joel geleynse
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joel geleynse

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The best kept secret in music


"Joel Geleynse: The Rebellion of Camouflage... only rarely has truth been presented in so unapologetic a fashion"

Canadian Joel Geleynse knows how to think outside the box.

His debut album, The Rebellion of Camouflage feels altogether unfamiliar, as if a lone voice has suddenly sprung up out of the monotony of the doldrums and decided to do something daringly different. His no-holds-barred songs open his soul -- messy wounds and all -- for everyone to see, with an almost painful level of vulnerability.

Yet the picture painted through his many confessions and pleas for mercy is one of a man who knows the depths of his own depravity and just how badly he needs his savior. He further challenges the listener in bold, unambiguous (and at times controversial) terms, calling out each of us on our faults and fears, our deceptiveness and our selfishness. Geleynse's lyrics skirt typical verse-chorus-verse structure in favor of something far more unrestrained. And he has an unusual love of the kinds of big words you don't often see in song lyrics.

His musical style can only be described as his own, as it's unlike anything I've ever heard. Acoustic chords are mixed with soft loops and ambient sounds to create a deeply deliberate, cerebral atmosphere. If a line doesn't rhyme, it's okay. Geleynse is more interested in expressing truth than perfection.

Joel Geleynse stands alone like a siren amid the masses, pointing the way to truth to any who will listen. I suggest we all perk up our ears.

The Rebellion of Camouflage is available to purchase from Joel Geleynse's website. - INFUZE MAGAZINE, Robin Parrish

"The Rebellion of Camouflage"

5 stars out of five

Joel Geleynse’s album The Rebellion of Camouflage will strike a chord in the heart of the musician and the intellect.  Joel writes honestly and with no apologies.  His songs deal with serious issues surrounding faith, God and a relentless, intense search for truth and reality.

Presupposition deals directly with post-modern relativism and how what we believe to be truth can conflict with someone else’s idea of the truth.  Joel ends the song by saying “Why can’t we both start at the same presupposition.” 

Rescinding My Benevolence speaks of the lies and tricks that Satan uses to lure us away from God.  Joel very plainly denies Satan’s attempts;

“so you have no right to be here
no right to hang around
Jesus blood is on this temple
so get thee nowhere to be found.”

The album has it’s lighter moments as well, Joel’s humour comes through in the tongue in cheek song Practice Your Guitar, where Joel takes a light-hearted jab at radio…

“so practice your guitar so it sounds like the latest trend that boring slow paced stuff it isn’t cool falsetto is permissible for coldplay or Enrique but you just might be happier as a dj”

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating, artists like Joel make my job very difficult!  There’s so much more depth to this album then a quick review, or a summary of highpoints will ever reveal.  As a writer and editor, I can only hope that anyone reading this who may not already be familiar with Joel’s music will be so inspired by these words that they will be compelled to run or “surf” to Joel’s site to order the album.  One of the fascinating things about Joel’s music is that it warrants many repeat listens.  On first listen I’m overwhelmed by the frankness of the first track Presupposition.  The album’s musicianship and production is top notch. Then, I notice the sheer creativity of Joel’s music.  Lyrics apart, Joel’s music could stand on its own.  A wide range of instruments, effects and styles dominate this album, each track seemingly with its own unique voice, but they still come together fluidly to form the concept of this album.  The album warrants repeated listens to grasp the intensity of the lyrics.  They point to truth and tend to cut away the unnecessary and excessive; something that I’m very grateful for.  While I’m surprised at the lack of press that Joel’s album is getting, I’m also not surprised that for some, this album is likely a hard pill to swallow.  I can imagine that Christian radio has probably rejected it for the intensity of it’s topics and casual Christianity has dismissed it in their ignorance.  I believe whole-heartedly in Joel’s ministry and calling, Joel is right where he needs to be and has only scratched the surface of his career in Christian music with his debut album The Rebellion of Camouflage.
All in all, an inspiring and refreshing alternate rock style with substance, passion and creativity.  Check out The Rebellion of Camouflage, you’ll be so glad you did!

