Saturday, July 17, 2010

Attaboy: Being Remade Review

I was recently introduced to the group Attaboy through their latest radio hit “California,” a hit that was redone by contemporary group Avalon on their Reborn album. I found that this independent group was surprisingly good, and surpassed all my expectations for an independent project.

Attaboy’s strong point is the thought-provoking lyrics that have their place in every song. In addition, the band knows how to fill in empty spots in their music, creating a very full and enjoyable sound, while prompting listener participation. These two points especially made me enjoy Being Remade, the June 2010 release from the band Attaboy.

Being Remade jumps right into the “swing of things” with the strong, upbeat track “We Sing.” An immediate sensation, “We Sing” is about making a difference in the world around us, and offers these outstanding lyrics: “Oh what to do with this place? / This world around us/ At first we tried to embrace/ But then we found us lost/ (Could it be) The reason we don’t make a difference/ Is we’re no different/ But we’re not indifferent/ And so we sing/ We sing, hey, hey/ Can you hear the voices of hope? / When the room is dark, that’s when we glow…”

The second track, “More Like You,” which retains the upbeat sound, is directed first to the “mirror on the wall” that’s “been so good at pointing out every flaw” ("Mirror, mirror, I don’t care/ If the man looking back at me just doesn’t compare/ With the person that I’m dying to be"). It then directs its focus to God, in a prayer that every day would find us more and more like Him. “I want to be more like You/ I want to say what You’d say and do what You would do/ I want to give the world a beautiful display, hey okay/ I look more like you everyday.”

“Everything Matters” follows, and proves to be the climax of Being Remade. “Everything Matters,” has a punk sound to it, making it sound similar to Stellar Kart’s work. It also boasted on behalf of lead singer Amos’ excellent vocals. The lyrics, too, were an asset with rhymes that make an impact, especially in the bridge: “Every person that you meet/ Promises you break or keep/ What you watch on your TV/ How you treat the least of these/ Every phone call, every prayer/ The hearts we break and don’t repair/ Every secret that we share/ Every person, everywhere/ It goes on and on and on and on and on.” Its challenging lyrics are about making a difference now, since our actions go on indefinitely. “Everything Matters” blends smoothly into the hit “California,” a powerful prayer to God to use us for His glory. Honestly, being a fan of both Attaboy and Avalon, I can tell you that both versions are outstanding, but Attaboy’s music was much more forceful. “California” is the slowest track on the record, and is a worshipful anthem that allows the hearer to feel the heart of Attaboy.

Things speed up just a touch with “This Is Love,” a track that laments our foolishness, and the greatness of the love of God: “I have been such a fool/ Trading diamonds for lumps of coal/ I know you wished me well/ But now I’m trapped inside this private hell/ What would it take to break this prison cell?/ This is love/ Oh, this is love/ Pouring life into my lifeless heart/ This is love/ Oh, this is love/ I need to be where you are/ Oh, this is love.” One thing I loved about this track especially (but found present in all of the tracks on this record) is Attaboy’s excellent sense of melodies.

“The Only One,” is a simple, yet wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness, and brags on behalf of Attaboy’s outstanding fill-ins (such as “hey” that appeared throughout this song). “For A Rainy Day” follows, and tells a delightful story of being content with our lives, even through pain and suffering. It begins with an old man who was “kicking up puddles, and singing as he shuffled his feet” as he walked through the rain and told his story, and encourages us “How beautiful would it be/ If our sunshine through the rain/Is in a hope that doesn’t change.” This song’s excellent piano and guitar mix made an enjoyable three-minute story.

“Wait On You” begins with a gorgeous piano sound, and is another prayer about being in the center of God’s will for our lives. The highlight of this track is the second half of the chorus: “Time is cheap/ It’s not mine to keep/ So I will wait, wait on You.” “Whose You Are,” a track that sounds similar to Francesca Battistelli’s hit “It’s Your Life,” is a reminder that we are God’s and encourages us “Come what may, don’t be afraid/ You know whose you are/ You are mine and you are safe/ Safe within my arms.”

The final track on the record, “I’m Sorry,” is very comparable to Stellar Kart sound, and is an apology for words spoken. Unlike most contemporary records, which end with a slower track, Being Remade by Attaboy does not end with a slow track, but instead ends satisfactorily with a positive upbeat track.

Being Remade is simply an excellent album all around. Attaboy’s fresh sound, with encouraging and thought-provoking lyrics, and excellent vocals, is definitely one that I can recommend to anyone, especially die-hard Stellar Kart fans. Being Remade is, perhaps, the only 10-track record I know where every single track is sure to get stuck in your head and sung all day long. Excellent work guys!

Rating: 5/5
Release date: June 29, 2010

Track listing:
1. We Sing
2. More Like You
3. Everything Matters
4. California
5. This is Love
6. Only One
7. For a Rainy Day
8. Wait On You
9. Whose You Are
10. I'm Sorry

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