Monday, February 6, 2012

Abandon: Control -- Expanded Edition Review

Forefront Records rock band Abandon has had major success recently. Besides seeing their singles “Feel It In Your Heart” and “Under Fire” reach the top of Christian rock charts, the San Antonio-based group has watched several of their songs become featured in commercials and TV shows, in addition to heading out on the God’s Not Dead Tour this spring with Newsboys, Anthem Lights, and The City Harmonic. Because of the recent success, Abandon is now offering a digital-only expanded edition of their popular Control album, featuring four new remixes.

The expanded edition of Control features the 13 originals, including the radio singles. Highlights include the techno “Feel It In Your Heart” single, the rocker “Help,” speaking of desperate need for God, the slower and worshipful “New Year’s Day,” describing the newness we find in God. “Hero,” a poignant track imagining Jesus walking on the earth, is the concluding track off the original record, another single that topped radio charts. “Under Fire,” a call to action for believers is the band’s most recent single and is also featured. All 13 original tracks are either very serious, or a fun rocker, and all of them have great and thought-provoking lyrics.

For the four remixes on the record, Abandon teamed up with popular artists to recreate the four best tracks from the original Control project. Solomon Olds (better known as “Soul Glow Activatur,” from Family Force 5) remixed “Feel It In Your Heart,” adding more of a techno sound than the original had. The vocals are virtually untouched, but the result is definitely more upbeat than the original. Darren King from Mute Math put his hand to “Live It Out,” adding more of a disco feel to it. It has an older Newsboys sentiment to it, but the lyrics are a bit drowned out, in my opinion. Though I very much enjoyed the tempo, the lyrics were confusing and hard to distinguish.

“New Year’s Day,” remixed by Chad Howat from Paper Route, has more of a fun sound, with a toy piano making the sound of it. And lastly, David Crowder’s mix of “Under Fire” concludes the album, and definitely wins the award for best remix of the four. The techno twist makes the track much more powerful than the upbeat radio single, if that is even possible.

Is the expanded edition worth purchasing over the original Control album? Here’s the deal: if you’re as big a fan of dance pop, techno, or disco as I am, you will thoroughly enjoy these four remixes! If not, you’ll probably want to stick with the original versions, because whereas these four remixes are fun and energetic, they aren’t as easy to focus on the meanings as the originals. If you’re a forever fan of Abandon, you’ll probably want to pick these up too. They are definitely awesome! :)

Rating: 4/5
Release date: February 1, 2012

Track listing:
1. Feel It In Your Heart
2. Help
3. Live it Out
4. SOS
5. Your Love Goes On
6. Let Go
7. New Years Day
8. Talk to Me
9. Push It Away
10. Under Fire
11. Why Does it Take So Long?
12. Known
13. Hero
14. Feel It In Your Heart (Soul Glow Activatur Remix)
15. Live It Out (Darren King Remix)
16. New Years Day (Chad Howat Remix)
17. Under Fire (David Crowder Remix)

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