AN NRT WAYBACK EDITORIAL
Audio Adrenaline's 'Bloom' Turns 25
NRT's J.J. Francesco looks back at the band's gold-certified album as it turns 25
 


AN NRT WAYBACK EDITORIAL, Audio Adrenaline's 'Bloom' Turns 25
Posted: March 04, 2021 | By: NRTeamAdmin
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Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Audio Adrenaline, sometimes referred to as Audio A, was a consistent presence in Christian rock. With a penchant for writing both songs that appealed to contemporary and rock fans, the band became quite a success story. Their 1996 album, Bloomhelped cement the band's legacy in the Christian music industry.

Some say Bloom is an album often overlooked. But, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it gold. Bloom turns 25 this year. So, I'm going to look back at a career-defining album for one of Christian music's most beloved bands.

Audio Blooms

Audio Adrenaline's album, Don't Censor Me, set the band's rise to stardom. And, Bloom, the follow-up album, didn't disappoint, Bloom became the band's (to date) only gold-certified album, featuring the hit song,  "Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus." I grew up listening to the song. For me, it was one of the first songs I heard that so catchily portrayed humility, acknowledging that worldly success can never measure up to what Jesus did. 

 

Melodic, Rocking Heavyweights

"Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus," the album's defining hit, had a funky groove. So, it's easy to forget how the sounds on the album vary. "Secret" is an absolute gem of '90s grunge-infused rock. "I'm Not The King" is a solid rock song for headbangers. 

"Walk on Water," another classic Audio A song, built on the success of "Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus." It became a number one hit on Christian Hit Radio. The mid-tempo song "Good People" tackled a rarely touched-on theme of challenging those who grew up in the Bible Belt to see those who may have come from different backgrounds as good people, too. 

 

Good People

In the coming years, the success of Audio Adrenaline would open up doors outside of music. Founding members Mark Stuart and Will McGinnis would start the Hands and Feet Project, which does missionary work in Haiti, serving as a children's village where the children of that country can receive both physical and spiritual care.

The Know Hope Collective, a worship project started in the embers of Audio Adrenaline's run as a band, offered a changing roster of artists and served as a platform to share unique experiences and testimonies.

These projects and the good that they would do may have been a few years out from the release of Bloom. That said, the success brought about by Bloom arguably propelled the career of Audio Adrenaline forward and brought them to the place where they would be able to launch these additional efforts.

As this album turns 25, it's a great time to take a look back at a landmark album in a band's history and in Christian music history. Even if, no matter their success in subsequent years, the band was right in that nobody ever became as big as Jesus. 
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J.J. Francesco is a longtime contributor to the NRT Staff. He's published the novel 'Because of Austin' and regularly seeks new ways to engage faith, life, and community.

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