamin Dunn & The Animal Orchestra – FABLE [Review]
C.S. Lewis was a narrative genius, and through his writings many have found deep understandings of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. One such person is Musician, Author, and Theologian Benjamin Dunn. Dunn is the front-man for Benjamin Dunn and the Animal Orchestra, (Formerly Benjamin Dunn & Friends)
I have followed Dunn’s music for many years and have a vast collection of his works, from His early days experimenting with Techno in worship on the Albums “Under The Influence” and “My Addiction,” to his more 80’s pop ballad feeling “Love Cloud” and more recently “Circus of Love” and “The Hymn EP”
So needless to say, I am a fan. That is why I was overjoyed when I got my hands on His latest release. “Fable.” This album is a natural progression musically for Dunn. Fable is a collection of songs that tell the tale of a scandalous grace. Each song is rooted in the works of C.S. Lewis who explained grace about as well as any man could.
This album expands the vibe of “Circus of Love” by incorporating more of the experimental sounds and synth work. This shows how the band has really come together and found a collective voice.
My Name Is Eustace is a great opening to the album. The whole focus of the song is the transforming Love and Grace of God while holding to the Narnian imagery of transformation and the breath of the Lion. While it is not traditional congregational music, it is a profoundly deep worship song while being up beat and filled with Joy.
Joy is a major theme in the music of Benjamin Dunn and the Animal Orchestra. The premise is that God has poured so much grace and love upon us, how can we not overflow with Joy. That theme clearly drips on each of the songs which separate themselves from alot of the music that is being written today with is ironic, reflective, and at times downright depressing.
Sail To The End is a song that I absolutely love. Its a song about a heart on a journey. A heart that is looming closer to the Kingdom of God everyday. A heart that is naturally being drawn into the God’s country. It borrows imagery from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and absolutely brilliantly expresses the deepest longings of the human heart.
When We Were Young is one of the happiest songs on the album and just gets stuck inside your brain and it longs for a time when we were younger and we hadn’t been corrupted by all the cares and distractions of the world. I love it because that is always one of my favourite parts of the Narnia mythos. No matter how old you grow in Narnia, you are always a child and when you return to the natural place you have learned so much but your youth is restored.
I wish I could give you a play by play rundown of the whole album but I know that there are strong chances that what I was feeling and what God spoke to me through this album are different even that what was intended, but that is the beauty of art. This is an artistic album and not just another cookie cutter piece of recording. There is something to be said through the music that just tears at your heart.
Clothed In Skin is easily my favourite song on the album. I remember a few months ago before the album was released Benjamin did a video blog on youtube and I heard two lines from this song. “Father of Lights, You made us one. You poured out Your love when You poured out Your Son.” That was the only line from the song he included in the blog and I was hooked, it was stuck in my brain like a little ball of bliss that was waiting to be fully unpackaged. When the album came, I can say that the song did not disappoint. It is one of the greatest songs on Grace and the Power of the Cross that I have ever heard. It tackles the power of the cross as a moment of victory and joy, that oozes with love. Each drop of Blood Jesus shed was liquid love that has been passed down into our bodies to redeem us and bring us back into the kingdom of God reconciled and set free. SO POWERFUL…
Benjamin Never disappoints musically and you cannot help but be overcome with bliss when you listen to any of his music. Check out his website. Joy Revolution
You can buy Fable from his website, or purchase it on itunes.