Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Can't Have Your Cake...

...and eat it too. At least that's what They would have you believe. For the most part it is true, but that doesn't mean that people will stop trying.

I remembered this truism while recollecting the number of "Reunions" that have happened in the CCM world lately. Stryper, Petra, Miss Angie, Bleach, even Grammatrain was reported to have toyed with the idea. When an artist or band decides to come out of retirement the results are usually for the best. Usually. The rest of the story after the jump.
Which brings me to Audio Adrenaline. You got to love a band who named themselves Really Loud Sound. A.A. hung up the guitars in 2007 and have managed to avoid the "are you ever going to get back together again" talk that afflicts retired bands, especially in the case of DC Talk. They have done it by staying out of the limelight and concentrating mostly on producing the works of others.

But, when you were on top of the world as Audio A. was, retirement can be a pretty tough act. Enter the Know Hope Collective, the brainchild of Mark Stuart and Will McGinnis, the former lead vocalist and Bass Guitarist, respectively, of Audio Adrenaline. The Collective will be composed of an "ever changing group of musicians from a variety of backgrounds", the intention of which is to keep the sound fresh. That will probably happen, but from a fan perspective, freshness usually comes at the expense of a "signature" sound. We'll see how that works out in the years to come.

As to the album itself, the length is about standard, but felt a bit short. There are three Audio Adrenaline covers here Ocean Floor (from Worldwide), Good Life and Hands and Feet (both from Underdog) as well as a fourth sort of cover. That song is Build us Back, which is written by Stuart supposedly to commemorate the Haiti earthquake but it originally appeared on the Newsboys Born Again album, which hit shelves SEVEN MONTHS before KHC dropped, as such most people will say "isn't it nice they covered a Newsboys song."

For a final verdict I will say that the covers are refreshing, especially those with vocalist Julia Ross of Everlife, but on the whole, the WOW factor isn't there. It is a very good album, however, and I am awarding it 4 Emeralds. That will put it into the initial pool of eligible entries for the 2011 Platinum Vinyl Awards, and we'll see how it fares next to the other entries. I guess in the end the maxim is true, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Footnote: In an effort to showcase other opinions I would point out Christianity Today and CMZ. Both of them give a rating of 3, but I think that is somewhat along the same path. It is just that I may not recommend a 3 but leave it up to the listeners choice. A four emerald may put it into PVA contention, but if a 4.5 or 5 comes along, it most likely will get knocked out, so it is by no means a great, but simply a enjoyable album which I recommend.