Monday, 19 September 2011

Top 5 Christian Rock Albums: #2

#2 - Revolution, YFriday

After far too long, we have reached the penultimate place on the podium. The silver medal of my Christian Rock awards is presented to another British ensemble by the name of YFriday. This album packs one heck of a punch. It's got all the noise and energy of a revolution with the bloodshed. Ken Riley (lead singer) may not be as widely recognised as Ché Guevara, but I'd dare to say that his songwriting abilities are far superior.

Ken starts off by showing his mastery of the simple-but-effective rock riff, with which Rise begins. This tune has so much buzz about it that you wonder what the four Geordie musos have been imbibing. We get the answer in the chorus: "Love, love is the drug I'm feeling. Love, love is the drug I'm dealing." Aha. I've listened to most of Yfriday's albums several times, and I reckon this one is lyrically the best. Track 2, Someone I Can Live For, sums up Christianity neatly and profoundly.

Revolution is the third song in the list, and if your roof was already raised, this one will send it into orbit. You don't need a singing voice to be able to join in for the chorus, you can just shout your head off. This song is a very loud prayer for God to change the world, or maybe I should say carry on changing the world. Either way, listening to this makes you really excited to be a part of it.

If by this point in the album you find yourself shattered, then you should probably sit the next one out. Hands Up is a song that makes me want to employ the phrase "barn-storming", even though I never use it and don't really know what it means. Hands Up is a praise anthem that would get Dr. Rowan Williams jumping out of his armchair.

Finally there's a pause for breath, as 13 (based on 1 Corinthians 13) takes to the stage. No prizes for guessing that this song is about love. I might have given you the impression that this tune is gentle, relaxing and soothing. Sorry, it's not. It's not quite as full-on as the first four, but it does get fairly heavy. And once 13 is over, the tempo goes straight back up courtesy of the exhilarating Saved the Day.

It's only at track 7 that the moment really slows down. Lift is a tender worship song, one of the kind that feature more in YFriday's other albums, but unique on this one, like a pearl surrounded by great big chunky rocks.

The next proper boulder of a song comes in the form of Start of the Summer, a testimony set to music. Music you can mosh to. And if you've got any energy left, you'll be jumping up and down to Shine2 after that.

The album winds down again right at the end with Lament. There's a great progression in the lyrics of this song; the singer describes feeling hollow and alone, until, dramatically, "night explodes in symphony" and he reaches out for God during a crescendo.

And that's it. I wonder if the plan was to leave the audience wanting more, but it seems like the band went for quality over quantity here. These 10 tracks add up to a mere 35 minutes. But these 35 minutes are well worth listening to. Everyone should buy this album.

So, there's only one post left to come. What will be number one? Any guesses?

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