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It’s easy to get nostalgic about a band you grew up with isn’t it?
For me Audio Adrenaline was one of those groups… and with their farewell tour I would have thought that was the end.
And then the resurrection… something new rises out of the ashes… the same name… but is it the same band that I remember?
Let me just be really up front with you… This album isn’t going to leave you a gasp at the new direction or the lyrical content… however it’s not going to leave you offended either. This is a ‘safe’ album designed to be the start of a great new re-brand of a great Christian brand ‘Audio Adrenaline’
And the sound… ironically this album comes out sounding more like Newsboys meets U2 with a touch of The Script thrown in for good measure and DC Talk vocals… this is not the same Audio Adrenaline sound that some might be expecting…
Almost every song is a dialed up to 10 stadium anthem pop/rock (very much like Newsboys and U2′s big numbers) and there is a definitive smell of mid 90′s rock oozing through almost every riff and melody.
This is a solid album… however to say it’s a Audio Adrenaline album is based on the heart of the band (still fighting for the under-dog) and the fact that Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss are still heavily involved in the band (Mark as cheerleader and Will is still playing bass).
The album starts of almost sounding like it’s going to break into a new version of Newsboys super song ‘Shine’ – however it soon slides into a song that’s in the same sort of vein as Audio Adrenaline’s more poppy tracks from the past like ‘Under dog’or ‘Get down’.
We’re then lead into the first single from the album ‘King’s & Queen’ a song that at the heart of it is orphans from Haiti… it’s a great single and stands out as just that.
Believer is my favourite track I would have to say… it’s a powerful track that reminds me of the things that have pushed tracks by The script to the top of the charts.
I get halfway through the album and I;m almost begging for something new… a new sound… something that isn’t just another anthem… I want peace… I want something that lets me rest… or maybe something that is going to rock my brain out of the ‘nice’ middle of the road stadium filling flood that is filling my room.
There has been much talk about the power and range of Kevin Max’s vocals… and they are world renown. However all I have heard is his amazing range and power… but I want to hear the diversity in his voice… I want to hear the growl and frailty I heard in some of his solo projects.
The end of the album takes a nice change and K-Max and the band start to take on more of a U2 vibe (think ‘No line on the Horizon’) especially on tracks like ‘Seeker’ and ‘I climb a Mountain’ and like anything that they have done on this album they have done it well… but it’s really just paint by numbers anthem pop/rock at the end of the day.
With a new line up and a new lead singer I though this was going to be the chance for Audio A. to really push the boundaries and wow a new generation of followers… instead it kind of feels like a band that is making it’s first appearance a face lift and the result is an album of 10 great songs that belong on 4 different albums… and while there is some continuity throughout the album it just seems like the band was being ‘too nice’ learning how each other works rather than being able to stand back and really critique the album as a whole.
I’ll give them a ‘A’ for effort but these guys have got a bit of as way to go to really land a great album… hopefully the next album will have them gelled more and ready to push their music boundaries more than this. This is good… it’s just not great…
I just read a carefully worded article by a clinical psychologist Meg Jay who did research on people who lived with each other before they got married… and it had some really interesting results… results that the church has been trying to tell people for years.
Now I have to point out that Meg isn’t a Christian… so don’t think it’s a Christians psychologist pushing Christian values…
Anyway Meg points out that many people who ‘try’ living together before they get married have a lower chance of staying together than those who don’t… I’ll quote from the article
“One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.”
So they’re not going in looking for a long term thing… they going in with the intention to try, and not at the intention of living together forever and ever… so they try and if it works out then they will go further and maybe get married but if it doesn’t work out it’s back to the auditioning phase…
They’re not exactly ‘settling’ for something less than they deserve… however it’s pretty close to it… They would never admit they’re settling, so they use phrases like “We’ve been through a lot” or “they’re a really good friend”…
However those who go in and sift out all the rubbish first… fight through the guys who aren’t interested in treating them like royalty… and are picky with the people they date have more of a chance at staying together because they’re not auditioning for ever and ever… they’re constantly working towards forever and ever.
Another quote from the article was this from a woman in her mid-twenty’s “I felt like I was on this multi-year, never-ending audition to be his wife,”
So why is this?
Surely trying before you buy is a good thing?
Well it’s not… and the reason it isn’t is because sex was meant to be a sign of what you are doing with your whole life… giving of yourself fully to someone… anything outside that is just consumerism, it’s “It feels good to me when I’m with him…” but sex is meant to be about a giving of yourself... it’s about vulnerability and it’s a sign that you’re giving yourself fully in ALL areas of your life.
Author and Theologian C.S. Lewis put’s it like this:
“The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union the sexual from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union.”
