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AWOL But Not Missing
Posted June 09, 2018
By JakeFrederick_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need to Know:
It's easy to talk about Kevin Max as a part of dcTalk or Audio Adrenaline. However, he has not so quietly been making a name for himself as a solo artist. Since departing as the Audio Adrenaline frontman in 2014, he has released a new album each year, and 2018 is no different. After releasing Serve Somebody just days before last year's Jesus Freak Cruise, Kevin comes back this year with AWOL

What it Sounds Like:
Kevin Max continues to defy expectations. On my first listen, I hit the play button expecting a solid rock album. What I got in return was a taste of the classics. I couldn't help but draw parallels to bands from the 80's like a-ha, UB-40 and Duran Duran.

With each listen, however, the uniqueness of this album becomes clear. Built on the foundation of strong and melodic bass lines, each track adds its own flavor, ranging from New Wave to Indie to Rock. Kevin's unmistakable vocals shine through as he delivers the poetic lyrics that only he can bring.

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:
In the song "Brand New Hit," Kevin sings "I am between two worlds, all the people from my past just want it to last. I am between two worlds, all the people from my future want a brand new hit", which I believe highlights the struggle between defining himself as a solo artist and the reinvigorated passion of dcTalk fans.

In the song "Half of the Better One," Kevin shows his romantic side as he sings "it's simple and it's sweet, you knock me off my feet for all eternity" and "when they say that two become one, I can safely say I am only half of the better one".  

Best Song on the Record:
It's hard to pick the best song, but I'm most partial to the title track, "AWOL." This is the song that I think would be the best to see live.

For Fans Of:
a-ha, Duran Duran

Final Word:
Kevin gives us plenty to be excited about. Along with the new album, he has several shows listed for this summer, and I would anticipate more dates to be announced as the year progresses. In early May, dcTalk announced a second Jesus Freak Cruise in 2019. As reported in the JFC Alumni Facebook group, Kevin messaged in one of his Facebook groups: "Yes, this is indeed happening for 2019… however, as the rock&roll element in dcTalk, I will say that there is more to this intermission being over than just boat rides….. HOLD FAST!"

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