You can check out the video for Presupposition along with up to date concert listings, news and other audio bites and video clips of Joel’s shows at his website - Christrock Magazine, Jeff McCann

"Joel Geleynse - The Rebellion of Camouflage Review"

Joel Geleynse has been and is still quite a busy man. Not only has he just released his debut album, “The Rebellion of Camouflage,” he also has worked in quite a number of different occupations in both past and present. He has been (and still is) a competing figure skater, worked as a DJ in a Christian radio station in Ottawa (Canada), has done work at Crossroads TV in Hamilton, and has served as a youth leader in a church in Guelph. And that’s just part of his busy schedule.

So with all of these projects in his portfolio, one must wonder how he’ll tackle his musical endeavors, or if he’ll even have enough time to take it as serious as he would hope. Thankfully, I think it’s safe to say that he has been able to pull it off.

With an impressive eighteen tracks (none of which are interludes, like most albums with that many tracks) and clocking in at over an hour and seventeen minutes, it’s obvious that you definitely get a good bang for your buck compared to other albums these days. But, of course, this doesn’t matter to you if you aren’t a fan of the music, or if it just isn’t done well. Which brings us to the next point…

The musical aspect of the album is different to say the least, as the album ranges from upbeat acoustic rock tracks to more laid back, quiet songs. This makes it obviously hard to narrow the album’s genre down to just one, but on the flip side it also allows it to appeal to more listeners.

Lyrically, Geleynse holds nothing back as he expresses what his on his mind, which is evident on most tracks including “Presupposition” and “Practice Your Guitar.” So needless to say, it does seem to convey what he calls his style of music and lyrics; “thinkrock.”

While I must confess that I wasn’t blown away, The Rebellion of Camouflage is still a very impressive album. The packaging and production is excellent, and the talent is very enjoyable.

Because Geleynse does stray from the ordinary a bit musically, this album may not be for everyone -- or it may just take a few spins to get used to. But either way, it still receives my mark of recommendation. - RENOWN Magazine, Josh McConnell

"Out-of-the-box tunes take skater from rink to studio"

April 27, 2004

It's not often that the debut release of a Canadian artist gets flagged on the front page of a major-city daily. But it was through sheer atheletic prowess that Kitchener's Joel Geleynse muscled his way to the top right corner of the Ottawa Citizen this past December.

Dubbed by the paper as "The Singing Figure Skater," Geleynse's The Rebellion of Camouflage CD hit the streets less than a month before he stepped onto the ice at Edmonton's Rexall Place for the 2004 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. As it turns out, Geleynse's on-ice performance didn't take him past the qualifying rounds, although his music made it through to the final stages of the competition. While the top skaters were warming up, Geleynse's album was played over the arena sound system to the 10,000 people in attendance.

The event served as a fitting scene for the 23-year-old once touted as one of the country's brightest figure skating prospects after taking the bronze medal at the 1998 novice nationals.

Leaving behind the world of high-level competition where star athletes are glorified and idolized, Geleynse sings to the Lord in Take It, "I am not the one. You are the source of attractiveness and everything I ever wanted."

Geleynse embraces a musical style he brands as "thinkrock," moving beyond mere ear candy to soul-searching, impactive songs. Penning all 18 tracks himself, the Jewel of the project is found in the opening cut. In Presupposition, Geleynse levels a poignant, well-executed attack at post-modern relativism.

All the ingredients work together to make this song a winner, beginning with a catchy, techno-pop sound accompanied by strong, insightful lyrics. But the knockout punch is delivered by the infusion of powerful sound bytes from John Patrick of the Canadian Medical and Dental Society who quickly and effectively undresses the contemporary god of tolerance.

If Christian radio in Canada proved courageous enough to play such an out-of-the box tune that mixes singing with the spoken word, the response from listeners would be considerable.

