Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Canopy Red: Wake Up Review

Canopy Red released their self-titled EP in 2009 on Creative Soul Records. Then, in 2011, their single “Here to Stay” reached #21 on Billboard’s Christian Rock Chart. The contemporary/rock group is now back with their debut, full-length project, Wake Up, produced by the talented Rusty Varenkamp (Sixteen Cities, Michael W. Smith, and Sanctus Real to name just a few). The band, whose moniker speaks of the blood of Jesus covering us like a canopy, speaks boldly and audaciously about making the most of every moment we’ve been given through their new ten-track project Wake Up.

Already, “Wasting Time” opens the album very well, with strong bass and a serious tone, admonishing the listener not to waste a single moment: “Are we wasting time ignoring all the signs?/ Are we wasting time?/ Get back in the fight/ let’s move like we’re alive…” “Disguise” follows with a beautiful acoustic guitar backing, but again has very thought-provoking lyrics: “If you wanna believe then you better believe it/ there’s no stopping now/ If you wanna believe then live and breathe it/ don’t be complacent/ knock down anything in the way/ reach out like it’s gonna be your last.” The lyrics definitely speak for themselves, but these hard-hitting lyrics are wrapped in a contemporary/rock sound that makes it comparable to Christian artist Matthew West, in my opinion.

“Forever” is a simple praise and worship song, contemplating the unending love of God, and encouraging the listener to sing a new song to the King of kings. I really admire the mature vocals that can be found throughout the album, but especially in this track. “Sink or Swim” first begins with light drums and harmonizing acoustic guitar, but it has a slight haunting aspect, as it challenges their audience not to be pulled by the world, but instead put up a fight and ride against the waves. The allegorical aspect is very enlightening, because of this.

I expected a masterpiece with the coolly-titled “Paralyzed,” which has a rapid drumbeat, that sounds like a call to battle – and it is, in a way, as it speaks of how Christians know that “love is all we need,” but we act paralyzed and refuse to move. The upbeat title track doesn’t let the listener go either, with its obvious message of doing more than just “getting by” or pretending that “you’re satisfied with the status quo.”

“Won’t Let Go” speaks to someone who is at their lowest moment, encouraging them that to fall is to be caught by God, while the mellow pop track “If You’re Not With Me” reminds me of older Jars of Clay music. It also has aspects that seem to be borrowed from the Old Testament, of refusing to go, say, or do anything, unless God is totally in it – “cause You are everything, everything and more,” yet another challenging message.

The upbeat, electric guitar filled “Running After You” speaks of needing more of God. The bridge proves to be the highlight of the track, simply stating “I’m not giving up/ I’ll hold to what is true/ I’m tracing Your steps to follow after You.” “What I’m Waiting For” follows, sounding a bit like a campfire track. It is a modern-day Psalm, speaking of feeling confused on this road called life, but knowing that God is in control and will guide us every step of the way. This is a very satisfactory and relaxing ending to the Wake Up CD.

I really like Canopy Red, but I especially enjoyed their audacious lyrics about finding your purpose on this earth and refusing to waste time. However, the great vocals and mostly contemporary music are great, as well, so I recommend this album to fans of Matthew West’s.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: June 5, 2012

Track listing:
1. Wasting Time
2. Disguise
3. Forever
4. Sink Or Swim
5. Paralyzed
6. Wake Up
7. He Won’t Let Go
8. If You’re Not With Me
9. Running After You
10. What I’m Waiting For

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