Genre: Rock/Hard Rock
Skypark Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Skypark lyrics)
Orange County, CA-based Christian rock band Skypark formed in 1994; originally dubbed Sinai, the group included vocalist Tyrone Wells, guitarist Joey Aszterbaum, bassist Tony Deerfield and drummer Keith Gove.
On their own label, Say-Sos Records, the group issued a pair of LPs, Live in Room 104 and One More Night with the Frogs, before signing to Word and issuing their Dove Award-nominated 1998 major label debut Am I Pretty? The Ed Stasium-produced Over Blue City followed in the spring of 2000.
The Butcher Brothers at first seem like a strange choice to produce Am I Pretty?, the first album by the modern Christian rock band Skypark. After all, the pair became famous through their work with Cypress Hill and Urge Overkill, two of the most hedonistic bands of the '90s. Nevertheless, the pair are professionals, and they're clean, muscular sound is perfectly-suited for modern rock radio -- and if Skypark are anything, they're post-alternative modern-rockers. Yes, there is an underlying religious theme to the music, but the streamlined punk-funk and alt-pop makes Am I Pretty? accessible to all listeners. There's a bit of a problem in terms of consistency -- not all of these songs have memorable hooks, but there are enough catchy tunes to make it a promising debut.
Though Skypark releases its albums through Word and pens the occasional lyric making a specific reference to Christianity, initial exposure to its second album could cause the listener to recall the summer of 1966, when John Lennon stirred up a fuss by commenting that the Beatles were more popular than Christ. At least on this record, the two co-exist harmoniously. You don't have to wait until the seventh track, "The Girl in Your Picture," and its opening line, "I went on down to Penny Lane," to realize that the members of Skypark have spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles; long before that, the Fab Four's influence is all over the record, from its melodies to its ornate arrangements. True,
Skypark tends to rock a little harder than its favorite band, but you're never far from a harmony line or a guitar riff that recalls the famous quartet from Liverpool. In "What God Does" and "Under Your Mercy," Skypark reveals its religious background explicitly, and the lyrics of other songs, such as the title track and the album closer "That's What You Say," support a religious interpretation, but for the most part Overbluecity is no more spiritual than your average U2 album. You might listen to the record through without thinking much about Jesus Christ, but it would be harder to avoid thinking about Paul McCartney.