FM Static (composed of Thousand Foot Krutch singer Trevor McNevan, and drummer Steve Augustine) returns with Dear Diary, a concept album where every lyric is the innermost thought of a soul- searching teenager.
“This is the first concept album I’ve worked on, and it was a ton of fun,” says McNevan. “It felt theatrical from the start. I imagined this high school boy, new in town, writing through life’s big questions about faith and fitting in as he grows up toward college. He’s also falling in love for the first time with a girl from across the street and dealing with how crazy that can be. It’s been a while since I was in high school, but I’m still enthralled with all of those politics.”
No doubt FM Static listeners—by and large a student audience—will also be enthralled with the spot-on relatable happenings and character confessions of Dear Diary, a project whose special story can only be unlocked as it happens, from song one to song ten.
Although Dear Diary is a work of fiction, Trevor McNevan says, “the songs reflect thoughts me and my friends all had growing up. And there’s a lot of me in the more serious songs toward the end.” What listeners can ultimately expect is a rocking, melodically-charged coming-of-age story that somehow combines the creative vibe of independent films like Juno and Napoleon Dynamite, a dash of High School Musical charm, and the altogether rare element of uncensored faith.
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Boy Moves To A New Town With Optimistic Outlook
The Unavoidable Battle Of Feeling On The Outside
FM Static [Dear Diary]| Posted March 24, 2009 [MAIN REVIEW]
What’s the difference between FM Static and Thousand Foot Krutch? Singer-songwriter Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine lead both bands, but the former is a side project to the latter. More than anything, having two names makes it easier to take some fun creative chances. Like pursuing the idea for a concept album where every lyric is the innermost thought of a soul-searching teenager. When that spark of inspiration entered Trevor’s head last year while TFK was on tour with Skillet, he knew Dear Diary was a perfect job for FM Static. This album is totally creative and so incredibly catchy, it reminded me of some of the best punk rock impact albums of the past 15 years, including Weezer’s “Blue Album”, Relient K’s “Mmhmm” and Plain White T’s “All That We Needed”. The album caught me off guard as I have “What Are You Waiting For?” and “Critically Ashamed” and consider them more guilty pleasure type punk rock albums, similar to Relient K’s first three albums leading to the critically acclaimed “Mmhmm”.
The first song “Boy Moves to a New Town with Optimistic Outlook” introduces the never-named star who hopes to find something or someone worth living for. Over a punk tempo and pop melody he wonders: “What will we leave behind but the pages of our life? “ I can’t stop listening to this song and it has the most catchy bridge and chorus I’ve heard in this genre in many years. The next song “The Unavoidable Battle of Feeling on the Outside” drills into the psyche with a simple guitar riff and his simple social truth: “I’m not an idiot, but I feel like one a lot.” You have to listen to the whole album in sequence and I recommend having the lyrics handy as you’ll most likely find yourself singing along at the top of your lungs as you follow along with this very hook-filled album, one of my top albums of 2009. Some other highlights for me are “The Voyage of Beliefs”, which is an amazing duet between McNevan and Superchick’s Tricia Brock where the characters both step up in faith, proclaiming a belief in God that is their own, not just the one their families have handed down. Also, Dear Diary’s first single, “Take Me As I Am” is another highlight.
Although this is a surefire hit for the younger audience, I highly recommend Dear Diary for all fans of the punk rock genre, like myself. Trevor’s songwriting and singing is top notch and for me, this is my new “Blue Album” by Weezer, which was the soundtrack album of my twenties when I wasn’t saved. I love that Christian themed punk rock can sound this amazing!
New Outlook. New Life| Posted April 29, 2009
Over the past ten years Thousand Foot Krutch has been among the most popular, and successful, rock groups in Christian music. Channeling similar success to a side project is not easy but Thousand Foot Krutch band mates Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine have turned ite an achievement with its first entthe third FM static installment moving into the top 25 download albums on Itunes and being labeled "Rockers on the Rise" by Billboard. What is the secret to Dear Diary’s success? It could be that FM Static has mixed the right chemistry.
The plot of the album isn’t that impressive, but then again how many other CD’s do you own actually contain a story line? Based off a fictional story from McNevan’s brain we find the main character entering a new town with a surprisingly optimistic outlook on his supposedly final year of high school. Predictably, he hits it off with a rocket-moving Christian girl (who sounds remarkably like Tricia Brock of Superchic[k]) at his school. As things start to look even more optimistic, tragedy things arise in the from Brock’s character’s family, and our hero starts to doubt if God loves him. Naturally there is this big musical number at senior dance ending the musical on a less satisfying note but, overall the cliché concept album does take its stab into the dark on complex issues that FM Static previously never dared to explore on previous shallow efforts.
Instead of sticking with fast paced punk tunes, FM static explores the genre in a verity of ways without lowering the catchy quotient that is essential to such albums. The opener “boy moves to town with optimistic outlook” isn’t driven by blaring guitars but rather by charm generated from the ordinary guitar intro driving the infectious and smooth tune. The hardest tune on Dear Diary is the aggressive rock track “Boy Meets Girl (And Vice Versa)” which does use some big riffs which is a little out of place but it does match the moment in the concept. The first six tracks are upbeat and all contain catchy beats and in the case of "Man Whatcha Doin'?" the music is brilliant. Highlighting the first bundle of songs is the incredibly fun upbeat “The Voyager Of Beliefs” which sports Brock’s vocals which, along with McNevan, moves along quickly and outstandingly.
