Today’s Praise: Audio A turns inward and upward
In its last CD, Audio Adrenaline issued an urgent plea to help others — and snagged a Grammy. This time around, the rock group turns the focus inward.
“This record is singing about things that are happening inside of us. It’s talking about the things God is changing inside our hearts,” said Tyler Burkum, who plays guitar and sings many of the lead vocals on the new disc, “Until My Heart Caves In.”
In addition to being more introspective than “Worldwide,” the new disc marks a return to basic rock. “Even though we were able to grow and bring some new sonic things to the record, … the overall record is more of a stripped-down approach,” Burkum said.
It’s apparent from the first cut, “Clap Your Hands,” a rousing song whose beat and lyrics are designed to get a crowd stirred up. It now opens the group’s shows, Burkum said.
That’s followed by the title track, which sets the pattern for the rest of the disc. It’s a strong statement of faith and love of God that proclaims, “I would die for you, give it all for you.”
The joyous “Melody (Lost Inside the Wonder)” describes the point of conversion as feeling like God is singing to your heart “and you just melt,” Burkum said. “God is the most complex thing we can have but he can turn himself into a simple melody.”
The disc doesn’t totally ignore the need to reach out to others. “Are You Ready for Love” apologizes for ignoring the needy and then prods believers to take action, asking “Are you too comfortable to join the revolution?”
Burkum said the introspective themes reflect the fact that believers are “constantly going through growth and rebirth.”
In his own life, Burkum said he has done a lot of “growing up” in the last year, some of it prompted by the birth of a child. It’s prompted him to re-examine his life and God.
“I’ve poured a lot of my heart into this record and it was important to sing a lot about the joys and sorrows I have in my heart,” Burkum said.
The disc’s other major emphasis appears in “King,” which is edging up the R&R Christian radio chart. It’s a song of praise, awe and joy.
“Melody” and “All Around Me” also contain strong elements of praise. In these and other songs, Burkum said, he tried to step away from the formulas and vocabulary used in many praise songs. Simplicity was the key. “The simplicity of God resonates … and people will let it into their hearts.”
Such praise is important, Burkum said, because many people tend to see only a “self-help God.… God is so much more.”
One of the most energized — and energizing — songs on the disc is “Undefeated,” a sort of rock autobiography. It’s about facing pressure but “still believing in the one this that has gotten us this far.”
Also included on the disc is an enthusiastic cover of the ’60s hit “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher.” And, Burkum notes, it’s still about a girl.
“If Christians can’t sing about a woman and the beauty of God’s creation, who can?”
It’s impossible to say whether “Until My Heart Caves In” will land Audio A another Grammy. However, it already has one song climbing the Christian radio charts and offers a few other tracks with solid potential.
Finally, Burkum wanted to offer some works to deployed servicemembers.
“As a general thing, I would like to say, ‘Thank you.’ On a deeper note, whenever we’re in airports, I see people either having a reunion or saying goodbye. And our hearts go to the husband and son and brother and mothers and daughters,” he said.
On the Web: www.audioa.com
Today’s Praise is a roundup of news and reviews from the contemporary Christian music industry. It appears on the Religion page.