The third installment of famed Christian rock band Audio Adrenaline will be releasing their new album, Sound of the Saints, on May 5, and BREATHEcast had a chance to review the album.
Consisting now of Adam Agee, Dave Stovall, Brandon Bagby, and Jack Campbell, Audio A 3.0 are ready to release the album as they have played most of these songs while on tour with the Newsboys.
The album opens up with the song "Move" and from the get go it sounds like a bumping hip-hop track with a drop in. The song is very electronic and poppy, and sure to hit mainstream audiences hard. The song is perfect for live events as it is sure to get the whole crowd singing along.
Next up is their new hit "Love Was Stronger," which builds on the good vibes of the first track bringing in a simple message, "Jesus' love was stronger." The pre-chorus has great harmonies and the chorus makes you want to jump up and down. Again, a perfect song for live crowds.
"Sound of the Saints" fits nicely into a pop-rock/worship-like pocket that seems something out of Hillsong UNITED's playbook. On the production side, the song has a huge sound and can rally voices together singing "Hallelujah Amen" in unison.
"Out of the Fire" changes up the sound and hits a high tempo with some of that signature A.A. guitar grit. This sounds a bit more like the Audio A fans are used to as the song verges on the insanely catchy punk anthems of the past. "Out of the fire pull me into the river, out of the fire only you can deliver me" is a direct call out to God's power.
"Miracles" slows things up and brings the band into more of a power pop ballad. The doubled vocals really stand out here as singer Adam Agee does some of his best vocal work. The song is self-explanatory and once again focuses on the power of God, and His ability to deliver when we need it the most.
The next song, "Rejoice," takes an even softer turn. This is a straight worship tune with powerful lyrics, "I will not fear because I believe You are here, spirit's with me even when I'm lost at sea in the darkest deep, I will rejoice because Your light leads me home." The build up toward the end of the song is pretty cool before breaking out into what sounds like a choir of voices.
"Spirit Burn" has a bit of a folky southern church vibe to it. The choir, tambourines, and slight percussion claps fill the verses nicely. The chorus comes to life with cranked guitars and some electric sounds. This track has a great presence and fullness to it that makes it one of the better songs on the album.
"Saved My Soul" is similar to "Out of the Fire" in that it fits more into the rock spectrum. The song is a lot of fun and definitely a crowd pleaser during the shows. The point of the song is Jesus saving our souls and not letting go because of that salvation.
The following is a lovely piano ballad. "So Can I" is Audio A at their most revealing. Agee carries the song well on his own before the rest of the band comes in. "I'll tear my fences down, build my bridges up, because of You I've found that grace is enough" is such a great line of lyric that allows us to understand the sovereignty of God.
Closing out the album is "World Changers," which fits into the theme of the Hands & Feet Project. It is an anthem for people to get up and look to make a difference all around them and live how Jesus said to. "We are a generation to rise up and make You known. To every tribe, every tongue, every nation, we will go." This song also fits in with the band's 1999 "Jesus Movement" song on Underdog.
All in all, this entire album is a great first step for A.A. 3.0 as they have meshed their talents well to create music that is especially relevant now. Sound of the Saints fluctuates between spurts of pop, worship, pop punk, and EDM, and is sure to get young people interested in worship and Christian music in general.
Their last release, Kings & Queens, featuring Kevin Max as lead singer was already a far departure from founding member Mark Stuart's at times raucous bunch of rockers. This album pushes that envelope even further away from the band's roots, and for some this difference may be too much to bare.
Many have wondered why the name Audio Adrenaline keeps being used with the sound and members so far gone from the original. These same concerns were expressed when Max took over as well, but many were able to move past it eventually. However, Max was a familiar face and founding member Will McGinnis was still in the band along with some involvement by Stuart. Kings & Queens was also a bit more rock and not as worship oriented as Sound of the Saints.
This is a dilemma Stuart is aware of but wants to remind music listeners that the name is simply a brand to help advance Jesus to the world. Audio A holds so much weight in just their name that whoever is manning the ship can still spread the gospel and also work alongside the organization the band started, the Hands & Feet Project.
"Hearing the old classics with the new Audio A message makes me proud to be part of a legacy that continues to focus on the Glory of Christ and the absolute joy of becoming His hands and feet" Stuart said in a press release.
In the end, the message is about God's love and the praises of His people, something Audio Adrenaline never missed the mark with no matter who the band members were.