Control

Abandon has had an interesting two years since their debut,Searchlights. These rockers from San Antonio, Texas, have already had the kind of success and experiences that some artists only dream of knowing. Still the new kids” on the scene with this latest album Abandon has proven that this is the beginning of something great.Since their 2009 release Abandon has been all over the country performing at some of the most popular faith-based events and Christian music festivals. On April 19th 2011 Abandon released their sophomore album Control with Forefront Records.The first thing I noticed about these guys is that they’re like modern-day philosophers. Their lyrics go places that I feel many artists don’t feel comfortable warming up to. This album is beautiful for so many reasons. Emotionally lyrically musically Controlis a breakthrough album. It’s one I feel everyone living today should have a listen to.The album’s first track which also happens to be the first single is so much fun to listen to! “Feel it In Your Heart” is catchy and I find it’s still stuck in my head days later. It sets the tone for the record’s lyrical quality and message. With a line like“Love is more than just another word/ You can turn it up loud/ As loud as it will go but it will never make it’s way to your soul until you feel it in your heart “you would expect a mild tempo not something you could dance to but this five-piece rock group manages to put together the best of both worlds.”Help” is more relaxed and toned down musically but the lyrics are clearly spoken from a life that has faced some fragile times. The build up to the bridge has so much passion and conveys such desperation as the instruments fade and multiple voices sing the song’s basic request and message:“I need Your help/ I need Your help/ oh I need You”I feel that in this day and age weandlsquo;re so often taught that itandlsquo;s not okay to not be okay but “Help” is not only a beautiful cry of desperation but a worship song from the depth of a heart that knows It’s lost without God.With a light transition from the previous track “Live it Out” couldn’t be more perfectly placed on the album.“So are we part of the cure or part of the disease?/ I think it’s time we fall down on our knees/ And ask God for clarity to wash away our memories of the old way/ pray that the walls break”Singer Josh Engler conveys his heart’s desire to serve God with a renewed passion and rejects a lukewarm attitude. This is one of my favorite songs on the album lyrically. It’s a call to live our lives purposefully with Love and restoration as our motives.”S.O.S” is another song that may get you pumped up. For me it was first because I’m a sucker for any song with “whoa” as an active lyric heavy drums that go crazy and a good use of the bass and vocals. However it’s not only the tempo that speaks here. The message reminds us that God is there for us and He is in control even when everything in our lives feels like it’s going wrong. I think everyone can use that reminder as often as possible.”Your Love Goes On” feels like it belongs on the radio already. As a very gentle but honest look at God’s grace in our lives it’s one of those songs that you could cling to in a time of failure and be made whole. However It’s also one you could listen to when you feel like you’re on the top of the world. It’s a beautiful reminder of so many verses like 1 John 4:19.By the time you’ve reached the halfway point of this album you’ll already have a sense of the theme. This album is all about facing the facts and opening our hearts to Godandlsquo;s plan. “Let Go” is the perfect anthem of that. This song is both sobering and refreshing with lyrics like”youandlsquo;re part of a grand design/ bigger than what you had in mind/ but youandlsquo;ll never know until you let it go”“New Years Day” is a brilliant song about redemption using some abstract analogies and nods to scriptures (like John 1:5). “Push It Away” and “Under Fire” are also two songs with meanings I don’t think I could ever grow tired of. Most refreshing is the closer of the album “Hero.” A personal favorite of mine “Hero” has received endless amounts of radio play over the past few years and has helped leave a lasting first impression of the band. The music is beautifully composed andreturns on this album with a classic arrangement.Overall I’d say this album is great. Being a fan of Abandon I’m excited for the progression theyandlsquo;ve undergone in such a short amount of time. Their lyrics remain pure and real like thoughts we’ve all had.I haven’t found an album that conveys a theme so well in a while but every one of these 12 tracks has something to say about control in a way mostly everyone can relate to. There is something for the person who tries too hard to control every detail of their life songs for when they think they’re handling it and songs for when everything has gone horribly wrong. There is something for the person who maybe wants control but not the responsibility that goes with it. And there are songs for those who Don’t even know where to begin. But ultimately there is something for people who are ready to let God be in control and stop trying to save the world themselves.Be blessed.

Guest Writer