I can remember watching the music video for Audio Adrenaline's "Some Kind of Zombie" as a little girl. I was enthralled seeing the ballet telling the story of good and evil. I also thought it was totally sick that Audio Adrenaline was in front of that, pumping out potentially the hardest Christian song I had ever heard.
I fell in love with this song at an early age, but when I listen to it today, its value has shifted into something complex. I recently pulled up the music video on YouTube to rewatch it, and my brain realized new concepts in what lead vocalist Mark Stuart was saying.
As a kid, you're drawn to the basics within art. But when revisiting the same piece as an adult, you realize what the art really means. That's what happened with me and Some Kind of Zombie.
I went on to Bible Gateway and searched for the word "zombie" in scripture. It's true! And you know what I found out? Apparently, that word didn't exist then. Who knew, right? So I grabbed my bible and began searching the old fashioned way, reaching into the depths of my mind to recall a passage that could mirror what the band was trying to convey.
Here's what I found:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: 'Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you'" (Ephesians 5:8-14, NIV).
When you read the phrase, "Wake up, oh sleeper, rise from the dead," how can you not think of a zombie? Zombies are known as the half-living, half-dead. Is that not what we as Christians are like? We live in an in-between. We're made new by Christ, but we don't yet exist in the place that God has created for us to live in for eternity. We survive in this life of being between Earth and Heaven.
That's what I think Stuart and his bandmates are expressing. We're pushed and pulled by good and evil, drawn to the dark even though it's our desire to live in the light. Our struggle of being in between is constant, but if we look for it, we'll always find the light.
This album shocked a lot of people when it was released in 1997. Some loved it, others didn't. But to me, this is Audio Adrenaline's best work. Bloom is fantastic and will always be a masterpiece in the history of Christian rock, but Some Kind of Zombie takes the cake. Give the song (or even the whole album) a listen. See if you can find another passage of scripture that could be used to mirror the lyrics. Oh! And watch the video. It's totally rock and roll.
Jessi Ellerbe owns a small record store in Florida. She loves music more than anything in this world (except Jesus, of course). If she's not listening to music or working at her store, she's usually out record hunting, going to Disney World, spending time with her boyfriend, hanging out with family or friends, catching up on a favorite TV show, or curling up on the couch and watching a movie.
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