Happy New Year everyone! I want to thank everyone out there in the blogosphere who has read and even commented on my Music Review Tuesday’s. My first review was April 27th of this past year. I don’t think I have missed but two or three Tuesday’s since. Music is one of my loves and I totally enjoy doing these reviews. Today Music Review Tuesday falls on the very first day of the new year so it is only befitting that I review an album and band that I am brand new to. I found them purely by accident. I was looking up feedback for a future MRT in Amazon.com and saw this band in the amazon.com “people who bought this bought these also” section. This is where I found The Classic Crime. This band began in 2004 and are originally from Bellingham, Washington. They are now based out of Seattle; the maternity ward for the grunge music scene in the early nineties that birthed such bands as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. There is a distinct difference in the lyrics and music of The Classic Crime than that of their geographic predecessors. Their music is more optimistic and hopeful. I have read some interviews since finding these guys from the Pacific Northwest and the one constant is they are “very energetic on stage” and they “connect with their audience.”
The debut album from The Classic Crime is “Albatross“. The album came as a result of Matt Macdonald, the bands singer, watching a nature channel and getting fascinated by the bird. He stated in an interview “It just metaphorically embodied what we wanted for our music and for our band as a whole.” “I think the bird magnificence reflected the more hopeful songs on the record.” The album was released May 23rd, 2006 through the Christian label Tooth & Nail Records. The album begins with “The Fight” a very catchy and energetic rock song. The chorus lyrics keep repeating:
I’ll take my heart back and set the people free. I’ll leave the dead to die, and take who’s coming with me.
The last part there rings of the words of Jesus as written in Matthew 8:22 of scripture. The next track “Flight of Kings” is a more melodic song with some mature lyrics such as “Do you know this songs for you?” “My heart goes out to the hurt you feel.” A very hopeful song of compassion to the hurting people in this world. The next song touches me musically the way the light guitar strums along in the verses and then crashes in on the chorus. The song is so salvation oriented in such a subtle way with “I’m drowning but I don’t care, when you’ve got what I’ve got, who needs air.” Christ is the one who sustains us. The next track “Blisters and Coffee” reminds me of one of my favorite Christian rock bands Kutless. I wonder if the song is about writing songs. With blisters and coffee.
The album highlights are many but I will try to condense it a bit here because I would like to focus on the song with most personal impact on the album. “The Fight” just rocks my face off. “Who Needs Air” is such a song of hope. “Say the Word” tells an abbreviated version of the human condition and salvation. “Warrior Poet” rocks with some incredible lyrics. I like the lead guitar riff in “We All Look Elsewhere”, very cool fit for the song. The lyrics for “Headlights” it seems were written while traveling by car and thinking about life’s hurts and not looking back to the past. Now the song “The Coldest Heart” is such a mature song for such a young band. I personally believe it is a song about searching for forgiveness although I have not found anything to validate this. The first verse goes like this:
A couple of years and I’m a silhouette
My halo is broken now and I’m all that’s left
I hate to disappoint but it’s the way things went
I was bound to the things I did
And after what was said
Tie up these loose ends
The chorus screams:
Whoa, I’m losing hope
There’s a hole in my heart
That’s been cut out of stone
Whoa, cold comes cold goes
Could you fill this hole?
Cause I can’t do it alone
Now theologically saying you can’t do it alone flies against scripture that teaches that forgiveness can only come through Jesus Christ and Him alone. It is not a collaberative effort with Christ but He does this alone. As scripture says in 2 Corinthians 3:14:
But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.
The context of this verse is the old covenant, the law, that taught the Israelites that they could not come to God without becoming holy and pure. The sin of the people kept them separated from God. Behind a veil. That veil has been lifted for those who trust in Christ as the only redeeming power to God. I love the song above as it tells of forgiveness and redemption. We can’t do it alone. We can’t do it at all. Praise be to Christ our only redeemer.
I know this album is going to grow on me. It already has in the four or five listens so far. For the new year and this new group I give the album four and a half stars out of five. Maybe the classic crime is that I don’t give it five.
Please check out the video below for “The Fight.” It Rawks!!!