One problem with the album is the song structure. The first several songs represent nearly flawless punk tracks but after “The Voyage Of Beliefs” the CD goes down a quieter and solemn path. The lone exception is the “The Shindig (Off To College)” which is a disappointing punk rock/dance beat that falls short of being an eye-pooping finale. Both good ballads, “Her Father’s Song” and “Dear God”, have light hints of punk/pop but neither is emotional enough to be memorable epics. However “Take Me As I am” is an artist song which progresses musically, and succeeds at catching the listener’s attention without the use of a fast-paced beat.
What really separates Dear Diary from other FM static albums is the way that God is weaved through the songwriting. Instead of occasionally mentioning Christ’s name (which the album does several times) to remain a recognizable Christian artist or simply devote entire songs speaking of the Lord, Dear Diary uses everyday experiences and humor to make God relevant. For example, in the middle of a girl/guy cliché (“Boy Meets Girl (and Vice Versa)”) the song mentions that ‘Says she loves her Jesus, and she loves herself’ before adding ‘Wish I wasn’t wearin’ this shirt’. “The Voyager Of Beliefs” takes causal look at Church and the golden rule but takes a serious look for a relationship with God (‘What if I stumble? What if I fall?/When I’m on my way to You,/What if I need You? Who do I call?/How do I know I’ll get through?/Because I don’t wanna ride the fence anymore’).
One might say that the punk music isn’t cutting-edge overall but the tunes are solid and the music for each song meets the theme well. More importantly it’s a huge step for FM Static step out and take a relevant stand with their Faith and sing to ‘And if we take our time, I bet we can all find/The things in life worth living for’ and ‘I need to build my faith sometimes/But I am so comfortable in line.’ Dear Diary is a treasure and a must have for fans of the punk genre along with being one album which deserves praise.
Dear Diary, Boys Don't Write Diaries| Posted April 21, 2009
FM Static, the far better side-project of Thousand Foot Krutch has their share of catchy diversions in their relatively short existence, but the rest of the time the songs either don't sound right, or they're just plain bad. Unfortunately, this record falls back in the same pitfalls, and it doesn't exactly have it's catchy diversion either. And for supposedly being a pop/rock record, it has a few too many sappy songs, but that's mainly due to the story the album is trying to tell, since it's a concept record about high school. Of course, I only care about the music, so I don't pay attention to the lyrics. But Trevor McNevon tries, and in the process comes out with some good songs, but nothing more.
Boy Moves to a New Town with Optimistic Outlook
The Unavoidable Battle Of Feeling On The Outside
Sometimes You Can Forget Who You Are
The Voyage of Beliefs
Before giving my recommendation, let me direct you to a record called "Fast Times at Barrington High" by The Academy Is... This record was also a concept record about high school. What's the difference between the two? FM Static is from a Christian prospective, and contains much more sap. 'Barrington High' was not only a non-stop upbeat record, catchy and fun, but a five-star effort all the way and Rolling Stone went as far to say it was the 46th best record of 2008.
"Dear Diary" on the other hand is really none of these things, and it won't be making anybody's year-end best-of lists. Really, I'm a big fan of the genre, and this just doesn't cut it. In 'The Unavoidable Battle Of Feeling On The Outside' Trevor sings, "I don't care if it comes out perfect, as long as I can spit it out." This is clearly the approach they took to the record.
Awesome!| Posted September 05, 2012
When I heard this album was coming out, I preordered it without even listening to it first. I knew that I would love it and I was right! As soon as I heard the first song, I knew that buying this album was a great choice!
Solid| Posted May 04, 2011
A good solid punk rock album from FM Static. I liked many of the songs on this release and think this would be a good release for anyone who likes this style of music. I only wish the CD was a little longer.
Very good!| Posted April 21, 2011
A smooth mix of pop, rock, and punk, FM Static's Dear Diary talks on many important topics. A very solid CD all the way through. Basicly if you like Thousand Foot Kruch then you will like this and vise versa!
FM Static is awesome!| Posted April 08, 2011
LOVE this album! FM Static is the bomb. ;) I've been a huge TFK fan for a while, so refreshing to hear new stuff from FM Static, along with TFK. I like how their both different, but still sorta the same. (If that makes sence, ha.) Love the song "Boy moves to a new town with optimistic outlook". Awesome song. :) Great album! Highly recommended.
Static Evolution| Posted April 06, 2011
Dear Diary by FM Static is certainly a great album. One of my favorites of all time. Trevor McNevan has done it again. This album displays where the band has evolved to. The sound is more worked-out and overall better than the previous albums. The production is spectacular. The album is true to Static's themes of college life, girls and confusion with life. Lyrically, it is one of the most relevant albums in recent years. And, of course, Trevor stays true to the Message--giving God control of life even when it doesn't make sense. The album also contains, in true Static fassion, a silly tune about how money isn't everything. Tricia Brock of Superchic[k] is also featured in one of the songs making this a truly spectacular album.