So what Mr Lewis is saying is it’s ALL or nothing.
It’s a really interesting article… CLICK HERE and have a read and see what you think!
I have to be honest… This album made me smile.
This was the first Third Day album in a long time, that I think Third Day ‘brought it’ for a whole album… and boy did they ‘bring it’
For me Third Day, for the last couple of albums had been a ’singles’ band… a band that released a great single, and an album filled with Third Day sounding songs that were all a clone copy of each other… however from the very start of this album it feels like Mac Powell and the gang have been given a new lease on life and have started to find new sounds.
The first track ‘Hit me Like a Bomb’ has the band singing ‘”Hear the sound of the sirens ringing/See the world of a life that’s changing
Well you hit me like a bomb” yep… these guy are starting to change too… and it sounds great… it’s melodic and it still rocks. Even the lyrics are more in your face than the band has brought for a while… “well you can drag me away kicking and screaming”…
You’ll find out pretty soon into the album that Third Day have been working at their new sound, and the big thing to come out of it was melodic non lyrical vocals… so lots of “Ohhh’s” and “Ahhh’s” but in a really cool southern way.
The album has got a much more main stream radio feel to it that other albums they have brought… and it’s a sign that Third Day is finally stepping up to the plate it seem to shy away from for a while.
The songs on this album sit somewhere between artist like Train, NEEDTOBREATHE, FUN and Matchbox 20… it’s pretty good.
It’s great to listen to an album and think… “wow that would work as a single”… and then you hear the next track and you think the same again.
Now I have to be honest… when I saw a Third Day album with another dreamy looking cover and cliche album title I thought “Here we go another Christian album with all lyric content and no music that would venture outside of the Christian world of youth groups and Christmas and Easter plays…”
or maybe I had just resigned myself to thinking that it would be given the usual PowerPoint treatment within the first six month of it’s release in many churches across the world…
Even tracks with more heart felt titles like ‘Your Love is like a River’ or ‘You Are my Everything’ have a real edge and a pop/rock sensibility without falling into the ‘Third Day sound’ rut of former albums.
The great thing about this album is right in the middle of it sits a track called ‘I need a miracle’… a collection of stories of people needing a miracle, people who found that there was a time in their life when they realised that they can’t do it all on their own… and “Need a Miracle”… no matter who they were or what they had done… it’s a great song that takes you on a journey and a nice focus for the rest of the album.
The album ends just as well as it starts… with tracks ‘For the rest of my life’ and ‘I want to believe in you’ with the latter even bringing the good old fashioned gospel backing vocals that lift the chorus to great heights.
The album finishes ironically with the most Third Day sounding song on the album with ‘Take me back’… and you realise at this point… just how good they were, and just how much better they have got for this album.
This album is proof that good bands can actually still bring out great music and not rest on their laurels… sure they can still bring out carbon copy songs album after album… but I’m sure that they psalms talk about “singing a new song” and this is exactly what Third have done for this album.
“These people come her tonight to hear some real rap… am I right everybody?” a screechy sounding voice starts off the new Playdough album ’Writer Dye: Deux or Die’…
I loved Playdough’s last release ‘Hotdoggin’ a lot, I loved the word play, the mix between the beats the musical hooks were genius… and then I heard that Playdough was going to releasing another of his ‘Writer Dye’ albums and I was a little disappointed… “Oh no has Playdough run out of ideas just when he seemed to be hitting his straps?”
The album concept didn’t sell me either… it was Playdough reimagining lyrics from iconic songs of multiple genres and molding them into entirely different songs.
I immediately had visions of Wyclef Jean or Vanilla Ice ruining a great Queen bass line or even a whole song.
There is a reason Playdough is able to live up to his moniker as “The Greatest Emcee in the World” – because he takes all sorts of music and mixes them into something that sounds totally new but strangely familiar all at the same time.
If you had heard ANY of Playdough albums before you would know that he’s got a great ear for an awesome hook… and also how to use it well… he would find hooks in the most craziest places… and for ‘Deux or Die’ it’s no different… Playdough is throwing hooks and lyrics and lines from Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Queen, Modest Mouse, Digable Planets, The Beatles, Bon Iver, The Strokes and the list just keeps going… and he does it so well that most the time you don’t even know he’s doing it!
Playdough plays with lyrics like a cat plays with a dead mouse… he’s entertained by it, he’s knocking it from all angles until he’s finally devoured it…
If you’re expecting another ‘Hotdoggin’ then you’ll be disappointed… Playdough has moved on and it’s great to be able to listen to an album from an artist who keeps it FRESH. I often found myself singing along to parts of the album on my first listen… that’s how you know an artist has a good grasp on what makes a good album.
