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Many songs describe climactic inner struggles that lead to faith. On their new album, the rock group Red explores how the same sort of conflict continues throughout a believer’s life.

The theme comes through very clearly in “Fight Inside,” the aggressive opener from the band’s sophomore album, “Innocence & Instinct.”

“It kind of embodies what the record’s all about,” guitarist Jasen Rauch said of the song that recently hit No. 1 on R&R’s Christian Rock chart. Amid crunching guitars, the song describes a war that each believer has had to wage — even the heroes of the faith.

“The human experience is what we wanted to capitalize on,” Rauch said, linking the song to a passage in Romans 7 where the Apostle Paul describes how he struggled to do the right thing.

“When you think of Paul, one of the most popular people in the Bible, he’s not as righteous as he might seem. ... That verse is very revealing.”

Rauch said a lot of Christian music is a little too “resolved” and “uplifting,” failing to acknowledge that the struggle between innocence and selfish instinct doesn’t end the moment someone comes to faith. In believers’ lives, “there’s some discomfort — and that’s what we wanted to explore.”

The continuing struggle is also highlighted in two of the best songs on the album, the aggressive “Confession” — “I confess I’m always afraid, always ashamed of what’s inside me” — and “Shadows,” which pleads for God’s help amid struggle

Guitarist Anthony Armstrong said “Shadows” examines God’s help “that pulls you away from that distinctive force that’s ruining your life.” That help is necessary because “every single day we enter those shadows.”

The album also captures some of the wonder of encountering God in the powerful and haunting “Mystery of You.”

“I think that at any moment you can stand back and be in awe of the entirety of God,” Rauch said. “It’s a very vulnerable moment. You’re surrendering so much at that moment that I think it’s intimidating.”

Red’s popularity tends to cross into the mainstream market and Rauch expects that to continue with “Innocence & Instinct.”

“It most appeals to people who are outside of the Christian faith and looking for answers there,” Rauch said. “… but it’s also for people in the Christian community who are feeling lost.”

On the Web: www.innocenceandinstinct.com

Today’s Praise is a roundup of news and reviews from the contemporary Christian music industry.


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