sábado, 1 de septiembre de 2012

House Of Heroes - Cold Hard Want

House of Heroes is a diamond in the rough in Christian music. Often being underappreciated and overlooked, it begs the question as to why. Hopefully Cold Hard Want breaks them out of that cycle and garners the band the recognition for the musical beauty that this record is. Combining HOH nostalgia with heavier, edgier and more anthemic musical pieces, they may have set the bar higher than any of their previous records. From its first three eager, energetic pieces to its slower, introspective gems and back, House of Heroes shows its maturation as a formidable force. Tim Skipper's vocals have never sounded better in "Angels of Night" and "Suspect," and their lyrical musings in "Comfort Trap," "We Were Giants" and "I Am a Symbol" have this listener eager for what this year has to offer this much appreciative fan. gems on here.

P.O.D. - Murdered Love

After coming off of what is often referred to as one of their weakest albums, P.O.D. is back with an anticipated new record. The styles found on Murdered Love echo previous albums such as Southtown and Satellite. Lyrically, this album is one of their boldest when it comes to speaking out about their faith, with just a few "party band" tracks included. Some of the album highlights are "Murdered Love," which is an aggressive track about the Crucifixion of Jesus and "Higher," which is a rap-infused/melodic track where lead singer Sonny Sandoval sings about Heaven, and his anticipation to spend eternity with God. P.O.D. slows things down on "Beautiful", where Sandoval sings about a girl who cuts herself to relieve the pain in her life, and he's telling her (and everyone) that "Life is beautiful, share a little love with the whole wide world." And "You're beautiful to me." "On Fire" sounds similar in content and style to Thousand Foot Krutch's "I Get Wicked," and would almost fit on their new record better than P.O.D.'s. "Panic and Run" closes the album on the Christian retail version, and opens to wildlife sounds and has a "punk rock/reggae" vibe which then goes into a metalcore bridge. The bonus track found on the mainstream release, and also the most controversial track, "I Am," has several bleeped f-words laced within the song. The song itself has a redeeming message, a sinner looking for grace and rescue, but unfortunately the swearing overshadows it. While this album features some of their strongest work to date, it also has their weakest. "West Coast Rock Steady" and "Bad Boy" are among the latter. Still, Murdered Love is quite an improvement from Angels and Serpents, and if listeners will look past the controversy associated with "I Am", they'll be sure to find some gems on here.

The Classic Crime - Phoenix

After releasing four albums with Tooth & Nail records, including their last release, Vagabonds, The Classic Crime continues with a surprisingly different approach with Phoenix. This project is filled with many thoughtprovoking lyrics which involve some pretty serious subject matter like suicide, pride, acceptance, and unconditional love. One of my personal favorite lines are from the song, "Young Again" which is dealing with the issue where one regrets that they haven't had a fulfilling life: "Every thought is a blessing / Every breath that you take / Everything outside of right now is illusory / It's not real / The past, the future, they don't exist / All you have is now / Is this enough for you?" One of TCC's most memorable and emotionally driven songs to date, "The Precipice," flows so well and has such an enjoyable resonance that it's destined to become an instant favorite as it deals with one's acceptance: "Whatever the cost / whether it works out or not / I'll follow you with my heart." "Dead Rose" signals a change that takes place when we depart from our old self and enter our new life with God: "Dead rose, I don't love you anymore / We'll look back on the day / when the dead rose from the grave / No more sorry and shame / The new body and name / Nothing perfect will die / No more tears in our eyes / No more worries and trials / We'll have faith like a child's / When I come through that open door." Phoenix is a welcome collection of songs that has been in the waiting since The Silver Cord was released four years ago, and it seems that the definition for the word "phoenix" is appropriate when describing this compilation: "A person or thing that has become renewed or restored." This album is proof that good things can come from Kickstarter funds. Some enthusiasts might object to Phoenix as a more toned down record when compared to previous efforts, however, it does have several songs with an edge like "Glass Houses," "Young Again," "You and Me Both" and "Painted Dreams." Phoenix is, for the most part, a release that is unforgettable both musically and lyrically, and it should please existing fans as well as inspiring new listeners.