Playdough is an interesting kettle of fish as he’s able to keep his street cred that he gained with Deepspace5 by keeping the tracks not to ‘pop’ for the mainstream but not to inaccessible .. often it’s easy for an artist like Playdough to baffle you with science and bring out a really confusing album and call it ‘art’… Playdough walks the line well…
My favourite track is ‘Beatlejuice’ where Playdough takes the lyrics from the Beatles ‘Your Mother Should Know’ song and turns it into a smooth summer track (perfect for those in the Southern Hemisphere right now) where Simon and Garfunkel’s famous lady ‘Mrs Robinson’ makes an appearance…
Another favourite is the King of Queens track, where Playdough makes Bohemian Rhapsody his chorus, which is really cool to hear it done in another way… rather than just sampled as it is, as other lazier MC’s would do.
This is a fun album… don’t take this too seriously… but listen to it to have some serious fun…
Playdough is flexing his creative muscles… he’s showing who’s got the chops when it comes to mashing good tracks and adding lyrics that enhance the track… these aren’t copies of famous tracks… these aren’t even a tribute album… this is Playdough creating new songs with well work samples and lyrical prowess.
I’m sure there used to be a time where it was easier for men and women to live separate lives… the woman used to be home cooking and cleaning (just a generalization for a purpose) and the guy would go out to work… so the separation of couples mingling was purely just for starting something romantic…
The problem is… it’s not like that anymore… guys work with and for woman… women work alongside and for men… and the work relationship has developed. From here you start to see a lot of work romance… guys sharing their feelings with a woman… women sharing their feeling with a man… and it can start to get pretty personal.
Now if you take what society says you would be in the sack faster than Usain Bolt doing the 100m sprint because isn’t that the next step in getting closer to each other?
As I have pondered in other blogs… why does it all have to be about sex?
The fact is we are mixing with each other in ALL aspects of life now… so the question still remains can men and women ‘just be friends’?
I have found the answer to be ABSOLUTELY…
However… there needs to be boundaries, and it just so happened that Paul wrote some of these in a letter to Timothy… he wrote:
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NLT)
As Christians we should be using this to create our boundaries.
Being a guy I should address what this looks like to guys first:
Guys… treat the women in your life like your own sister… or mother… it’s about respecting them it’s about caring for them, it’s about supporting them… don’t be a creep about it.
Listen to them… you’re not better than them… and here’s a headline for ya… you don’t have all the answers so don’t try and fix everything… sometimes it’s just good to listen.
Honour the woman you’re with by how you communicate and act with other woman… You can be friends… however they can’t be elevated above your wife/partner/girlfriend.
Communicate… get out of your man cave and tell them how you feel… make your intentions clear EARLY so there is no confusion…
Woman… stop dating the guy before you’ve even said “Hello” to the guy… don’t assume he wants to be more than friends until he communicates that… too many times a pretty girl makes advances on a guy, and it goes to a place where no one intended it to go.
Don’t flirt… If you’re a Christian you’re to direct people too Christ not towards you…
And lastly don’t manipulate… Don’t go out of your way to grab a guy’s attention.
Can men and women be just friends?
Can we still be mates?
Absolutely, when we treat each other as our own family, remembering it’s not about US, it’s about honouring each other.
I’ve had lots of people comment about my blog’s over the years…
are you telling me I should do this?
Or should I do that?
Here’s response to that… my story isn’t necessarily YOUR story. My journey isn’t necessarily YOUR journey. Please don’t read my blog as the answer to all your questions on life and your relationships with God and those around you.
I merely make observations on life, a lot of the time based on what I’m personally going through or thinking about at the time.
HOWEVER… if I may say this: If God has prompted you to think about what I’ve said then pray to him, read the Bible and talk to people you trust to speak into your life… but if God has placed something on your heart that just keeps prodding quietly at your heart, whatever you do, don’t let it rest until you have discovered what God wants to say to YOU.
The reason some of my stories resonance in some of your lives so well is best summed up by King Solomon… often regarded as the wisest guy who ever lived Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before… nothing is new under the sun”
You see it’s not that I’m smart or know whats happening in your life… but because there is nothing new – what I’m going through or thinking about may be what you’re going through or thinking about.
So please read my words not as Gospel but as something that may help prompt God to stir in your life… and then go to God and let him reveal things to you.
I’m just a beggar searching for gold like everyone else.
