Context – winding down
I wanted some metal to help de-stress from the week I’m having and the week to come. My brain is tired and I feel like something with some drive and aggression and chaos will help obliterate my scattered thoughts so when they reassemble it might be in something that resembles order.
So I’m scanning the Spotify new releases to see what there is to see. Kendrick Lamar’s new track “HUMBLE.” is at the top of the list, but that’s not an album. It has me hype as fuck for the album, but I’m not reacting to individual tracks just yet.
Keep scrolling until I find a band called MercyMe and I think “that might be a metal band” thinking something along the lines of screaming for mercy. The album is 10 songs coming in at 34 minutes long, which seems metal. The album art has censorship black bars, which might be metal. I decide to risk it for the biscuit and give this a listen.
Song one (“Lifer”) is a funk-pop jam that reminds me a lot of Maroon 5, but with a dude that sounds nothing like Adam Levine. Not what I was looking for, but I decide to roll with it. This song has a generic feel but enough of a groove that it makes for good working and background music.
But then the funk more or less is replaced by other x-pop genres–this album goes from funk-pop to country-pop to pop-rock. I’m wondering what the through-line of this band is at this point, because everything seems generically pop with influences from too many genres to be completely cohesive.
Then I start getting a whiff of the Jesus. Nothing outspoken, just some praise language and some lifting up of the hands. Years in youth group have warned about anyone that lifts their arms for any reason, so I decide to finally google MercyMe.
Super popular Christian Contemporary. 5 stars on Amazon. So there’s the through-line.
To their credit there isn’t a single standard on this album. Or if there are it’s a testament to how long it’s been since I’ve been inside a church. But there isn’t a hint of “Our God (is an Awesome God)” anywhere near this album, so good on MercyMe for keeping a relatively stale genre* kinda fresh.
So yea, if you’re into Jesus and whatever plays on your local Contemporary Christian radio station then you’ll probably love this. If you’re not into Jesus but enjoy Maroon 5 and can overlook some praise, then 5-8 of these songs will probably be up your alley. As someone not wholly into Jesus or Maroon 5, this is a hard pass on my account.