Delivering their most commercial record to date, Southern Hospitality marries accessible melodies alongside Disciple's signature hard-hitting rock sound. Includes the rocking title track, "321", and "Whatever Reason."
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ROLLICKING ROCK WITH A SOUTHERN SLANT| Posted October 21, 2008
Between soundtrack spots on “CSI Miami” and World Wrestling Entertainment to scoring the Dove Award for “Rock Album of the Year,” it’s been hard not to notice the waves Disciple’s been making over the two years since its last CD, Scars Remain. The Knoxville fivesome’s latest, Southern Hospitality,certainly continues in that disc’s rollicking tradition, though there are several newly treaded paths on this shred-heavy CD.
As the title suggests, the band’s been listening to plenty of blues-inspired rock ‘n’ roll, from scorchers like The Black Crowes and ZZ Top to possibly even the like-minded Christian act DecembeRadio. Though it may seem like a slightly peculiar pedigree for a group reared on strictly hard rock, the southern leanings fit right at home across a dozen incendiary tracks. The title cut provides a fitting introduction to the gang’s monstrous melodies and gritty guitar solos, which could certainly be used in the ongoing “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” video game movements.
But outside the roaring riffs inserted within other foot-stompers like “321” and “Falling Star,” there’s plenty of lyrical substance on Southern Hospitality as well. Throughout the crashing percussion of “Whatever Reason,” front man Kevin Young calls anyone who’s strayed to come home to Christ, while he screams “I once was dead/Now I’m alive” throughout the searing “Lay My Burdens.” The finale “Savior” is also a sincerely presented prayer for a non-believing friend to have their heart softened, interjecting a dose of acoustic variety into the already impressive makeover. –Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Disciple is very hospitable| Posted October 31, 2008
With hits like “After the World” and “things left unsaid” it didn’t take long for even more people to catch on to the hard rock group Disciple, and for good reason because they are one of the few bands who can successfully translate their hard rock nature in a contemporary setting. Their latest effort, Southern Hospitality, is more anticipated than Scars Remain but will it hold up the expectations.
Right away for those who only enjoyed the incredible medium rock songs like “after the world” and “things left unsaid” this album is certainly not for you. Southern Hospitality at its heart is a hard rock album so Disciples’ attempts to recapture the fire in their softer songs fall short because their new softer rock tunes lack the emotion and the intensity of the previously mentioned songs. “Whatever reason” is one of the songs representing Disciples’ softer side but it’s gritty and the song lacks the passion. Compared to the rest of the album “Savoir” is a ballad and it tries hard to become a last song epic but it also lacks charm.
But when it comes to just rocking, Disciple does not disappoint. Right from the get-go the title track has gut retching guitar riffs and aggressive vocals which border on screaming (in the bridge it no longer borders) and true to the title, it has a southern rock influence. . “Romance me” is more of a standard rock song in the fact that there is no screaming, there is no southern influence, and there are no huge out of control riffs, but the song has a cutting edge chorus to go along with a crisp bridge. “Lair” is another fast paced intense rock song with some good electric guitar actions but the whole of the album is more like songs similar to “whispers so loud” and “phoenix rising” which are more out of control hard rock songs.
The lyrics are often as intense as their music, as Disciple does not back down from their Christian background. “Right there” starts from God’s standpoint and focus’ on his love and his protection (Before you open up your eyes / Know that I’ll be there / I’m always right there / Before you walk across the fire / Know that I’ll be there / I’m always right there / Right there’) while “whispers so loud” centers around keeping God’s word around (‘The words you spoke they burn / Burn within my heart, burn within my soul / And I will carry them with me forever’).
On “savoir” the singer does what he can to help a broken girl, but he knows that the best solution is in God’s hands (You love her more than I could love her / You’ve already given more than I could offer / So I put my hope in You). Songs deal with second chances (“falling star”), putting burdens on God (“lay my burdens”), and simply making a statement of faith (“321”). Amid all the scripture in “lair” the main course is dealing with a friend who is untrustworthy and dishonest(I will forgive you / But it will take some time to forget / I will forgive you/ But it’s gonna take some time’).
