Thursday, June 9, 2011

Throwback Thursday: "Contact" by The Benjamin Gate

I thought I'd highlight one of my favorite Christian Music releases this Throwback Thursday! Released in 2002, "Contact" was the second and last release from The Benjamin Gate. So can read my Throwback Thursday post dedicated to their career as a band here.

"Contact" brought a softer, contemporary rock sound which differed from their 2001 debut, "[untitled]", which had a strong electronic rock vibe. You can still hear the electronic influences in "Contact", but they've been tamed quite a bit.

"Contact" starts things off strong with "Lift Me Up", a track with driving bass and fast guitars. Adrianne's (You may know her as "Adie") voice is gorgeous on this song, and her accent lends such a unique sound! The lyrics speak of homesickness, but a passion for their ministry as well. "This Is Not" brings The Benjamin Gate's electro-rock sound back, the verse's lyrics are great, acknowledging sin and the need to be set free. The one downfall of this album is the repetitiveness of the chorus lyrics in almost every song. Usually the choruses on this album are two or three phrases repeated, which is a little disappointing, but not every song is like that.

"The Calling". My favorite song off the album, "The Calling" is a beautiful song of encouragement to a friend to answer the Calling of God on their life. Adrienne's vocals are stunning on this track! "Do What You Say" is a fun rock track dedicated to those who don't "practice what they preach".

"Overkill" ties with 'The Calling" for Adrienne's best vocal performance. Her technique is really beautiful, and her accent brings a refreshing uniqueness. "Overkill" tells us not to worry, but to trust God in all we do. "Need" is a great track, with a different beat and has some of the best lyrics on the album, but the chorus suffers from repetition. "Light" is a nice track, and I like the distorted vocals in the middle. They add an element of surprise and a heavier feel to the track.

"Your Kisses Blind Me" is a unique take on a relationship with God, but the chorus suffers slightly by weak lyrics, (3/4 of it is three lines of "na na na na na na na na") but Adrienne's lovely voice saves it. "Tonight" is unique vocally and musically, and the chorus is not repetitive! "Gratitude" is a song of thankfulness to God for His Grace and Love. Much better than most Praise & Worship music we hear lately, "Gratitude" is strong in every way, yet a fun track!

"The Way You Are" once again gives Adrienne the chance to perform more stunning vocals, however, it never seems she is showing off. The chorus once again has problems with being repetitive, but I've noticed it really doesn't bother me much when I listen to this album. I suppose it's a matter of taste. "Violently" is one of the edgier tracks, bringing a strong drum and guitar intro, with Adrienne's voice proclaiming "Gotta fight til we reach You!". Unfortunately that phrase is repeated 8 times. For that reason, it takes this track down several notches. Other than the chorus, this is a great, edgy Praise & Worship song I would recommend to Worth Dying For fans.

"Fall Away" is the closing track....or so I thought. I listened to this album several times before I found the surprise halfway through this track. "Fall Away" is strong in every way, guessed it, the CHORUS! At 2:54, "Fall Away" I did not notice there were over 3 minutes left on the track, I don't know...haha! After about 30 seconds, we are greeted with....A REMIX OF "THE CALLING"! What? Originally, "The Calling" is an acoustic based song, but the remix brings an electro-rock edge to it, and it equals, if not betters the original! It was a pleasant surprise!

"Contact" is a great album with two flaws: the repetitiveness of roughly half the album's choruses, and the lack of slow songs on the album. I personally don't think the lack of slower songs is a deal breaker for me, with "Need" and "The Calling" being the only "slower" tracks. However, for being released in 2002, "Contact" stills brings a fresh sound that I wish a few more artists would bring back. This is a must have project, and it's a real shame The Benjamin Gate broke up after such an awesome album.

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