Rather than "fall apart" TFK has gotten tougher
Posted July 16, 2008
“The music industry is a crazy place; you have people working at musical labels who don’t know if they will have a job tomorrow” states lead singer and songwriter Trevor McNevan about how the future of artists these days are uncertain. Somehow it’s hard to picture that about Thousand Foot Krutch. After three rock albums, two of which have been very popular, TFK has certainly climbed to a place above most Christian rock artists. But if they were in a state of emergency and each album they put out had to be good enough to keep them above water, they can stop worrying about their latest The Flame in all of Us.
Previous albums have seen Thousand Foot Krutch bang on their drums and guitars almost the entire CD, but The Flame in all of Us does some of that but they add more ballads to allow their music to become more melodic. No better example is there than the title track where the opening absolutely rock, but towards the second half the song turns into inspirational and emotionally charged rock in a way we have never seen before by this band. Also a change is the amount of ballads, usually there is one per CD, but The Flame in all of Us contains a few. The light “wish you well” is made up of an acoustic guitar, a violin, and McNevan’s voice; the result is a great ballad which is bursting with emotion. Of course no Thousand Foot Krutch album is complete without the strong rock tracks. The fan favorite “falls apart” which starts heavy with a good intro and continues to be a solid rock song with a good beat. “New drug” is a hard tune with an annoying verse and a solid refrain, and “the safest place” is a hard rock tune with a bridge which includes an overload of unnecessary yelling.
Another ingredient that is added in the album is the hint of the punk music, as it appears that McNevans other band, FM Static, rubbed off a little on this release. The single “what do we know” has a small punk influence, but the result is positive with a great tune despite a repetitive chorus and an odd placed children’s choir. The final song on the album, aptly named “last song”, has some of the FM Static feel along with its clever light rock frame. The bridge on “learn to breathe” really strengthens an already good medium rock song and although “favorite disease” sounds odd the music progresses through the song. “My home” is closer to a soft rock song, but for TFK it qualifies as a ballad, and a solid one at that. The rock song “broken wing” suffers from Trevor’s high voice at the beginning and it’s ever changing tunes where sometimes it’s good and other times bad; it is possible that the erratic music of the song reflects the lyrics. The hardest song on the album is “inhuman” which in the midst of the yelling and loud music manages to find a good flow.
The band that brought you the confusing, and almost indecipherable, hits “phenomenon” and “art of breaking” are back but with this time it seems that McNevan’s lyrics are more accessible. While talking about the albums messages McNevan said: ‘I feel that what we do in it's form and fashion, is every bit as much worship as a Chris Tomlin, or a Matt Redman’. Which is, of course, why he doesn’t use a metaphor about a strong tower or a consuming fire for God but a drug (“new drug”). Thousand Foot Krutch also uses the metaphor “favorite disease” when talking about God as the song says ‘Show me, teach me, the way to heaven, 'cause no other way can’ but also’ I Love the way you kill me’. “Home” makes more sense as a worship song (‘You are my home, you are my shelter ...when all my hope is gone’) and “inhuman” contemplates God’s holiness (‘I'm alive, because You touched me, take away the things that crush me,/No one else can save me like You do, You're in human,’).
Back to back songs talk about addiction (“broken wing”, and “safest place”), the former is about a man and a woman struggling with a drug/alcohol addiction; it’s depressing but it ends in hope (‘You can heal in time, if you try,/It'll be okay, you can walk away,’). The title track talks about the thing (the flame) that keeps us alive and running but the cause is not mentioned directly. “Falls apart” is about the consequences when we go our own way instead of God’s (‘Falls apart, every thing around me/Falls apart, when I walk away from you’). Inspired by the events of tragedies (Katrina, Virginia Tech, and 9/11) “what do we know” contemplates our inability to control things and it hints toward the need for God. The “last song” isn’t anything but an extra cut ‘remember when, we first became a band/We'd set up in the bedroom, practice all night long…, this is the last song.../so everybody sing along’; and “my own enemy” isn’t lyrically spectacular.
Quick history lesson: Stet it off; a group of pop/rock/punk songs that didn’t go together and weren’t very impressive lyrically. Phenomenon: a hard rocking CD with plenty of good tracks. Art of Braking: a repetitive rock album musically and a confusing album lyrically. Now here is The Flame in all of Us, a rock CD which has more ballads than their last two combined, with some punk sprinkled in. Some Fans may not appreciate Thousand Foot Krutch’s latest because every song isn’t rock, but this album might attract new fans as well. With the Flame in all of Us being TFK’s most artistic album to date Trevor McNevan and the band won’t have to worry being out of work.
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