Prime Cuts: In My Room, Like a Machine, I See Red
There ought to be warning labels affixed to Thousand Foot Krutch's (TFK) latest release "Oxygen: Inhale." With combustible titles such as "Set Me On Fire," "Light Up," "Glow" and "Oxygen," you have to be careful to keep the matches far away. Once ignited, these songs will torch up; they will become like wild uncontrollable bushfires burning with Godly passions within our lives. This album in many ways is more than just a collection of songs. Rather, they are prayers; prayers uttered for the defeated to soldier on for Christ again ("Like a Machine"), prayers that long for greater intimacy with the Savior ("In My Room") and prayers that seek God's presence when we feel lost ("I See Red"). These prayers that are so vital that they are like the oxygen we inhale every second.
"Oxygen; Inhale" is the follow up to TFK's 2012 "The End is Where We Begin," an album that propelled five massive hits. It is also the second TFK album to be released independently after their tenure with Tooth and Nail Records ended. By the generosity of fans, affectionately known as the "TFK Army," "Oxygen: Inhale" was successfully financed via the PledgeMusic campaign. Founded in Peterborough, Ontario in 1997 by lead singer Trevor McNevan, TFK is so named because the name symbolizes a point in our lives when we realize that without God we can't make it on our own. And over the years, the band hasn't belied their titular as they have given us their share of songs that are firmly anchored in a holy abandonment to Christ Jesus. Songs such as "Breathe You In," "Already Home" and "What Do We Know" not only gave them a surefooted stay on the Billboard Christian Song chart, but they speak of the depth of the band's faith.
"Like a Machine," the album opener, is going to be a conversation piece of the record. Here the best of the hair-premed days of the gaudy heavy metal rock of Stryper meets the street credible hip hop rap of Lecrae on what is a sonic ammunition when we facing the incendiary darts of the Adversary. "Untraveled Road" is going to abet lots of support for those of us at the crossroads of our lives. Compelling us to step out in faith, "Untraveled Road" may not be the advice the world offers, but it's definitely Godliness in action. Geared towards Christian pop airplay is "Set Me On Fire." It's by no means a ropey piece, but it is way too smooth and predictable that it is hardly combustible.
A rarity is the soft rock ballad "Light Up." Sounding like Jason Mraz with just his guitar backing him in the introduction, McNevan has never sounded more saccharine than on this terse but sweet love song. In an album that speaks of the urgency of trusting in Christ, "In My Room" returns the attention back to God. An intimate piece of longing for more of the Almighty, "In My Room" is a gorgeous call to worship. Despite the punchy rock embellishments of "I See Red," the song packs a mirror-like rhetoric for those of us who have had suffered addictions and anxiety before. Detailing the roller-coaster ride from abject despair to finding hope (ultimately in Jesus), this is a must-hear for those of us seeking to be whole again. It is because of songs like this, "Oxygen; Inhale" has truly become an indispensable record.
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