The Very Most, Idaho Outdoor Assn. Hall, April 26 

Jeremy Jensen, vocalist and guitarist of local band The Very Most, echoes many musicians in regard to the value of a CD as a whole. He said when people listen to just one track of an album (say via Myspace or iTunes) they often miss out on several elements of the CD. The cover design of The Very Most's latest release, Congratulations Forever, is by young artist Julia Green, but the metaphysical design—the explorations of religion and interpersonal relationships—is all Jensen's.

The 31-year-old Jensen (his brother Elijah is a BW contributor) worked on Congratulations for almost three years. It took about 25 musicians as well as Jensen's band mates—bassist/vocalist Von House and drummer/vocalist Allen Ellis—to bring it to fruition. Congratulations is a poppy, up-tempo CD that reflects Jensen's influences both musically ("Profoundly Imperfect" evokes early REM) and thematically. The bells and bouncy drumbeats of the title track serve as the backdrop for lyrics in which Jensen tells listeners that upon arrival in heaven, they're guaranteed a "congratulations." Jensen is a religious person, but doesn't want The Very Most designated as Christian rock.

"Too many Christian rock bands are just carbon copies of bands they like. 'Oh, we're the Christian rock version of Death Cab for Cutie," Jensen said. He looks more to (and, if the CD is any indication, emulates) artists like Sufjan Stevens to offer up a sincere take on religious themes in popular music.

April 26, CD release party with guests, 6:30 p.m., $5, 3401 Brazil St.; April 23, opening for The Invasion, 7:30 p.m., $5. The Big Easy, 416 S. 9th St., 208-367-1212.

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