Archive for September, 2009

Review: Paramore, “Brand New Eyes”

Paramore, "Brand New Eyes"Two years ago, a little band called Paramore took the airwaves and teenagers’ iPods by storm with their second album, the breakout hit Riot!. After the immense success died down, they released a live record to the ever-eager fans, who of course bought it up and brought back the success even more. Now, through rough member disputes and a near break up towards the end of the tour last year, the band is ready to release their new album, Brand New Eyes. The new album is a compilation of all the arguments, fights, and hatred that was going within the band, put into 11 songs fresh off the production board. An interesting idea, and a good way to come up with material.

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Review: Oh, Sleeper “Son Of The Morning”

Oh, Sleeper "Son Of The Morning"

Hardcore act Oh, Sleeper debuted to an unhealthy amount of controversy over their first album, When I Am God. Sadly, many critics and Christian groups found the album title alone blasphemous and wouldn’t give the band a chance at anything. But if you actually sit down and listen to the lyrical content and the music, you will see the exact opposite. Oh, Sleeper proves to have some of the best metaphorical content ever seen in a Christian hardcore band, and the music is just as impressive. This summer, they released their anticipated follow-up, Son Of The Morning. The album continues a concept that was introduced with their debut. This time around, the concept of the album is explained in the history of the symbol that is on the cover. The cover boasts a pentagram, which is usually used in reference to satanic practices, but it is missing the top half of the star, which gives the idea of God having victory over Satan.

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Review: Thousand Foot Krutch, “Welcome To The Masquerade”

TFK, Welcome To The MasqueradeThousand Foot Krutch has made a decent name for themselves within the CCM industry, and also within the rock scene in general. Nearly all their albums since the ever-popular Phenomenon back in 2003 have garnered stadium and arena-size hits, and despite lead vocalist Trevor McNevan’s constant schedule, the band continues to release albums at a steady rate, and to decent acclaim. Their latest venture, Welcome To The Masquerade has been promised by the band as some of their best material ever, but does it quite live up to that claim?

With a seemingly useless introduction titled “The Invitation”, the album gives off a feel right from the beginning that we’re about to venture into something new for TFK. What results is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the rock group, but the band takes their sound to a new level. While it’s clear on many tracks that this is the same band we’ve been listening to for years, there are better melodies, more thought-provoking lyrical content, and risks taken more than usual. Production is tighter on all the heavier tracks as well, such as “E For Extinction” where Trevor harkens back to some of the fast lyrical delivery that made TFK stand out way back when. Other tracks, like catchy title track, and arena-ready “Fire It Up” are certain TFK staples, while the band doesn’t fail at bringing in slow tracks.

Songs like “Watching Over Me” explore a man reaching out to God after he’s seemingly tried everything else, and “Look Away” will remind fans of something that could have been featured on an FM Static album. Trevor’s vocals have improved even more on the TFK ballads, which make for a much better listening experience this time around. “Forward Motion” is a solid piano-driven rock track, which is a step in a new direction for the band, and it definitely works on many levels. “Outta Control” is one of the band’s heaviest tracks in a long time, and is sure to be a fan favorite. Overall, TFK has proved they can bring the rock back, especially in a time when many other bands they share the radio stations and stage with are turning to a more pop feel. Welcome To The Masquerade is the better of a few of the new Christian rock albums this fall, and is one you shouldn’t pass up.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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