Geleynse actually did a stint as a deejay for Ottawa Christian station, CHRI, and takes a humorous, good-natured jab at radio with Practise Your Guitar, one of the marquis tracks on the disc.

To borrow from Geleynse's own lyrics, some of his "slow-paced stuff" does tend to drag, but there are enough gems on his premier recording to make it well worth the $20 purchase price.

For more information visit - Christian Week, Peter Fleck

"Inkerman figure skater releases first CD"

March 31, 2004

KITCHENER - Imagine a figure skater performing to a song that he wrote and sang. Such an occurrence is not out of reach for a former Inkerman resident. Joel Geleynse is a performer times two: a skater and a musician.

It may seem like a strange combination, but Geleynse is feeling good about both endeavors right now. He released his first CD, called The Rebellion of Camouflage, in December.

Geleynse was the 1998 national novice bronze medallist, but has struggled to make his mark in the skating world since. After a hiatus in his skating career, at which point he took a serious interest in writing and performing music, Geleynse has returned to the ice. He competed in the nationals in Edmonton in January. Though his results were not remarkable, Geleynse felt good and plans to continue skating.

The singer/songwriter and skater is one of five siblings and spent the first 18 years of his life in Inkerman. He attended Timothy Christian school from kindergarten to Grade 3 and was then home-schooled. He went to Seaway and North Dundas for high school. Geleynse has fond memories of Inkerman.

Joel Geleynse, who grew up in lnkerman, has long been a competitive figure skater. Now he's well on his way to a second career as a Christian rock musician. His first CD was released in December.

"I remember the Inkerman rink in the winter was the place to be. 1 would go there and try to do jumps before 1 knew anything about figure skating, 1 would weave in and out of the hockey players while they were mid-game," he said.

The memories and experiences Geleynse had locally make an appearance on the CD in the form of a song called One More Night in Inkerman. Geleynse wrote it in September 2002 while he was visiting his mom.

"I was visiting for a short while and had to head back to Tyndale College in Toronto, but felt so unsettled and reluctant to leave home again. The song describes what 1 think is universally experienced by everyone at some point in their lives when they know they must move on, but they feel so nostalgic for the past," he said.

Christian faith plays a large role in Geleynse's life. It is a part of everything he does and it comes through in his music, which he classifies as think-rock. "Think-rock provokes, it invites investigation, pondering, and introductions he explained. "The music engages more than just the ears, it engages the entire person - their ideals, values, and philosophies of life."

Geleynse is excited to share his faith with the world through his music and is having some success getting his tunes played on Canadian Christian radio stations and on CBC's Galaxie cable radio station. "As an artist with integrity, I am obliged to honesty and the pursuit of truth. The love I know in my heart is so amazing. and the message of God's grace, His mercy, His truth is too good to be shrouded in secrecy," he said.'

The singer is an official World Vision artist associate, which means at concerts he reminds people of the AIDS epidemic in' Africa and India, and provides immediate ways to help fight these sorts of tragedies all over the world through World Vision.

The Rebellion of Camouflage is available in stores, including Chapters, and Musicworld. You can also listen to song clips and purchase the CD on his Web site ( Geleynse has just been in Memphis, Tennessee for a band showcase on March 27. He is planning a cross Canada tour to promote the CD and hopes to tour into the U.S. in the fall. - Winchester Press, Bonnie James

"Singer skates onto new stage"

JANURY 24, 2004

The house lights dim. A single shaft of blue-green light beams onto centre stage.

Joel Geleynse steps out, squints, and cracks a nervous smile. He has stood in the spotlight more ties than he can count, but on this night it feels different.

He’s performed for bigger crowds in places farther from home, but he knows this show will, in many ways, close one chapter of his life and open another.

The last time he was in the spotlight—two weeks earlier, in an Edmonton arena—he wore skates. Now he’s in Kitchener with sneakers on his feet and an acoustic guitar hanging from his shoulder. A live microphone waits in front of his lips.

