Album Profile: "God Project"


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"God Project" is the seventh album from Sun Holes. Recording began in November 2017 and is was released in October of 2018. This is a concept album about the creation of religion.


"Awesome stuff! Very thought provoking! Great musical arrangements!"
-Patrick Cunningham, Ottawa (Sun Holes Fan)

I'll start by saying that I am generally not a fan of the “theme record”, as oftentimes, they are bloated, self-agrandizing efforts by bands/solo artists, filled with half-formed opinions and diatribes, all haphazardly tied together by the most rudimentary of “connection”.

God Project is the rare exception to that rule. With a musical agility and wryness worthy of his influences, Norm Berketa has crafted not only an extremely entertaining record, but one with fairly heady themes as well. All delivered with deceptively sweet and engaging melodies.

God Project examines the vagaries and different angles of, big “R”, religion. But Berketa but does so not in a heavy-handed fashion, but by adding his own observations and unique points of view. Filled with deftly-placed minor chord changes, sometimes adding a dramatic undertone to the words, and sometimes, somehow, adding a joy and lilt to the music., this record is, what they used to call in my day, a “listen-to-the-whole-thing-in-one-sitting”, kind of album.

To me, what was also entertaining was seeing Berketa's grasp and ease of varied musical styles. Berketa is able to juggle, morph, and evolve what may seem on the surface as disparate influences. Berketa's love of his influences never seems heavy or shopworn, but rather, organic, and enticing. “Make a joyful noise”, indeed. As always, Berketa's tracks are marked predominantly by bouncy, intricate melodies, and shades of the Beatles, XTC, Daniel Lanois, David Bowie, Sisters of Mercy, The Cars, Oingo Boingo, Cheap Trick, Midnight Oil, The Verve, Queen, and even Spoon, weave through the tracks like an earnest love-letter to not just musical influences, but to what makes those bands great at their core.

Berketa's goes almost too easily from the powerful anthemic-rock of the album opener, “Good and Evil”, to the quirky playfulness of tracks like “Chopping Block”. This is a smart record, serving not only to entertain but to actually give you something to think about. And sing along to, too boot. What more could you possibly ask for?
-Luigi Saracino., Ottawa (Lead Singer. Better Living Through Chemistry)


The first song, "Good And Evil" rehashes the age-old concept that there are two opposing forces at work in our lives, and that we have the power to choose which one we follow.

The second song, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" explores the possible thinking behind those that decided to create religion in the first place.

The third song, "Sunday School" is all about Sunday School - where it all begins for most people.

The fourth song, "The Science Of Religion" is about Scientology, which is pretty obvious if you pay attention to the lyrics. This is one of my favourites, and it is the second version of the song. The first version featured actual recordings of L. Ron Hubbard in certain parts of the song, and it reminded me of "Mister Manson" by KLAATU, in that it was creepy hearing a lunatic preaching nonsense over chaotic music. After some thought, I realized that I didn't necessarily need a lawsuit anytime soon, so I removed the recordings and added more lyrics. In the end, it sounds like I think it was meant to.

The fifth song, "Push" is about people who try to force their thoughts and beliefs on you, while refusing to listen to any other opinion. Double standard of course.

The sixth song, "Faithless" focusses on the viewpoint of someone who doesn't believe in any higher power, but rather believes in personal behaviour choices and accountability.

The seventh song, "On The Fence" tells the story of someone who is on their deathbed and is being pushed to accept a belief before they die. This song, in part, is based on a personal experience.

The eigth song, "The Battle" is more of a musical ride than anything else, and continues to explore good and evil and all the places in between.

The ninth song, "Chopping Block" is a story song about mercy and the people who don't deserve it.

The tenth song, "God Lives In America" is my personal rant on religion and violence, as they seem to go hand in hand most of the time. I am sick to death of terrorists, school shootings, the NRA, and everyone to the South that believes God blesses only America and has a plan, even if it includes mass-murdering children. Enough. As a side note, I posted this song on my Facebook Page, on May 18, 2018. This was shortly after another mass school shooting in the States.

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