Red [Innocence & Instinct]
Posted February 08, 2009
Compare to: maybe some Linkin Park mixed with the melodic sounds of Anberlin, and some of the darkness and mystery of Savior Machine. Nice road trip music, lyrics a bit vague at times, but over-all a positive message.
Red’s newest offering, Innocence and Instinct, follows closely in the footsteps of their freshman album, End of Silence, although a bit darker, and a bit edgier. In all honesty, the lyrics come across as mostly depressing. The melodies capture angst, heart ache, and a desire to be saved, but don’t very clearly depict any type of salvation or hope. That’s not to say it’s all bad, the music is catchy and at some points definitely makes you want to scream along.
The most well known song on the album so far is the second track, “Death of me.” The music video is available on Youtube or MySpace, and shows more clearly that the fight inside the lyrics talk about is a fight within yourself. It brings to mind the phrase, “you are your own worst enemy.” The first track, “Fight Inside” is based on the same theme of “Death of me.” Both songs are about an internal struggle to do the right thing, to fight evil that we all have lurking just under the surface. In a press release, guitarist Anthony Armstrong said that “The song is really a regretful introspective moment, where you realize that your own actions have led you down a path you never wanted to take. You are the one who keeps tearing yourself down in some kind of vicious cycle that never seems to end.”
“Mystery of You” is going to get stuck in your head if you listen to it a few times, but that’s not a bad thing. One real positive about this song is that it is closer to talking about God than at any other point in the album. In the lyrics, the word “You” in this song is capitalized, intoning that the “You” they are referencing is Christ, wanting to get closer and learn more about the mystery of God. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be vague in music about God and Jesus, because if what you’re trying to say is not so blatant, you’ve got a better chance at reaching a wider audience with a message of God’s hope. Some Christians look down on this practice, thinking of it as weak or fearful Christianity. I disagree. There needs to be music out there that doesn’t put pressure on the listener to convert, but invites them to freely enjoy the album, and know that Christian music does not have to be threatening.
Coming later in the album is a cover of the song “Ordinary World,” by Duran Duran, an 80’s rock band from merry ol’ England. Turning this retro rock song into a melodic, Red flavored ballad, Red showcases a few more of their artistic talents. Although certainly a sound from another era, the song fits fairly seamlessly in with the rest of the album contents.
“Take It All Away,” is the last song on the standard edition, but for the dedicated fans, the deluxe edition includes three more songs, along with a 30 second intro in the beginning that is supposed to set a “Dante’s ‘Inferno’” tone to start out with. The bonus track titles include “Overtake You,” “Forever,” and “Nothing and Everything.”
The tone of the entire CD is very introspective, which is interesting in some ways. I’m not sure this is the kind of music I want to be devoting myself too, because the world we live in today encourages people to look within ourselves for answers. But the Bible tells us the opposite, revealing that we must die to ourselves, only truly finding who we are in a live wholly given up for Christ. Proverbs 3:5 cautions us to “lean not unto your own understanding,” and acknowledge God in everything. It seems like this album is more about self than God, but internal struggles are a part of life, and this music may give everyone something they can relate too.
Rating: 6.3 out of 10 (63%, D)
Review written by: Liz Zelinski | Review can also be found here.
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