In many parts of Canada and the USA, it seems like winter doesn’t want to loosen its grip. The Christian music industry has been in similar doldrums, with very few new interesting releases. Here are two new releases to knock the snow off the roof and hopefully welcome in a new springtime for the industry.
Red– Perfect Life
The moment the first track from this album, “Release the Panic,” hit my speakers, I knew I was in for a treat. The intensity of this and other similar tracks like “Damage”, alternating between a screamo growl and melodic vocals, will appeal to anyone who loves their spiritual message with an edge. The title track shows that the band can rock with smooth vocal chops equally effectively. Interesting loops makes songs like “Die for You” equally at home in the mosh pit and the dance floor. Lyrics have a positive slant but are not explicitly Christian, making this accessible to youth who may not be in sync with a more in-your-face message. The overall theme of the songs is the state of the soul without Christ. “Hold Me Now”, however, shows that the band can also write a heartfelt ballad and it is one of the stronger tracks on the album. Consider Thousand Foot krutch mixed with Family Force Five and ignited with a touch of Anberlin, and that pretty much sums up this excellent release. This is poised to be one of the top hard rock releases for 2013
Colton Dixon– A Messenger
Colton Dixon first came into the public eye by being an American Idol finalist. There was no doubt of his Christian upbringing in the choice of several explicitly Christian songs on the show. This is his first release and it is solid. The lead cut “Noise” is a great rocker, showing off Dixon’s distinctive vocals. Much of the album has lush arrangements and a clean vocal approach painted over top of a solid hard rock rhythm. A great example of this is a highlight of the album, “Love Has Come for Me”. There is some very nice piano on some of the cuts, which is Dixon’s instrument of choice. “I’ll Be the Light” and “You Are” are both great ballads with very direct spiritual lyrics. Stylistically, the album could use a bit more variation but, for a debut album, it is a tremondously promising release. I look forward to hearing more from Colton Dixon.