ALBUM – Mineral – EndSerenading

Mineral – Endserenading

(Despite no other album on this site being categorized in order of my fondness, this one IS my all time favorite album and it stands proudly alone.)


I couldn’t possibly rate an album higher in my collection.  I chuckle at the mere thought.

This album captures everything in music that moves me, transporting me to a place beyond my everyday life, leaving me both completely filled and utterly empty at the same time. When total inspiration hits me as I listen to this album, quite often coined as having “a religious experience”, I’m left grasping at ideals and feelings I can only hope to capture someday, or perhaps recapture. Thematically speaking the album is texturally sad, but full of hope and promise in the lyrics.  The promise of a young new love and the effects of it waning away, and also of true spiritual fulfillment.  I listen to this album and I recognize it as a sincere testament to the virtuous aspirations of the band. (and perhaps the singer more than anyone else) and what is clear to me is that there is nothing artificially manufactured here by a producer or studio to trap the listener for improved revenue, this is true music at its core, expressing the real heart from real people; exploding outward from that mysterious chamber though the lips and into the ear, and as obvious in its naivety sometimes it may be, its made so much more powerful by a painful and personal sincerity and it’s utter applicability to us all.

The slightly off-tune wailing of the singer evokes his passion strongly, and the simply structured but beautifully composed and layered guitar work, the primal and yet somehow elegant drums, melodic and strongly centered bass, are never over-done with complexity, but married to the songs in an intimacy most couples would envy, all this serve to illuminate a band and a message larger than any individual, yet personal enough to relate to everyone of us AS INDIVIDUALS.  A message so simple and yet so profoundly deeply human, one that transcends race, religion, politics and simply IS.  it’s a message of love, and it could be interpreted in more than one way and this opened ended approach resonates with the serious listener; these expressions of love no doubt rest at the core, but to accept and leave it at that, misses so much.  it’s like accepting a single tree as the forest which lies farther ahead, awaiting real exploration. The meaning of these songs can point to the romantic, but in so many of these songs the meaning can also be interpreted through different types of love, as paternal love or ones committed in friendship, and many songs are emphatic toward living with virtue, recognizing person faults, rising above our petty spites, and even an admission of weakness to God and a confession of love toward the same; in hope.

The “real” meaning will no doubt depend on the listener, but to me it clearly translates to ALL the above explanations and I have yet to discover an album sung with as much raw passion in the vocals as this one that can do a better job of encompassing both a strong spiritual message and a message of sincere love, both secular and divine, filled with hope and grace.

I CHERISH THIS ALBUM.  It simply doesn’t get any better to me.

Listen: (click on the song titles)

1. Love Letter Typewriter

“This song is simple and beautiful, a great starting song for the album; it’s soft and hints at the passion to come.  Lyrically simple and to the point, personal and powerfully felt,
could be directed toward God or a romantic interest.”


Summer unfolded like a tapestry
And you were there as you have always been

There glowing where the sky meets with the trees
Air softly crowing, singing fears to sleep

Will you ever know how much I love you for that?
Will you ever know how much I love you?


2. Palisade

“Captures the feeling of a new and exciting love, immature and unrestrained, not touched by any bitterness.  The love of youth, first love or simply one with promises of great things to come…if only it always worked out that way…”


There I was, fourteen spinning
With my arms out like a scarecrow

Walking down Monroe to the park
Dancing up Madison

With my eyes closed your feet
Sounding like a symphony of strings
You picked me up and whispered “Forever”
Like a secret in my ears
Now. . .


3. GJS

“A powerfully spiritual song, that illuminates a love/relationship (romantic or paternal) that exists in harmony/virtue and highlights a sincere desire to improve ones life due to being inspired by such an amazing person.  A Powerful song.”


You woke me up in the morning
To say, “He is risen.”
And I replied with a smile,
“He is risen indeed.”
And somehow you always leave the room
Alive with truth and beauty
And carry yourself like you know
That it’s all just a matter of time

I said, “But maybe I’m too far down this time.”
“Too proud to hope too weak to climb.”
But you just pierce through me with eyes
And I know I’m done

And I can
And carry yourself like you’re sure of it
Like the stitches dissolved
And the wounds all heal in time
Your words are giants next to mine
And your thoughts are giants

I only hope that someday
I might resemble you in
Even the smallest way
I only hope that
You can be proud of me


4. Unfinished

“The longest song on the album and one of the shortest lyrically, but a simple few lines is all that’s needed.  How frustrating to love someone so much, someone you’ve committed yourself to (see lyrics: “rings”) and if only you could put their ear against your heart and have them hear the truth of it without any words or other actions to get in the way.  So simple a concept and so beautifully built-up and expressed in this song.”


