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Anchor and Braille's Album Tension Brings Ease
Posted May 26, 2020
By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need To Know
Stephen Christian is best known for his role as the lead singer for international rock band Anberlin. He started Anchor and Braille during his time in Anberlin, as a creative outlet. And, it has continued to grow into his personal passion project, even after Anberlin stopped touring. Now, Stephen has added a fourth studio effort to his passion project's discography--an album called Tension. A press release gives an accurate description of the new album: "Intended as a reprieve from life's burdens, Tension is a true reflection of Christian's current appetite for fun." I will add that if you do not have fun listening to this album, you're probably doing something wrong. 

What It Sounds Like
Tension takes some of the best elements from previous Anchor and Braille albums and combines them together wonderfully. There are some creative electronic elements that go well with Stephen's beautiful, upper-register melodies. Each upbeat song will keep you engaged with creative hooks and captivating music. 

Spiritual Highlights
Stephen Christian is a man who is serious about his faith, as it seeps into everything he has written.Tension is no exception. Though the wording can often be interpreted as from the mouth of a significant other or close friend, the messages found in the album often find themselves as biblical truths as well. The opening track, "No Ordinary Love," sings out, "This ain't no ordinary drug/This is a different kind of love." People have unique ways of loving one another. But, God loves at an entirely different level.

"Eventful Horizons" offers a great perspective on relationships: "Can't explain it to you I just feel this way/Life just works out better when you're around." Whether it be a great friend or a closeness with God, life works out better when we know we are not alone, a truth found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Building further on the powerful force of love, "Madness" offers both an encouragement and challenge with the chorus, singing "In the madness, I'll just keep on loving you/With all I am, I'll just keep on loving you." To know that someone is willing to love you even in the hard times is precious and encouraging. We know God loves in this way, and we ought to try to as well. These are only a few of the highlights from this album that seemingly hides deep thoughts in fun beats. 

Best Song
I love "Tethered." On every line in the lyrics, there is a clear and relatable truth. We all know how it feels to have a great friend at our side to keep us at peace: "When my life feels like it's crashing/You are the still and calm and understanding/In you I live and have my peace." The song boasts one of the catchiest choruses on the album. "Tethered" fantastically combines the skillful songwriting that Christian showcases throughout Tension to offer a great, cheerful song with a relatable message.

For Fans Of
Anberlin, Matty Mullins, Ledger

Bottom Line
Stephen Christian exceeds creative expectations with Tension. He has poured his heart and soul into this album and it shines on every song. Listening to Tension draws you into an easily enjoyable atmosphere full of fun, passion, and intention that is sure to win over your hearts and ears. Tension aims to bring you to ease, while the beats and words momentarily eliminate the worry and chaos. 

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