Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Where Was This Album When I Was In High School?

I rarely write much besides my typical Monday Links and Bullets postings, but today I feel compelled to write about an album that I anticipated with much excitement – and haven’t been let down.

I’m not sure I’ve been this excited about an album since the River of Dreams album from Billy Joel in the 90’s.  What album?

I’m talking about “Until We Have Faces” by Red.

A bit of background:  I have listened to Red for a couple years now, intrigued by their ability to be just edgy enough so as not to turn me off.  Seriously, a bit much harder and it would be over the top for me.  It is the type of music that can be too much or too loud for a lot of folks – I even have some friends who don’t like it.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.  But, as the band claims, they try to put something on their albums for everyone.

And the latest had something very identifiable for me as I listened to it:  the power of Jesus Christ to change your identity.

Until We Have Faces never explicitly uses the name God or Jesus, but contains specific references to Scripture, the hope of Christ, and the ability to overcome spiritual warfare.  It is full of songs whose themes have taken me back to places in my life where I struggled deeply in spiritual warfare, fighting daily for my identity because of anger or just feeling generally lost.  I am vastly changed now, and it’s because of the hope these guys are singing about.  A few examples:

The lead track is called Feed the Machine.  It’s a real screamer and the hardest song on the album.  It exposes the way so many people, and I fear specifically young people, navigate daily life.  Pain, drama, brokenness.  All of these feed the machine of messages we blindly buy into.  Love the end of this song with the call to “Kill the Machine!”  Only possible through Christ!

The popular song (everywhere on Christian Radio and soon to be featured on a couple late night shows) is called Faceless. What a stinging endorsement of how hollow life can feel until we’re exposed to real relationship in Christ.  Check out this powerful lyric:  Shadows growing in my mind/ Ones I just can’t leave behind/ I’m not strong enough to pay this ransom.

Destined to be a well known Red ballad, Not Alone sends the message we ALL need to hear from time to time.  We are not alone, when it feels like everything is crashing down and wasting away.  Sung from God’s perspective, this song is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ close friendship with us when everything seems like a pile of junk.

I heard a talk a couple years ago about living life (and specifically our faith) as an album experience, not just an iTunes one track at a time experience.  From start to finish, this album weaves themes together that will speak to me for a long time.  I hope they speak to you too – if you’re up for a good rocking.

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