I'm waiting for Wikipedia on my phone to catch up and remind me of which Grammy Award(s) these guys were nominated for. In the meantime, to the Spotify bio!
Right off the bat, a full description: "blending pop, rock, and R&B with worship." Okay, at least we know we're in the Christian categories. Still waiting on my dang phone… In the meantime, prepare for inspirational melodies by a group from Illinois who I do not remember from my CCM days at Creation.
- Nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
"Death of Me" is the first track up. And there's some kind of Electronic treatment going on, cool. Ah, okay, there's the R&B sound all in the vocals. The backing music is much more rock, even with a strummed guitar keeping rhythm with the claps as the primary beat. Gotta say, interesting concept - this metaphorical death is a coming into Christ and changing of life. Forgiveness in grace. "Living's worth dying for."
Man, I can't get over just how COOL this album songs so far, even just a little bit into it. "Make A Move" has a downright groovy feel to it, taking into account the music and the vocals. I am adoring the guitar in this one most of all. It's just an incredible facet of the song that makes it. These are the elements that make for a good Maroon 5 song.
You'd think you were hearing an Usher song when "Control" comes on. I mean, close your eyes if you're listening along and just see that guy dancing. Totally fits, right? Dudes shut off all the drama from the girl and believes there's a black and white (okay, fundamentally, have to disagree there, but we'll try and concentrate on the music).. Lots of standing up against the norm and sticking to beliefs. Okay, a very respectable position to take and no doubt hard in today's culture that preaches otherwise.
"Gravity (Pulling Heaven Down)" is a little confusing if you're not listening intently. Once I actually heard what the heck was going on, it's much more understandable. Gravity is what's bringing the idea and belief of heaven down to earth. Wait, hold everything, there's a rap break!! Sorry, that was just kind of cool. The whole song's got a powerful element to it, just sort of falling on lost ears.
In an absolutely beautiful turn, we get "Hold Me Together." You could probably take this in different ways, especially depending on your situation, but of course we know it comes back to faith for these guys. Sure, it could be a love song in a different way. It's a sweet, gentle rhythm with a most definite pop sound overall. If this were to strike the right chord, speaking from experience with other like-minded songs, this could even move someone to tears.
Title track time!! I really need something sparkly to glisten around that sentence in these reviews. Anywhos. "Black & White" is what I have concluded must be the theme of this album. Good and bad seem to be their equivalents, and there's not ifs, ands, or buts about it - their devotion is absolute. The questions are gone. Okay, gotcha. Check. Meaning understood. The song's good for explanation, not great for catchiness, and a total CCM 90's throwback. Even the breakdown sounds like it's off a computer loop folder.
"Run To Love" has a great sense about it to go with the title right from the start. This probably would legitimately make a good running song. The concept is simple enough - run to love in God when you've been beat down by the rest of this stupid world. He's always waiting. Kind of a wonderfully great notion. The verses are a little harsher in sound as they describe the background that leads to this beautifully uplifting chorus.
The next one doesn't seem like its name fits, "Hope" until maybe the chorus. Even then there's a weird element in the note that makes it sort of off for me. Generally though, I feel it and like it a bit. I think a song named like this could have had a better and different harmonic treatment, but that's just me. And maybe if nothing else, that'll inspire the desire to write a song that does live up to my own ideals in such a title.
"Love Is Here" is the final triumphant song of the album, closing things out with an attitude of goodness arriving. God's always around and there and here. The sound, if you concentrate on the accompanying instrumental elements, sounds like "Moves Like Jagger." The lyrics obviously speak of otherwise.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Makes a Move"
- "Hold Me Together"
I think the conclusion, and clever one in my own head, that I've come to is that this is the CCM world's Maroon 5. Good, so good, musically, sometimes. Sometimes, disappointing, but you accept that they can't all be winners and appreciate what you've got.