THE TIME HAS COME!!!!! The project I've been looking forward to for several months now is here! Anthem Light's debut project, "Anthem Lights" hit iTunes and national retailers today! Does it live up to my excitement?
"Anthem Lights" starts things off with "Can't Shut Up" which is currently a hit single on radio stations all over America. An anthem for young people all over, Anthem Lights boldly declares that "This is why we stand up and sing, we can't shut up! We've got everything that we need! We can't shut up! Love has come and now we are free! We can't shut up!". A fun, energy packed track, "Can't Shut Up" mixes pop and rock in a great way, and there is no question about the impact the lyrics have on listeners.
Next we have "I Wanna Know You Like That" is another strong song that encourages men to stand up and be like David, but is a message applicable to every Christian. If you haven't noticed already, there isn't a main vocalist. As I mentioned in my Anthem Lights EP review , Anthem Lights is comprised of four singers, Alan Powell, Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm, and Kyle Kupecky. Vocals are often traded throughout their songs, and it's obvious these guys are talented. Overall, "I Wanna Know You Like That" is a great pop/rock track.
One of my absolute favorites from Anthem Lights is "Circles" which follows "I Wanna Know You Like That" It slows things down some, and brings a more serious tone to the album. This song has impacted me personally, and challenged me in my Christian walk with lyrics like "Before you even know it, I'm right back at the start, Doing what I hate, And breaking my own heart, I'm going back and forth , And then forth and then back, And then round in circles" Once again the guys hit things right out of the park with their vocals and lyrics.
"Can't Get Over You" is another slow track, but the lyrics are powerful. A message of God's forgiveness, grace and love, "Can't Get Over You" doesn't bring a whole lot of new stuff musically, but as I mentioned, the lyrics are powerful. After what God has done for us, how can anyone "get over" His saving grace?
"Stranger"...yes!!!! I was dying to hear this kind of pop music again!! Anyone remember the days of TrueVibe, 90's era ZoeGirl, and Plus One? It seemed Christian music was done in that area, but Anthem Lights brings it back in this song! I don't mean the sound is dated, but rather it's a revival of GOOD pop music that has been missing from CCM for a while. Anyway, the lyrics of "Stranger" speaks of being a stranger in this world, waiting to go to our Heavenly home. "I gotta keep my eyes looking to the sky for you, the Son is on His way, and I wanna be ready, and I won't forget I'm not home til I'm with You, the Son is on His way!" reminds us of the coming of Christ. Definitely one of my favorites on this album.
"Outta My Mind" starts things off pretty neat, with a little auto tuned intro, then Caleb brings in the verse, asking God for happiness, then the chorus realizes that we need to have the mind of Christ in order to be truly happy. I love the bridge in this song, and I'm going to start telling people I'm outta my mind. :P Overall this is a good track, once gain with great lyrics and a fun pop/rock beat.
"Lifeline" has a fun pop/latino sound, and Chad Graham's voice really shines in this track. "Lifeline" speaks of Christ being our lifeline, saving us from our sin. I love the breakdown on the bridge, it definitely catches your attention, and fits the song perfectly.
The next track is "Lighthouse" which has a beautiful piano and string intro. I thought it would be a slow song, but it really isn't. "Lighthouse" has a strong beat, and the lyrics encourage us to reach the lost, saying, "It’s up to you, it’s up to me, To be the lighthouse, They should know they’re not alone, So shine so they can see the lighthouse, And find their way back home" This song is yet another example of Anthem Light's strong songwriting skills and powerful vocal ability.
"Freedom Into Slavery" was a track they recorded back when Anthem Lights was Yellow Cavalier, (more on that in my EP review) I believe it has been recorded for this release. "Freedom Into Slavery" follows the lines of "Circles" in a way, speaking of how we can turn the freedom Christ gave us into slavery because of sin. This is another favorite, the guy's vocal ability shines through, and the song is just great anyway you look at it.
Overall, I was very impressed with the debut album from Anthem Lights. In every song we get a sampling of the strong voices of Alan Powell, Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm, and Kyle Kupecky. In every song we get powerful, heartfelt lyrics that encourage and lift up each listener. Of course we get some fun pop music as well! Who says "boy bands" have to sound like the Backstreet Boys?
I would definitely recommend this album. It's suitable for all ages, all people, and all music lovers. The heart behind the album is evident. If you like pop music with a bit of rock thrown in here and there, "Anthem Lights" is for you.
By the way.....check for an interview with Anthem Lights EXCLUSIVELY on Life With Lisa, coming soon!