I wish you could put your ear up to my heart
And hear how much I love you

I still dream of December
Dancing together with rings on our fingers

And the two shall become


5.  For lvadell

“A beautiful and poetic song (aren’t they all? lol), and this one that makes me think of my own Grand Mother/Father, both having passed on, no doubt to be in a better place than this world.  This is a song about the singers Grand Mother, and it’s clearly about remembering the good times, the inspiration of such a powerful person in his young life. A bittersweet song, but one ending with such great hope.”


Ivadell you held is in your arms that day
But look at how tiny me n’ Matthew both were
You so strong and full of grace

What stories these pictures can tell
Of days when we bathed brightly in the sun
The medicine of laughter everywhere

Ivadell I held you in my thoughts that day
And wish that they were arms when you were frail
And passing from this place

What stories your paintings told boys
Of hills too steep to climb ascended
And hearts that were not afraid
To flap their wings and fly

But you are safe now and effortlessly breathing
where new weather will fall on you,
and all your fears break (like waves
folding into themselves, and disappearing
into the sea)


6.  Walking to Winter

“Masters of saying so much with so little words, this song is a message that can be both equally powerful to a believer in God, or to a raging atheist (whatever that means, lol) – The person in this song could be talking about his personal relationship with God, or a romance that is truly stable/powerful, likened to being something that will “never change”, either way it’s fantastic.”


In winter when the air gets cold
And breathing causes white ghosts to appear

They light up the city with Christmas trees
And strings that hang across the street
From telephone pole to telephone pole

So that when I’m driving home at night
Tired frustrated and pinned down by spite
I’m reminded of your love
Unlike these things will never change
Or fade or pass away.


7.  A Letter

“Such a powerful build-up at the end of this song… a song clearly about his Father, being a child, now looking back appreciating the experiences that his Father had gone through, and yet most of all, cherishing the simplest of memories.  Any of us that are lucky have some people/memories to draw upon.  I pity those who do not, despite the feeling of loss and regret we may feel at times having lost such a prize.”


And always there is a picture of you and her
Coming home happy from a vacation on the seas
And you looked like a sailor
With a tattoo of an anchor on your arm
Your hair greased back
Face weathered by places and days I’d never seen

Sometimes I read and reread
The birthday card you sent me
When I turned seven
And I know that they will never shine
The way it did that day
When we threw paper airplanes at your head
And sat on your knees laughing


8. Sounds Like Sunday

“Wow. What a powerful song, another deeply spiritual life affirming one…very simply expressed, but about a sad (at least for now) and vital truth.  A rare song that never fails to move me to tears, every single time I listen to it. Time doesn’t heal a wound, and it shouldn’t, as if all wounds are a terrible things that serve no purpose at all, something evil to be cured of without a sign of a scar left…sometimes the scar is all we have and we should be happy with that much, but all the suffering IS temporary.  The last paragraph section is sooo powerful, so utterly moving in both a greater spiritual context of the fulfillment of Grace and the promise we have with it, but also an affirmation that suffering is for a season and a season only.  This song blows my mind.”


Time doesn’t always heal
It just breathes and swallows memories

Like the seasons change
Sending showers beating flowers
Into the mud

Helpless we are crying out
But we will love someday and how

How blessed we are, crying now, for we will laugh someday, and how…
Blessed we are, crying now, we will laugh, we will laugh someday, and how…
and how…
(second singer, nearly indecipherable)
(Nothing is forever in this place,
nothing but the way my heart fits in your hands,
the held breath of hope and the sweet lingering taste of grace.)


9. & Serenading

“How much we gain as we grow older, believing we are wiser and more experienced and not nearly so naive as when youth had its firm grasp on our minds and hearts, but this song reveals perhaps a little of what we lose, how blind we are when we are young, sure…and if we could only go back with our older eyes, see things differently, do it better, etc….but how much have we dulled our senses and our hopes in the process of playing it safe. Do you no longer hear symphonies in seashells?  Such a spiritual and intimately human song as well, themes that no other band mixes as well in my opinion…just wonderful. “


Will you come and what will I say
Oh I have been so distant and unhappy
Like I could disappear

When I was a boy I saw things
That no one else could see
So why am I so blind at twenty-two
To the hope that is all around me
Filling up this room

On the road on my own
Waiting for the words to fall from your tongue
Into my ears

When I was a boy I could hear
Symphonies in seashells
So why am I so deaf at twenty-two
To the sound of the driving snow
That drives me home to you


9. The Last Word is Rejoice

“WOW.  This is the perfect ending to a perfect album and in fact to a perfect band as this was their last album. (sadly) For such a soft song, barely any lyrics, oft repeated, it builds up with such an explosive and moving ending, that it rips your heart out and holds it out to the people you love, or to God you trust in, believing, despite your fears that things are going to work out in the end.  REJOICE, because this song and this album is truly special. This is true poetry in music. “


How will I drink from that stream?
How will my heart sing your praise?
How will I lay down in green grass fields
When my soul is so afraid to




One response to “ALBUM – Mineral – EndSerenading

  1. Pingback: Album Review – Moving Mountains – Pneuma | brettstrobridge

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