I’ve been in a creative space lately… I’ve been doing a lot of thinking… and often when I think… I blog… it’s a great way for me to put the things that I couldn’t put into a song down on paper (even if it is electronic) and just be able to go back to read later on…
I have been thinking about a phrase that I heard Andy Stanley say:
Direction – Not intention – Determines our Destination
Wow… I remember hearing that about 4 or 5 years ago and it didn’t really have an impact… however I recently just heard it again and it almost leaves me breathless…
What have I squandered due to ‘good intentions’?
Does this explain the ‘How did I end up here’ scenarios I find myself in?
If you think about it it doesn’t take long before you can think of some good intentions that were laid on the roadside… while you went down another destructive path that lead you to another ‘How did I get here moment’
Girls does this sound familiar?:
“I want to meet and marry a wonderful Christian guy, who will love me for who I am and wants to spend the rest of his life with me…”
Yet you go out with ANYONE who asks you out as long as they’re cute… and you’ve had enough drinks.
Or how about the guys:
“I want great sex once I’m married…”
But then he spends his time watching porn, or he ‘practices’ with anyone who will sleep with him…
“I want to be there to see my grandchildren grow up…”
But you don’t exercise, you don’t eat properly and you neglect your health…
I really want to know Gods will for my life… I want to have a real intimacy with him”
But every evening you watch TV, and ever morning you sleep in or read the newspaper… or more TV…
Obviously this is a very short list and I’m sure you could add your own set of intentions… however ALL of the illustrations above show how ‘intentions’ don’t make any difference if you are on the wrong track…
It’s the DIRECTION that makes or breaks were we end up…
If you want to loose weight don’t spend lunch time at KFC…
If you want to stop getting drunk ever Friday night… stop going to bars…
These things are paths and they ALL lead somewhere…
Here’s a Bible verse to end with… take it and stick it up on your wall and think about it OFTEN:
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”Proverbs 27:12 (NLT)
(Prudent often means a wise person who understands life)
It’s been said that the only people you can make fun of these days are heterosexual males without offending anyone else…
The problem is it means that in society there is this huge gap where the strong male role model once was…you can turn on almost any sitcom and the ‘dumb’ guy is the dad… heck the hamster usually has more going for it than the father…
In our communities more and more children are growing up without a male role model… and we wonder why there are young men who go off the rails… and why our young women are running to find their self-worth with other guys, who don’t love them anywhere as near as much as their Father could.
What we need to do is let dads be dads…
That’s why I really like people like Ian Grant who are fighting to give guy the tools to be Dads… to help be part of the team that helps develop young kids into young men and women… and an important part of that is our Fathers. Ian has a real passion share some fabulous resources and ideas on how we can ‘give fatherhood a better name’.
Keep an eye on Fathers Who Dare Win a website that is all about dads and their importance as a loving and affirming presence in both their daughters’ and sons’ lives.
Make sure you sign up to this site… lets start giving Fathers a Better name again!
With so many films and TV shows about Zombies and the un-dead you would think it was something new however if we are to be really honest the whole idea is quite old… in fact it could be a sign of how behind the times we really are.
The book Dracula was written in about 1897 and was based on folklore that had already been around.
But even before that there were glimpses of the un-dead… even in The Bible
And then there is Jesus… he even adds to the Vampire myth…. Jesus says this:
But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.” – john 6:53-58 (The Message)
There are a lot of things that Jesus was referring to here… his crucifixion… how the Passover meal would take on a new meaning… that he was the bread of Life… and his words were to be digested… swallowed… but we see all this in hindsight of 2000 years don’t we???
The people of the time didn’t see this and they were confused… it even says that a lot of Jesus’ followers found it too hard to swallow and they left him… they just didn’t get it.
However they were going to find it hard to get their heads around the Zombie Jesus too.
Now I don’t mean to be disrespectful… but I think Zombies are a great analogy for Christians…
Jesus died… it’s not a myth… it’s factual and historical, and the resurrection is just as factual… thousands of people saw Jesus back among them… they all saw… they all witnessed his brutal death… and when you see someone back among you… you start to take notice.
Just like Zombies… we are un-dead… dead to our old life… and we are born again a new creation
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) -
We don’t have to our old life…it’s dead… and we are REBORN something new… and we don’t have to worry about our old life dragging us down… it’s dead.
In 1997 Audio Adrenaline released a song called ‘Some Kind of Zombie’ that said this:
I must have been confused or vain
to let this evil in my brain.
Lord did I enjoy the change
that you made inside my heart?
….here they come
they’re all up on me
but I’m dead to sin like
some kind of zombie.
And now 5 years later Family Force 5 have some back with their version of the same thought…
So here is the newly released FF5 song ‘Zombie’ from their album III.V
Click on this link… and enjoy: Family Force 5 ‘Zombie’