Audio Adrenaline is releasing their final album, Adios: The Greatest Hits. It's always a strange feeling when a band that you grew up on decides to throw in the towel and move on to other things. I vividly remember attending a youth group party at a friend's house and hearing for the first time "We're A Band" from Audio A's debut release. The mix-tape (note tape, not CD) contained other Christian artists, but the energy filled track (not their best work, mind you) stuck with me and I made my very first Christian music purchase the next day. Don't Censor Me became my second tape and traded frequent plays with Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA.
The debut album, released 13 years ago (has it been that long?), has not stood up well against the test of time. If it were not for many connections to my early discovery of Christian music, songs like "AKA Public School," "Don't Censor Me" and the ever popular "Big House" would be borderline unbearable. However, these songs bring me back to some wonderful memories and I've enjoyed going back to Don't Censor Me, many times.
When Bloom came out, I think everyone started to realize the potential of this band. The CD spawned many hits including "Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus," "I'm Not The King" and "Walk On Water" and established Audio Adrenaline as a pioneer in leading the way for Christian rockers of the future.
The next ten years were very kind to Audio A as they released five more albums containing hit after hit like "Ocean Floor," "Mighty Good Leader," "Chevette," "Some Kind Of Zombie," and my personal favorites, "Get Down," "King," "Leaving 99" and "Hands and Feet."
Audio Adrenaline never ceased to amaze on stage as well. I had the opportunity to see them a number of times. The first was at Jesus Northwest 12 years ago (which was later replaced by the Creation West music festival). I remember three things from that four day event. Falling in love with Rebecca St. James (things never worked out), being floored by PFR (they also didn't stick around to see me grow up) and sweating up a storm rocking out to Audio Adrenaline. The last time I saw them perform was last year, at Creation West. My wife and I, who are not uber-fans by any definition, were expecting an ok show from a solid group. What we got was a huge surprise as they performed one of the best sets of the event.
Audio Adrenaline, love them or hate them, have defined Christian music for a generation, much like label mates dc talk. They gave kids something different to listen to than what was dominating Christian music in those days (Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith). And they have stuck with it for 15 solid years.
With the release of Adios, comes a special edition CD/DVD that includes a third new song, a cover of Charlie Peacock's "Down in the Lowlands." Additionally, the DVD includes eight Audio Adrenaline videos, an extensive interview with the band and some of the top artists in Christian music talking about the impact of AudioA's music. Among those sharing their thoughts and some reminiscences are tobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman, Relient K, MercyMe and Pillar.
So with 15 years of ministry wrapping up this year, I'm sure there are others reading this who have similar stories about how you were introduced to the band and how they have affected your Christian music experiences. I'd love to see hundreds of comments on this post so that in a few months, we can share with the band how they have impacted our lives. Take a second and post your "Adios" to Audio A.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.