Friday, November 19, 2010

Addison Road: Stories Review

Addison Road is back with their second album Stories. After tragically losing all of their belongings in an RV fire, Addison Road knew that all they could do was trust God and watch Him provide. Time after time, God has provided for the band and proven that He has never left them. Stories is a reflection of this truth, through ten simple tracks sure to encourage the listener to trust God in times of trouble. Also of interest for this album is the fact that Addison Road’s drummer Jeff stepped down from his job to go back to college. For these reasons, this album is definitely a milestone in Addison Road’s history as a band.

The extremely catchy pop track “Fight Another Day” opens Stories, a track written by Grammy award winning artist TobyMac. “Fight Another Day” is a strong encouragement to persevere even when the fire gets hot (“Will you walk way when the fire gets hot or fight another day?”). It is no wonder that this single made it’s way to radio’s top hits, as its catchy tune and encouraging lyrics make for an outstanding track.

Slowing things down, “Change In the Making,” another single from Stories, is a reminder that God is shaping us into something way better than we are right now. In fact, as the band reminds us, even when we can’t tell what God is doing, He always knows what is best for us and we are “change in the making.” I very much enjoyed the inspirational lyrics of this track, as well as the wonderful way that Jenny sang this song. “This Little Light of Mine” follows, talking about reflecting the light of love, and never losing our lights. Although a bit slower, with beautiful strings, it is no wonder that this song is becoming a fan-favorite.

“Won’t Let Me Go” features a steady, upbeat tempo, sure to make the listener join in. As its name implies, “Won’t Let Me Go” is a simple reminder that everything will be okay, since God will never let us go. The way that lead singer Jenny repeated the word “won’t” several times makes this track yet another catchy track. “Need You Now” is very similar to “This Little Light of Mine,” again being a slower worship song about needing God to help us get through. I thought that the quiet background fill-ins by Jenny’s husband Ryan were a huge asset to the track.

“Show Me Life” brings out the bass on this contemporary track, being a prayer to God to help us overcome the everyday struggles in life by “changing the old to new.” “Don’t Wait” sounds remarkably similar to Press Play music, with the booming drums and bass, as well as the extremely full chorus. With this track, Addison Road encourages their listeners to go out and make a difference while there is still time: “We’re not indestructible / Our lives are unpredictable/ they can turn on a dime/ so now is the time/ don’t wait/ don’t wait/ today!”

“Where It All Begins” actually sounds much like a 90s contemporary track, perhaps similar to Point of Grace music. It is a prayer to God to help us get back to the basics: “Show me how to feel again/ I come to You with open hands/ Teach me to be real again/ Take me back to where it all begins.” “Who I Am In You” reminded me of Echoing Angels, with a slower contemporary track, and is a reminder that true identity comes only from God (“I’m finding who I am in You”).

Finally, Stories ends with “My Story,” a definite “bouncy” pop track which summed up the album perfectly. Besides the very catchy beat, the lyrics of the track, partially taken from the hymn “Blessed Assurance,” summed up Addison Road’s last year excellently with these lyrics exclaiming the desire that “wherever You lead me is where I want to go.” The tambourine and background vocals from Ryan again created a wonderful track. In addition, on the buildup, the choir was a perfect asset to the album. I am convinced that this track is the best end Addison Road could have possibly put to an album such as this.

It certainly has been a tough year for Addison Road, but they are nowhere near quitting. Through these ten contemporary, mostly upbeat tracks, the band reminds themselves and the listeners that God will never leave us nor forsake us. It was a very encouraging listen, and I would highly recommend it to any contemporary Christian music fan.

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: June 22, 2010

Track listing:
1. Fight Another Day
2. Change in the Making
3. This Little Light of Mine
4. Won’t Let Me Go
5. Need You Now
6. Show Me Life
7. Don’t Wait
8. Where It All Begins
9. Who I Am to You
10. My Story

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