On ice, he can follow a triple Lutz with a triple toe loop, but the transition from figure skater to professional musician could be the biggest jump he’s ever had to land.

On Jan. 11, 23-year-old Geleynse walked into Edmonton’s Rexall Place—the site of the 2004 Canadian Figure Skating Championships—carrying his skates in one hand and his debut album in the other.

He hoped to play the CD for some fellow skaters and, if he was lucky, get it broadcast over the arena loudspeakers during warm-ups.

As a fledgling singer/songwriter from faraway Kitchener, the exposure couldn’t hurt, he figured.

But that’s not the only reason he brought the album along. He brought it to prove something, as much to himself as to everyone watching.

In 1998, when Geleynse was 17, he had been heralded as one of the country’s brightest rising stars in figure skating. He placed third amoung novice men at the Canadian championships.

But a series of poor performances in the years that followed destroyed his confidence.

He bombed at the Canadian championships in 2001, and failed to even qualify for competition in 1999. He was bailing out of jumps, making only single rotations instead of triples, for fear of falling.

By 20, he felt old, washed up. His esteem shattered, he quit skating entirely. The only thing that lifted him from the intense depression that followed was writing music.

He exorcised his fears and frustrations by turning them into lyrics.

“Lately, I think all of my dreams are tainted by mediocrity,” he sings plaintively in a song called So Hard To Say.

In the song Maybe, his boyish voice turns to a rasp: “Lost my concentration again, can’t focus on my mission again.”

A year had passed before he could summon the courage to lace up his skates again.

He was determined to make it to the Canadian Championships one more time, to skate for the right reasons. In the past, he had gone to the events to win – and had beaten himself up when he didn’t. This time –for the first time in years – he would skate for the sheer joy of it.

He brought his CD to the 2004 championships as a reminder that there is life beyond skating – that his value is not determined by jumps or spins. That realization was a long time coming for a farm kid who grew up twirling on a frozen backyard pond, dreaming of gold medals.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In a little town like Inkerman, just outside Ottawa, there’s not much for a kid to do but play and dream.

Geleynse was 10 when he first saw figure skating on TV, and he was mesmerized. The people on TV were leaping – practically flying – through the air, and he needed to learn how.

For a laugh, his family still watches old videos of him in sock-clad feet attempting ungainly single Lutzes around the living room.

He tried to carve toe picks into his hockey skates with a hacksaw until his mother surrendered her own figure skates.

He excelled in his lessons, landing difficult jumps within a month and winning competitions soon after that.

Around the same time, a toy guitar in a Zellers catalogue caught his eye, and he begged for months until his parents bought it for him.

When he wasn’t on a rink, he was usually sitting on the edge of his bed strumming chords, singing Home on the Range and songs from his parents’ hymn books.

When he was old enough, he attended several theological colleges around Ontario, and began to view his skating and music through the lens of his Christianity.

“God made me to skate and play music,” he says, “and there’s something inherently beautiful about doing what you were made to do.”

He settled in Kitchener to be near his coach, Lynne Pocock, who shares his religious convictions and helped him overcome self-doubt through prayer.

At the championships in Edmonton, he felt none of the fears or insecurity that had cost him previous competitions. He skated his best. But he was outshone by stars like Emanuel Sandhu and Jeffrey Buttle, and he was ousted in the qualifying rounds.

Four years ago, he would have been devastated. This time, he was simply satisfied he had skated as well as he could, and had done so without fear of failure.

As the top skaters warmed up for the final round of competition later in the event, someone played Geleynse’s album over the arena loudspeakers.

Dozens of fellow skaters and nearly 10,000 spectators hear his music.

With that, Geleynse felt he could finally leave the skating world with his confidence intact, and return to Kitchener as a musician.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Bathed in the spotlight, Geleynse can’t see the audience in the darkened King Street Theatre. But he can hear them. He can hear his friends, fellow skaters and church congregation members cheering and clapping when he finishes each song.

