From time to time I get into a band so intently that I hardly listen to anything else. Has that ever happen to you? The fact that I keep coming back to listen to it over and over tells me that it is not just disposable melodies, whose enjoyment and novelty burst open just after a few listens, but a real musical effort that has substance, whose full beauty demands time to unpack and discover all its subtleties.
Atlas by Sleeping at Last is one of such albums. Ever since my best friend introduced me to it, I have been captivated by this amazing musical marvel. Atlas is a yearlong project by Ryan O’Neal, a singer and songwriter behind the band Sleeping at Last.
O’Neal describes, Atlas, as an “overarching story of how our universe came to be, and how we were woven together inside it”*. It is a storybook about us looking at the heavens and marveling at the wonders of creation while navigating the vast oceans of human existence. The lyrics give witness to such epic task when he sings:
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.
With shortness of breath, I’ll explain the infinite
How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.
Atlas might be the best Christian album that I have ever listened to. The lyrics are grounded on a firm admiration of creation and the uniqueness and preciousness of life while its melodies constantly remind you of the beauty and elegance of creation. It is like O’Neal songwriting agrees with the psalmist in every song:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”.
I am not even sure if Sleeping at Last considered themselves as a Christian band or even if they agree with such category, but they sing about hope, forgiveness, frailty, desire, love, hope and wonder, all essential ingredients of the great drama that is life.
If I have peaked your interest go and visit their at website: http://sleepingatlast.com