Contact by The Benjamin Gate  | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Contact [edit]
by The Benjamin Gate | Genre: Pop/Rock | Release Date: July 02, 2002
 



Track Listing
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
01. Lift Me Up
02. This Is Not
03. The Calling
04. Do What You Say
05. Overkill
06. Need
07. Light
08. Your Kisses Blind Me
09. Tonight
10. Gratitude
11. The Way You Are
12. Violently
13. Fall Away

Entry last edited by VickyBeechingFan on 08.29.07

Christian CD Reviews
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Lasting Connections | Posted July 27, 2013
It’s remarkable how the whole six degrees of separation thing works. Especially in Christian music. It was a natural progression that when I purchased my first ever Christian album, Jeremy Camp’s Stay, I’d eventually find my way to his wife, Adrienne Camp, a female vocalist with a career in her own right. 
 
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that she was once Adrienne Liesching, the lead vocalist of a female-fronted rock group known as The Benjamin Gate, composed of herself and teenage best friends Mac Pautz, Costa Balamatsias, Nick Volsteedt and Chris Poisat. After a quick internet search of the band, I was quickly intrigued by their short-lived story, and even more eager to hear the music that followed.
 
Upon being discovered through studio demos, the young band hailing from South Africa moved to the U.S. to sign with Forefront Records and record their first project, Untitled, back in 2001. The group toured like crazy to promote the first record and began to gain a cult-like following with their high energy live performances, dramatic sense of style, and signature gas mask logo that graced all of their memorabilia.
 
Following their first hit “All Over Me,” the group got to work straight away on recording their follow-up and final CD, Contact. Although a fair amount of time and money was spent on marketing, its reception was met without hype, in part due to their sudden change of style, which transitioned from a techno pop group to a mainstream alternative pop/rock sound.
 
The group toured hard again over the next two years. While on the road, Adrienne began dating then up-and-comer Jeremy Camp, and it wasn’t long before the two were engaged. You can imagine how much of a shock it was to fans when only a month after word of their impending marriage, the band amiably decided to call it quits. While Yoko-Ono syndrome struck and fingers quickly pointed to Jeremy, the reality was that the band was burned out and unhappy. Each of them felt it was time to purse different avenues of life and move on.
 
With The Benjamin Gate’s sudden demise came the overnight oversight of the two efforts they contributed to CCM. As someone who enjoys blowing the dust off of a forgotten gem, I was ecstatic to finally find a copy of their 2002 Contact album. Little did I know upon my discovery, I'd found what is now counted as one of my all-time favorite records. 
 
From the first track “Lift Me Up,” the departure from their debut album is evident. Two separate soaring guitar riffs attack the listener right away, and Adrienne’s light soprano vocals meet flawlessly with the carefree flow of the melody. 
 
This Is Not” follows, and borderlines a punk tune in its quirky rock vibe and earworm electronics. The song can be seen as an angsty break-up track, but never specifies a person and can be directly pointed to a number of things or people, making it all the more unique. 
 
Über radio-friendly “The Calling” paves the way for the most hard rock dominant song on the album, “Do What You Say,” which the band dedicated to quote “mouth flapping Christians who need to walk their talk.” A harsh message is met with an equally harsh sound, and quickly rises as the strongest cut.
 
A cover of Men At Work‘s “Overkill” graces the palate of the listener next and transforms a cheesy 80’s classic into an eerie alternative rock jewel, which channels shades of Shirley Manson in Adrienne’s creepy vocals: “I can’t get to sleep, I think about the implications of diving in too deep, and possibly the complications / Especially at night, I worry over situations that I know will be alright, it’s just overkill.
 
The first overtly Christian message on the album, “Need,” sounds more like a raw, unfiltered journal entry than a song, while the pace picks up once more with the prayerfully bubbly rocker “Light.” 
 
Your Kisses Blind Me” can be taken controversially if seen in a literal way, but can no more be confused with modern classic “How He Loves” in its relation to divine intimacy. Incredibly written, the song would fit right in with today’s current worship movement, forming a very strong moment on the album: “Beautiful You are to me, moon above the raging sea / beautiful You are to me, flame of fire inside of me.
 
Tonight” is an anthemic rally for the church to stand united and be a shining city on a hill for Christ, offering the clever line: “If this is the beginning of the end of time, how much longer have we got to sing this rhyme?
 
Gratitude” and the most dated-sounding track on the album, “The Way You Are,” offer more flawlessly moody, melodic worship, while “Violently” launches with more stellar guitar work (which you will see an abundance of throughout the entire project) and grinds out our soul’s need for a Savior.
 
The honest and alternative “Fall Away” closes the album, but does so in a way that makes it feel incomplete, almost as if there should be one more track to tie it all together. A hidden radio edit of “The Calling” on the tail end is a nice touch, but still feels as if it lacks. Then again, perhaps wanting more is the sign of a job well done. 
 
How Does It Hold Up Today?
Arguably, this album not only holds up well in the 11 years since it’s release, I’d even say it was sorely before its time. There are a few moments on the record that have a fresh-faced “new millennium” sound, but somehow, when incorporated with their mix of attitude rock and alternative electronic elements, create something spectacular you want to listen to over and over again. Lyrically, the album stands the test of time as well. In-your-face statements sprinkled with an occasional flair for dramatic worship hold up today with very solid stature. 
 
