Album Review :
Building 429 - Iris to Iris

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Artist: Building 429
Album: Iris to Iris
Label: Word Records
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

1. Power of Your Name
2. Majesty
3. Singing over Me
4. You Carried Me
5. Amazed
6. Incredible
7. Waiting to Shine
8. Taken
9. New Season
10. Constant
11. Grace That Is Greater

Iris: it’s the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil. So to say “Iris to iris” is like getting even closer than just “eye to eye.” And that’s what Building 429 has focused their third and latest release on: seeing eye to eye with God in a closer way. The band has commented that the main purpose of life is getting to know our Creator, so everything we do should help us take steps towards that goal, and they hope that this record is an expression of their own journeys which helps listeners to in turn focus more on God.

But the fact is that music will always have a first standard of instrumental and lyrical quality. Regardless of what is actually being said, it all matters how poetically or originally it’s being said, and how good the music behind those lyrics sounds. And for Building 429, it’s hard to say they’ll fit that standard. Radio-friendly rock with a mid-range vocalist can only take audiences so far before they’ll be begging for some derivation. Sure, “Singing over Me” would be great background music for a ministry montage video. And all throughout this record, they sing praises to God, as well as challenge listeners to think about Him more and grow closer to Him, but in the end, there are only a few tracks that really stand out. “Incredible” is catchy with great guitar riffs and tones. “Taken” talks about being completely overwhelmed by the beauty of God over some nice guitar crunches and melodies, and “Waiting to Shine” slows it down with a piano base and a heart longing to reflect the heart of God, even through suffering.

It was a nice shot, but Building 429 fails to rise above the rest of the “Christian rock” crowd when it comes to entertainment standards. However, “Christian rock” is and should be about more than just entertainment. At the core is a message, and here, Building 429 are along the right lines. Still, a more creative and captivating delivery is needed to really catch people and reach them with that message.


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