Artist: The Wrecking
Title: So Much for Love
Label: Chosen Records
Release Date: 8/21/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Let Everyone Sing
- Tidal Wave
- The Antidote
- View from the Top
- Life in Reverse
- About to Fall
- Fighting for Something
- Symphony of the Broken Hearted
- The Reason
- Our Feet Don’t Touch the Ground
With The Wrecking having major success in both the Christian and mainstream markets in the past few years, I was eager to listen to their latest album, So Much for Love, releasing into stores August 21st 2012. Since I heard ‘You Remain’ a few years ago, I was always intrigued as to how this band from Portland, Maine (sounding similar to pop rock band VOTA and Building 429, and lyrics the same calibre as songs from The Afters); managed to balance fame and grounding in Christ, and how they are able to use their success in the mainstream outlet (their music was placed in shows like Showtime’s The Big C!) to further their kingdom message of hope and purpose in Christ. From radio singles ‘View from the Top’ and ‘Tidal Wave’ to Christmas melody ‘Glorious’; The Wrecking’s second full-length studio album is a collision of hope and pain as the band gives listeners the theme of longing and searching for hope and fulfilment, all the while pointing to Christ for the answer to our problems. A mixture of ballads and rocking melodies that awakens the inner rock enthusiast, So Much for Love was a gem to listen to, bringing a breath of air into a Christian market surrounded by the general CCM trend.
Both ‘View from the Top’ and ‘Tidal Wave’ released to iTunes a few months ago and I was instantly hooked on the bands ingenious lyrical moments, musical arrangements, as well as leaning into the mainstream market without compromising on their faith foundation. Looking at how the lyrics of both their singles being interpreted in a ‘mainstream’ way; The Wrecking show their hunger for God’s grace in ‘View From the Top’, proclaiming above the grunging guitar that ‘…I wanna see the view from the top, where Your grace is enough and Your love never stops…’ With lead vocalist Douglas Elder sharing his heart of the song, ‘…[which] is about getting above all the things that hold us back or bring us down. It’s about the empowerment that comes from having a proper perspective on the struggles and brokenness of life…’ we are given hope that God uses everything in our lives for His greatness and our good. As we see this bigger picture; our lives become more hopeful as we start to view it from His perspective, from the top as we let His plan for our lives come into fruition. ‘Tidal Wave’ is another gift as Douglas sings out ‘…Your love is like a tidal wave, let me dive in, let me feel Your grace…’, showing us the endless grace that God showers over us, even amounting to a huge tidal wave that sweeps us in. We are met with an invitation amidst all the guitar, strong singing, and looping percussion beat: to explore the depths of God’s love and grace (neverending!) and live in the hope and encouragement that what we do in our lives will benefit others, but also ourselves as we are continually transformed by Christ. Kudo’s to The Wrecking for reminding that God wants us to ‘…let Your tidal wave carry me home…’
‘Let Everyone Sing’ is a bundle of joy as The Wrecking employ many electronic looping sounds, gang vocals, and plenty of guitars to create an atmosphere of worship as Douglas Elder cries out ‘…let everything, everything sing…’, giving the listener audience, both Christian and mainstream, a reason to shout loud the melody on the streets as we are met with the realisation that life is so much more than our own mundane existence. With the mainstream population possibly interpreting this song as one about a community spirit and joining together for a cause to believe in, The Wrecking showcase a deeper meaning through all the musical rocking sounds. As we continue to understand that God ‘…speak[s] through the noise till I feel that You sound so beautiful…’, we are given a comfort that He is able to be God, yet still present in our lives, showing us what He longs for us to undertake in our everyday lives.
‘The Antidote’ and ‘Electricity’ both continue the duality of meaningfulness as The Wrecking use poignant lyrical moments to present both audiences with hopeful melodies that reach into the soul and reinvigorate those that need inspiration. ‘Electricity’ speaks about being the spark in the city that people are looking for, reminding us that with God in our lives, ‘…we’re brighter every day, never forget, we are the fireflies, we are the blinding lights…’ Through captivating imagery and passionate emotion, Douglas shows the listeners that reminder that we need to hold onto, that as long as we’re alive, we bring so much to life that we can offer, that the ‘spark’ we have can change someone’s life! ‘Antidote’ carries the motif further through all the guitars and light percussion. Alluding that God is the antidote and remedy for all the restlessness and discomfort that we may feel during our lives; we are reassured that as we surrender our lives to Christ and declare ‘…You’re my antidote, You’re my only hope, the only one I need…’, our weights will be lifted as we understand that we are not alone in this fight called ‘life’. Congratulations guys for creating such beautiful melodies of hope and redemption, relating universally to many listeners as we venture out and become the light that God has created us to become!
Throughout the album, The Wrecking have pressed upon the listeners a theme of brokenness, and finding the one who mends everything back together. ‘Symphony of the Broken Hearted’ ignites freedom as Douglas shares that ‘…we all need hope we all need grace, we all need love’s embrace…’, giving listeners permission to admit that they are broken, in need of forgiveness, and someone to journey with them through life’s challenges. The meaning of ‘The Reason’ can be shown as Douglas crying out to God to take control of his life, but it can also be interpreted as someone counting on family and friends through difficult seasons. ‘Fighting For Something’ is a song for the fighter within us who longs to identify with a purposeful cause; as The Wrecking show us an avenue to take, that ‘…we’ll always be fighting for something, why can’t we let it be love…’ Is it earthly love, or love of Christ for His creation?
‘Life in Reverse’ reminds us that if we had our time again; would we still choose the same choices in our lives? Through lyrical metaphors about a break-up between two lovers, The Wrecking press the discomfort button as we ponder that ‘…I know it’s gonna hurt but you’ll never know…until you live life in reverse…’ ‘Fire’ is a guitar-driving dancing melody of appreciation as we assert that God is our fire to our coldness, declaring that ‘…are we gonna set this thing on fire…’ as we delve deeper into God’s Word and what He has for His children in this life. Lastly is ‘Our Feet Don’t Touch the Ground’, one of the most personal melodies as we present our lives to Christ, acknowledging that it is Him that makes our lives so much better. Douglas reminds us that God has been ‘…standing where you’ve been forever…’ giving us hope, comfort and solace in the moments when we may ‘feel’ His distance. What a musically invigorating and inspiring album closer as we reflect upon the truth that ‘…only you can save us now…’
Overall: The Wrecking’s sophomore effort cannot be any better, with a conglomeration of lyrical masterpieces as we are met with a hope threaded through each song, pondering the Maker of the universe and His unending love for His creation. Shown through the Christmas song ‘Glorious’, The Wrecking have never lost their faith in the mainstream market, fitting in a song about Christmas as Douglas cries out ‘…oh, my glorious, Emmanuel…’ With a refreshing sound not heard in the CCM industry since Third Day’s Revelation, So Much For Love tackles themes otherwise purposely missed in the ‘Christian circle’. Incorporating worship with rock, The Wrecking have shown to be a strength, and with buzz in both the mainstream and Christian industry, this album is almost certain to propel their career as they show everyone their faith and how it is intricately a part of their music. Well done The Wrecking for one of the most satisfying experiences of 2012!
RIYL: Building 429, The Afters, VOTA, Hawk Nelson
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3