Listen Up! January 2017

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Artist: Jimmy Eat World
Album: Integrity Blues
3/5 Stars

Jimmy Eat World formed in 1993 in Mesa, Arizona and for the past 23 years have released nine studio albums, of which Integrity Blues is the latest. Although known for their pop-punk sound, such as can be heard in “The Middle,” the title track sounds much more indie. Rather than being backed by a driving drum beat and some peppy guitar riffs, Jim Adkins’ hollow vocals, which at times are borderline folk, are juxtaposed to orchestral strings and light guitar feedback. Though slightly ambiguous, the track could be interpreted to discuss contentment. “I wish I could hold/I wish I could touch/But a fool just wants and wants” definitely seems to address materialism and an insatiable thirst for more, and the folly therein. Overall the song is well produced and performed. Even though simplistic, it’s still engaging.

Artist: Disciple
Album: Long Live the Rebels
4/5 Stars

Kevin Young and Disciple have been dedicated to the Christian Metal scene since 1992 and have spread the Gospel through their music the whole time. Rebels aptly showcases Disciple’s wide range, from their staple head-banging style in “Long Live the Rebels” to “Empty Grave,” which plays out like an old spiritual. While a bit less heavy than previous releases, fear not, there’s still a healthy amount of guitar solos and breakdowns. My favorite tracks are “Spinning” with its beautiful paradoxes and the title track, an anthem all Christians can rally around. As always, their lyrics are based largely on Scripture, and songs like “Erase” beg for an “Amen!” after each phrase. Despite several line-up changes through the years, and different approaches to most of their 11 studio albums, their obvious glorification of God remains prevalent, distinguishing them from their contemporaries.

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Caleb Trimmer