He can hear his mother, who drove from Inkerman through a winter storm to see the concert, singing along.

The nervousness that at first tempered his smile is quickly gone.

He spent nearly a year writing and recording songs for his album, The Rebellion of Camouflage. He poured most of his savings into the project, while living cheaply in a frigid trailer beside Highway 8.

The album will be in stores any day now, and a tour is in the works.

It’ll likely be a long time before Geleynse makes back the thousands of dollars he has put into the album. but money and fame don’t hold the same appeal they did to the inkerman farm kid who played a toy guitar and spun circles around a backyard rink.

Now he simply wants to entertain people, and fear no longer holds him back.

“There’s been a change and I can feel it,” he sings, “and I will never be the same again.”

- The Record, Colin Hunter


October 2004, "Presupposition" hit
#1 on the chart! - UCB 102.3 FM


Joel Geleynse garners two 2005 SHAI AWARD Nominations! His debut album "The Rebellion of Camouflage" has been nominated for Rock/Alternative Album of the Year, and Folk Album of the Year. - Vibe Gospel Music

"Top 20 Songs of 2005"

Joel Geleynse has been included on this year's list of artists who offered the Top 20 Songs in Canada, according to the nationwide Hot 20 Countdown.

The songs will air Canada Day weekend on station affiliates and online at - The Hot 20 Countdown


The Rebellion of Camouflage (2004)

"There's Been a Change" (current radio single)
plays on Christian and College radio across Canada and on Galaxie satellite radio.


Feeling a bit camera shy


"Geleynse's passionate music adds depth to a world saturated with 'candy-floss' entertainment. If there's ever been a time for his brand of rock, it's most certainly now."

Joel Geleynse is making powerful impact with his debut album The Rebellion of Camouflage. With two 2005 SHAI AWARD nominations and a Toronto Independent Music Award nomination under his belt, Joel is thrilled at the acceptance the album is receiving from the music community and with audiences.

"I made this album simply to record songs I'd written that really meant something to me,” he says. “It's amazing to find that they are so strongly resonating with others as well.”

Drawing from his life experiences, Joel poignantly explores the hurts, despair, and doubt that all of us sometimes face. The tension between these issues and the artist’s faith is key to the album’s theme of walking through darkness but finding hope.

A dynamic artist, Joel combines boldly emotive music and lyrics to achieve the creative thought-provoking messages and soaring melodies that make his music so compelling and memorable. In recognition of his unique artistry, Joel’s album was nominated for Rock/Alternative Album of the Year and Folk Album of the Year at the 2005 Shai Awards

With brooding, epic melodies, juxtaposed with stark acoustic guitar, Joel’s songs have quickly found a loyal audience among listeners and critics alike. The album’s first single, "There's Been A Change", has been heating up radio across North America since the disc’s release.

Jeff McCann from Christrock Magazine applauds Joel's daring plunge into the industry by saying:

"It's about time! Invigorating and refreshing. Full of creativity, passion and intensity. With The Rebellion of Camouflage, Joel Geleynse finally goes where no Canadian artist has had the nerve.”

Joel’s career has taken him many places in North America during his band's promotional stops for The Rebellion of Camouflage, one of the highlights being opening for The Elms on their 2004 Canadian tour. With each engagement, the Joel Geleynse Band's live show is quickly developing a reputation for exceeding people’s expectations—offering audiences not just an evening of high-quality entertainment, but an intense multi-sensory experience that gnaws at your heart and your soul.

During the 2005/2006 season, Joel is continuing to tour across Canada and the US. For further information regarding concerts and appearances, please contact:

Sonja Spaetzel

phone: 519.896.7927

“A lone voice has suddenly sprung up out of the monotony of the doldrums and decided to do something daringly different ... Joel Geleynse stands alone like a siren amid the masses, pointing the way to truth to any who will listen. I suggest we all perk up our ears."