One of best rock albums of 2008 would have to be Southern Hospitality because of the sheer quality that is put in every rock song. The electric guitar may fly out of control a few times but the problem is not balancing the good rock tunes with emotionally gripping ballads. That aside the lyrics are incredibly solid and help make Disciples’ new release very hospitable.
Disciple [Southern Hospitality]| Posted October 31, 2008 [MAIN REVIEW]
Sounds like: old school POD, Incubus.
“Southern Hospitality,” also the name of the first track of the album, reminds me of POD’s “I feel so Alive.” “Take my time, it doesn’t matter if the sky is gray I’m gonna *(Matthew 7:24-25) / Take my time, and live like it’s my last day (Psalm 90:12) / Oh Yeah, feel the high / Alright, I feel alive tonight / Oh yeah, rain or shine / It’s a great day to be alive (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).” There is nothing dull about Disciple. The hard rock keeps your head nodding and energy high throughout the whole album. The songs are full of meaning and spiritual inspiration.
The band put it better than I could when they say in a note after the song “Liar,” “Regarding our lyrics, we try to write songs that are passionate, genuine, and from the heart. We like to write songs about real situations that people face in everyday life. We also understand that we are role-models and we want our music to point to our faith in Jesus. With that being said, I felt it would be good to add a note on the subject of forgiveness. When I wrote this song [Liar] I was struggling with forgiveness and wrote the line, “I will forgive you, but it’s gonna take some time.” This was an honest evaluation of where my heart was at the time. But it is God’s will for us to forgive. Sometimes it is hard to do that. As followers of Christ we are called to forgive at all costs. In light of Matthew 18:21-35, it is very clear that God has forgiven all of us of a multitude of sins, and that He expects us to forgive just as He has forgiven us.”
“Liar” is an awesome song about standing up for Christ, and not being ashamed of your faith. It also speaks about how difficult forgiveness is when you’ve been hurt. It’s an honest look at the process it takes to forgive. Forgiving is not something you can do without Christ backing you up. “You tell me not to speak, but you don’t understand / That He’s ashamed of me when I’m ashamed of Him (Mark 8:38) / What good is the next level if we gain the world, but then we lose our soul (Mark 8:36)/ I’m not saying you’re a liar / It’s just that none of us believe a word you say / They say the tongue is like a fire (James 3:6) / Nothing but empty promises around your flame.”
“Whatever Reason” and “Lay my Burdens” both have a very “prodigal son” theme to the lyrics. Christ will always welcome back anyone who has gone astray, no matter how far you’ve gone or what lies in the past.
Here’s some interesting band news: according to a press release, one of the original band members of Disciple, Brad Noah has decided to step down from touring because of a long-term health issue. However, he is still involved in song writing and production, so his style is still very much a part of “Southern Hospitality.” Disciple has also added three new members: guitarist Andrew Welch, guitarist Micah Sannon, and Israel Beachy on bass.
As far as the album goes, a few of the songs sounded the same. It’s nice to have some more diversity in the music. But over-all, the message is positive, the lyrics are creative, and it is obvious these guys worked hard to put out a quality project. I say it’s definitely a go for all Disciple fans. If you’ve never had a disciple CD before, this is a good one to start with. It’s new and fresh, and really speaks to the heart.
* Please note that the scripture references in parenthesis are not actually in the lyrics. Disciple chose to include them so listeners can see where they are drawing their material from. This feature really enhances the musical experience on a spiritual level.
Disciple has truly demonstrated a deep desire to point their fans in the direction of God. Almost all the lines in their songs are followed by a Biblical reference so the audience can see where they are getting their meaning from. When a group works not only to make good music, but to bring glory to God through what they do, God will certainly bless them, and He has blessed Disciple. This group has been together for more than 15 years has now released 10 projects. I’m sure more hit albums will be on the way in the future.
Southern Hospitality| Posted October 30, 2008
Disciple have decided to tweak their sound yet again. The question is, was it for the better? Well that depends what you like best about the brand of hard rock they bring to the table. In their self-titled release (and major label debut), they had a very commercial sound with nearly no screaming and catchy vocal hooks over some heavy guitar riffs. Next up came Scars Remain, which is one of my all-time favorite albums. That one brought the screaming that has recently become the 'in' thing to do among hard rock bands along with top-notch singing and the best ballads they ever wrote (I'm looking at you 'Things Left Unsaid'). It is also their heaviest album to date with the drums and guitars assaulting your ears at every turn.
