Album Review :
A Common Goal - Blessings and Battles

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Artist: A Common Goal
Title: Blessings and Battles
Label: Thumper Punk Records
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Reviewer: Jessica Cooper

Track Listing:

  1. ACG
  2. Frame Of Mind
  3. Blessings And Battles
  4. Hope
  5. When We Were Young
  6. Never Gonna Be
  7. Problems
  8. Nothing Left
  9. Blue Collar
  10. Tortured Saint

Pop punk is such a great genre because it has so much potential and maintains integrity to promote a positive message. Themes like hope, standing up for what you believe in, being consistent in your actions, and keeping up an attitude that encourages others to be optimistic are what really define the origin and depth of pop punk. So when all that gets paired with a clear Christian message, it’s bound to be doubly effective in upholding those values, and A Common Goal hits a bulls-eye with Blessings and Battles.

Bands like A Common Goal promote the idea and truth that it’s not enough to just be a good person; there has to be a reason why you choose to be good, and that reason has to be God. They stick by that with their lyrics, relating to an audience through personal testimonies of faith through hardship, pain, and blessing. This is really made clear in “Problems”:

“Sometimes we search for our answers in the places where it’s too dark to see / Some find it easier to just walk away than to stand up for what you believe.”

They also try to set an example of striving for a better life in Christ with their song “Tortured Saint”:

“So help me God / Don’t let me fall / Help me be the man that my kids will follow / No one ever said that life was easy / I’ll keep on swinging my fists when it gets hard / I’ve got a lot to do to change my ways / I’ve gotta make sure my loved ones are safe / I’ve gotta make sure that this sinner never lets them down.”

The composition is solid and goes with the natural boom-and-clash two-step flow of pop punk, sounds like a great candidate for pit-dancing, and has a great tone for the classic feel of driving music that generates so much hard-hitting impact for listeners.

Overall: A Common Goal is one of those bands that always got their genre right. There’s nothing weird about their music, nothing off, nothing copied. It’s all just pretty true to itself. They do their own thing with what they know about music, but still keep a pretty solid foundation of pop punk roots. “Blessings and Battles” doesn’t lack in energy; it doesn’t lack in creativity; and it has a lot of its own personal and familiar elements, but is noticeably original. It’s positive, it’s fun, and its production is clean. Connect with their Facebook page for updates and get Blessings and Battles on Thumper Punk Records.

RIYL: Social Distortion, Nothington, Pennywise, Flatfoot 56, and Value Pac.