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Playing Games with the Shadow by Kevin Max | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Playing Games with the Shadow [edit]
by Kevin Max | Genre: Pop/Rock | Release Date: June 10, 2016
 



Track Listing
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01. Phantoms of Terra
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02. Girl with the Tiger Eyes
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03. Election
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04. William Blake
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05. Circus the Night (Human Zoo)
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06. Panic Button
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07. Muzick is Magic!
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08. Skin of Our Teeth
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Entry last edited by MarcusHathcock_NRT on 03.08.17

Christian CD Reviews
(1) Total Review(s) | Average NRTeam Rating:
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Multi-Max Excellence | Posted March 08, 2017
Look, we all know three manifestations of Kevin Max. There’s the one we got to know through dcTalk (and will get to see again soon in that regard). There’s the one who writes and performs incredible pop music as a solo artist. And finally, there’s the one who pushes the envelope musically, lyrically and creatively for people wanting something less predictable. 

With his newest project, Playing Games with the Shadow, we’re presented with a Kevin Max who flawlessly brings into the fold fans of his more conventional fare--those brought in by his work with Audio Adrenaline version 2.0 and his subsequent solo album, Broken Temples--as well as the fans who have appreciated his creative independence for the majority of the “intermission.”

While Max absolutely shines producing radio-friendly pop songs in the vein of what he did with dcTalk, Audio A-2 and the WE LOVE CHRISTIAN MUSIC AWARDS-nominated Broken Temples, there’s something that feels so much more real when Max is back in his unpredictable element.

The beauty of having a poet like Kevin Max narrating stories (in the form of albums), is that at times, the poetry is so deep and symbolic and wild that, like a genius painting at the art museum downtown, it’s up to the interpretation of the audience to decode their meanings. 

You see this particularly with the pair of especially macabre sounding, haunting songs “Phantoms of Terra” and “Circus the Night (Human Zoo),” as well as the much-welcomed ballad that closes out the record, “Skin Of Our Teeth.” 

One of my favorite lines from the record comes courtesy of “Election,” which basically spells out Kevin Max’s discomfort in traditional church world: “I’d rather hide out in bars with the misfits and ghouls / Then pretend I’ve found a home in that social club / with robotic and judgmental fools.

But don't get wigged out; between Max’s prayers to God that he hopes he’s “elected” by God on that song (shout-out to his Baptist roots, y’all!) and the direct appeal to surrender to God in the midst of turmoil via standout track “Panic Button” (originally written for the recent Pizza Ranch compilation album), there’s plenty of evidence within the lyrics that Max is still very much a Christian working out his salvation daily. 

As one of the more experimental, eccentric and artful voices in Christian music (or juuuust outside Christian music), there are plenty of tips of the hat musically and vibe-wise to David Bowie, Modern English, Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. Synths--not EDM synths, mind you, but the real deal from the ‘80s--saturate this record, accompanied by piercing guitar licks and drum machines. It’s a great tribute that manages to stay current. 

Bottom Line:
Kevin Max does what he does best with this record: express his unique perspective and raw feelings poetically and musically to a degree that we rarely see nowadays--all while maintaining a strong, though always evolving, faith in God. 

Song to Download:
“Panic Button” (Get it on iTunes here.)

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