Posted May 02, 2011
Abandon’s sound has been described as The Killers meet Coldplay which is a great description. I would also compare them to The All-American Rejects, Maroon 5, Mute Math and Christian rock bands The Almost, Falling Up and After Edmund. They have a steady rush of uncommon creativity that has both modern flash and worshipful depth. Brothers Josh and Justin Engler had moved from their home state of Indiana to Texas while in high school, where they met Dave and Stevan Vela, cousins, at church. Gelling by jamming in the worship band, they felt a growing desire to write original music together as well. In the two years since Abandon’s Forefront Records debut Searchlights, the San Antonio-based band scored a Dove nomination, throngs of critical acclaim and tours. Amongst all the activity, the modern rockers crafted its sophomore album Control, which finds the five-some taking the next natural evolutionary musical step, while also turning inward for their greatest lyrical depth to date and writing two songs for the album with Aaron Gillespie from Underoath and The Almost.
I have loved this band since the original EP released in 2008 and can’t get enough of their sound musically, especially stand-out songs “Providence,” “Hold On” and “Be Alive In Me.” If you liked those songs, then you’ll absolutely want to pick up this album immediately which picks up literally where it left off with hit song “Hero,”and includes a new recording of that song and is jam packed with energy from the other twelve new original songs. First single “Feel It In Your Heart” is already one of my top songs of the year and has quickly jumped up the charts with the super-catchy dance-flavored rock beat, similar to “Misery” by Maroon 5, but with an uplifting message. The song is about casting aside life’s numerous distractions in favor of plugging into God’s plan, in turn, stirring up an undeniable passion to go forth with an eternal mindset. “Help” has a Mute Math feel to the song, and acknowledges that in the challenges of life, rather than complicate things, we all need to cry out to God, “I need You.” The guitar hooks actually just keep getting better with each song on this album, as “Live It Out,” has one of the best guitar licks of the year and I love the driving rock beat and positive message.
“SOS” and “Push It Away” were both written with Aaron Gillespie and both songs usher in a slightly different sound. They both have more of a punk-rock feel overall and remind me of “Monster Monster” by The Almost musically. “Your Love Goes On” seems destined to be a hit in every radio format with the vertical lyrics and relatable theme. The song speaks about God constantly pursuing His creation, even those who feel unworthy or like they’ve committed too many sins in the past to be wiped clean. A couple of the other gems on this excellent album are at the end of the album, especially “Under Fire” and “Known.” I love the electronic pulsing beat of “Under Fire” which is one of the best album tracks I’ve ever heard, and has a catchy chorus where Josh boldly proclaims, “we are under fire, but we know the Truth in our hearts, we are under fire, but we hold the Truth of who You are, and though we haven’t seen Your face, we know that we walk by faith, we are under fire but it only burns, burns our doubt away.” It really has a Brit-rock feel to the song and I can’t get enough of this great song. The last two songs, “Known” and “Hero” are all about knowing and being known by our Savior, Jesus. If you are wondering about the basis of the hope-filled messages of this great band, then get to know Jesus and experience true joy.
If you’re looking for an album to get you excited about your faith and you like Brit-rock bands U2 and Coldplay and alternative rock bands The Killers and Mute Math, don’t miss out on the best Christian alternative rock album of the year. Control by Abandon will certainly be one of my top albums of the year. The stand-out songs are “Feel It In Your Heart,” “Help,” “Live It Out,” “Your Love Goes On,” “Under Fire” and “Hero.”
Rating: 9.2 out of 10 (92%, A)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org
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