That brings us to Southern Hospitality, their 7th album overall and 3rd on a major label. As the name suggests, they've gone southern on us and in some ways it's an improvement. Their southern sound is heavier than DecembeRadio, but not as brutal as Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. And if there's anything on Scars Remain that left me wanting more, it was the limited use of guitar solos. This album is chock full of them. Pretty much every rock track has a blistering solo that makes guitar fans like myself swoon and buckle at the knees. And the best part? These solos don't feel like add-ons to fulfill some silly 'southern rock' genre title. They feel like they belong. Of course, southern rock goes beyond guitar solos. There has to be some beautiful blues chords and powerful riffs to go along with it all. From the moment you pop the CD in and the title track starts up you can tell they understand this.
Now, what would a southern rock album be without your ballads to help change the pace? Those are found here too, but I have to admit they are lacking. 'Whatever Reason' is the first one that comes up and it's just underwhelming. Lyrically, it's one of the weaker songs Kevin has written and sadly his voice just doesn't have the same power it has had in the past. Actually, his voice is one of the things that seems to be holding this album back and that's surprising. I've always thought he had an excellent voice, especially after 'Things Left Unsaid' and the whole Scars Remain album, but here his voice seems to be in the background. That's truly a shame. 'Lay My Burdens' and 'Savior' are much better ballads and you see evidence of the old 'Kevin' in there. The former of which has guitars reminiscent of my favorite ballad, 'Black' by Pearl Jam. The songs don't sound the same but I just get the same feel with the guitar in the background.
Aside from the one flub, the lyrics are once again very strong with a strong emphasis on their faith. They have notes of scriptures laced throughout the lyric book to show where they got the inspiration for a line or song. One of my favorites, 'Liars', has Kevin singing about how we have to forgive others when we've been done wrong and my favorite line has him saying 'that He's ashamed of me when I'm ashamed of Him'. Yeah, Disciple have become more of a mainstream hard rock band, but they haven't changed who they are. They still write songs about God that become huge hits and even make their way into sports and wrestling arenas. How many bands tone down the spiritual content when they go major label? Too many, unfortunately, but that's what makes Disciple stand out and I love them for it.
About the only thing dragging this album down from being a southern rock classic is a combination of lacking vocals and not enough rockin' anthems. '321' is certainly an anthemic rock song that will do well but the other heavy songs don't seem to have that sort of buildup and release when the chorus comes. All the same, Southern Hospitality seems to fit somewhere in between their self-titled release and Scars Remain in terms of quality.
Gems of this album are: 'Liars', '321', 'Whisper So Loud', 'Southern Hospitality'
Scars Remain was better| Posted November 01, 2010
This is a good album, don't get me wrong. But the band's first national album, "Scars Remain", was much better. There is however, a lot to say for this album. Their song "Savior" is unbelievable. It is a very personal song about pouring out in prayer for a friend. We have all done that for someone and it is amazing to hear a story about that from someone else.
AWESOME SAUCE!| Posted October 30, 2010
This is, in my opinion, the absolute best Disciple album that you can buy. Period. Classic Disciple meets with southern rock, and there are three guitarists to spread the awesomeness. All thing Disciple are wonderful, but this one takes the cake.
Good album| Posted October 04, 2010
This was a good album, though not as good as it's two preceding albums. I'd still like to add this album to my little collection, but it's not a priority. This album just didn't seem to have as much meaning to me.
best of disciple| Posted August 27, 2009
I was so surprised when i first heard this cd, it is so amazing.Although scars remain was great, this is so much better.My personal favorite song is on my way down, but other good ones are 321, southern hospitality, and romance me.Dont get me wrong because every song is great.
Five Star Hard Rock CD!!!| Posted August 04, 2009
When I want to totally rock out in my car this is the CD that I play. It rocks!!! These guys know how to play the guitar and drums extremely well. Then I saw them in concert in Jacksonville with Skillet and it was ashame that they could not play longer. This album simply rocks!!
Awesome| Posted July 20, 2009
I love this cd!! When I first listened to it i was so amazed at how different from Scars Remain, but at the same time awesome. This guys continue to amaze me, they are so good. I really like the whole album but my favorite song is Whisper so Loud.