What Is The Band Up To Today?
Members of The Benjamin Gate are scattered far and wide these days, while some of the members are AWOL altogether. Mac and his family moved to England to be closer to his wife’s relatives, Costas relocated back to South Africa, and last anyone heard of Nick, he was pursuing a modeling career in Los Angeles. They’ve all remained relatively low key.
 
The female face of the band has gone on to have the most success. After marrying Jeremy Camp in 2003 and quickly starting a family, Adrienne Camp made several guest appearances singing for her husband  before reemerging from a premature retirement to release two solo albums under the name Adie in 2006 and 2010 respectively.  
 
A radical departure from the band’s sound, both albums are solely pop/worship oriented, proving to longtime listeners just how diverse her vocal abilities really are. Though she hasn’t implied a desire to make more music in the near future, Adrienne has said in past interviews that dabbling in rock music again isn’t something she’s opposed to, and given the inspiration, another rock-fueled record might happen one day.
 
Closing Thoughts:
Contact is an album glimmering with righteous relevancy by one of the most underrated acts to hit CCM. If I were ever cast away to a deserted island for the rest of my life and was only allowed to take a handful of albums with me, this is unquestionably the first one I’d reach for. That alone makes a rather clear statement.  
 
Song to Download Now:
“Do What You Say” (Get it on iTunes here.)


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One of the most underrated bands and projects in the Christian Music Industry. | Posted June 08, 2011
 Released in 2002, "Contact" was the second and last release from The Benjamin Gate. So sad....you can read my Throwback Thursday post dedicated to their career as a band here.

 

"Contact" brought a softer, contemporary rock sound which differed from their 2001 debut, "[untitled]", which had a strong electronic rock vibe. You can still hear the electronic influences in "Contact", but they've been tamed quite a bit.

 

"Contact" starts things off strong with "Lift Me Up", a track with driving bass and fast guitars. Adrianne's (You may know her as "Adie") voice is gorgeous on this song, and her accent lends such a unique sound! The lyrics speak of homesickness, but a passion for their ministry as well. "This Is Not" brings The Benjamin Gate's electro-rock sound back, the verse's lyrics are great, acknowledging sin and the need to be set free. The one downfall of this album is the repetitiveness of the chorus lyrics in almost every song. Usually the choruses on this album are two or three phrases repeated, which is a little disappointing, but not every song is like that.

 

"The Calling". My favorite song off the album, "The Calling" is a beautiful song of encouragement to a friend to answer the Calling of God on their life. Adrienne's vocals are stunning on this track! "Do What You Say" is a fun rock track dedicated to those who don't "practice what they preach". 

 

"Overkill" ties with 'The Calling" for Adrienne's best vocal performance. Her technique is really beautiful, and her accent brings a refreshing uniqueness. "Overkill" tells us not to worry, but to trust God in all we do. "Need" is a great track, with a different beat and has some of the best lyrics on the album, but the chorus suffers from repetition. "Light" is a nice track, and I like the distorted vocals in the middle. They add an element of surprise and a heavier feel to the track.

 

"Your Kisses Blind Me" is a unique take on a relationship with God, but the chorus suffers slightly by weak lyrics, (3/4 of it is three lines of "na na na na na na na na") but Adrienne's lovely voice saves it. "Tonight" is unique vocally and musically, and the chorus is not repetitive! "Gratitude" is a song of thankfulness to God for His Grace and Love. Much better than most Praise & Worship music we hear lately, "Gratitude" is strong in every way, yet a fun track!

 

"The Way You Are" once again gives Adrienne the chance to perform more stunning vocals, however, it never seems she is showing off. The chorus once again has problems with being repetitive, but I've noticed it really doesn't bother me much when I listen to this album. I suppose it's a matter of taste. "Violently" is one of the edgier tracks, bringing a strong drum and guitar intro, with Adrienne's voice proclaiming "Gotta fight til we reach You!". Unfortunately that phrase is repeated 8 times. For that reason, it takes this track down several notches. Other than the chorus, this is a great, edgy Praise & Worship song I would recommend to Worth Dying For fans. 

 

"Fall Away" is the closing track....or so I thought. I listened to this album several times before I found the surprise halfway through this track. "Fall Away" is strong in every way, except....you guessed it, the CHORUS! At 2:54, "Fall Away" ends...how I did not notice there were over 3 minutes left on the track, I don't know...haha! After about 30 seconds, we are greeted with....A REMIX OF "THE CALLING"! What? Originally, "The Calling" is an acoustic based song, but the remix brings an electro-rock edge to it, and it equals, if not betters the original! It was a pleasant surprise!

 

"Contact" is a great album with two flaws: the repetitiveness of roughly half the album's choruses, and the lack of slow songs on the album. I personally don't think the lack of slower songs is a deal breaker for me, with "Need" and "The Calling" being the only "slower" tracks. However, for being released in 2002, "Contact" stills brings a fresh sound that I wish a few more artists would bring back. This is a must have project, and it's a real shame The Benjamin Gate broke up after such an awesome album.



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=] | Posted October 21, 2007
I love this album!! Adie has such a great voice, the band is so talented, and the lyrics are meaningful. What else could you ask for? =]

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LOVE IT! | Posted September 26, 2007
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Benjamin Gate! This is a rockin', upbeat cd with catchy lyrics. My favorites are "Lift Me Up", "Light", and "Gratitude". This is the perfect cd to workout to, especially on the eliptical or the treadmill because it helps you get a nice paced rhythm going. You can get this cd really cheap online too. Although the band is no longer together, it is still a cd worth owning!

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