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…