Reviewed by Katie Hart
The Flame In All of US
Thousand Foot Krutch
"The Flame In All Of Us walks -- or rather rocks -- that perfect balance of exploring new territory and satisfying long-time fans."
With more than half a million lifetime sales on the cusp of their fourth album release, Thousand Foot Krutch is breaking perceptions and setting new standards for Christian rock. Their impressive debut, Set It Off (2000), had heavy hip-hop leanings, but the band found their true beat in alternative rock with the 2003 release of Phenomenon. That album’s “Rawkfist” has been featured in sports promotions, coverage, and films. 2005 brought The Art of Breaking, another powerful rock album which multiplied their fan base. So far, TFK has garnered seven No.1 rock hits and two Top 5 Christian radio hits, while lyricist Trevor McNevan has also co-written for Hawk Nelson, Wavorly, and TobyMac.
The Flame in All of Us walks – or rather rocks – that perfect balance of exploring new territory and satisfying long-time fans. Building on their characteristic rock sound, McNevan (frontman), Joel Bruyere (bass), and Steve Augustine (drums) aren’t about to rest on their laurels.
The album opens with the strong title cut – hard rock with distinctive guitar riffs. It celebrates the fire and strength inside each of us, and the universal burning questions about our purpose in life.
“Falls Apart” cranks up the tempo with a headbanging tune about what happens when we walk away from God. The haunting “What Do We Know?” brings reminders of the recent tragedies that touched us all – 9/11, Katrina, Virginia Tech – and how they show we’re not in control. A children’s choir adds a plaintive but hopeful touch to the chorus.
Three stylistically-diverse songs share a common thread – new angles on metaphors for God. “My Favorite Disease” juxtaposes God’s role in killing our old nature and remaking our new one, as the instruments journey from minimalist drum and guitar to full throttle. The aggressive tones of “New Drug” pound out the comparison of our addiction to Christ, while “My Home” is a worshipful look at our true shelter.
Hard-hitting “My Own Enemy” and “InHuman” are a nod to TFK’s live concert fans – in fact, for the entire album had the musicians recording together to better capture the energy of a live concert.
“Learn to Breathe” is an emotional touchstone for the album, blending the frustration of being different and wanting to share the difference with others. It showcases McNevan’s vocals in a slower song that picks up speed (and a bit of rap) near the end. “Broken Wing” and “The Safest Place” both use unique tunes to portray the mar of addictions – one from the outside looking in, the other from the inside trying to get out.
The final songs (“Wish You Well” and hidden track “Last Song”) could easily be a part of McNevan and Augustine’s side band, FM Static, but work equally well as quiet finale and punk epilogue to this album. The melancholy “Wish You Well” bids farewell to friends heading out to “find themselves,” while “Last Song” is a fun concert goodbye song mixed with a bit of reminiscing.
Accessible to all rock fans, this album is also unapologetically honest about the band members’ Christian faith. There’s no wondering whether you’re singing along with a worship tune or a love song, but the lyrics share relevant experiences both deep and universal. Add in the top-notch rock, and you’ve got an album that will stick in your head and stay on your playlist for a long, long time.
Katie Hart loves the written word. She's published several articles, poems, and nearly 200 reviews in magazines and websites such as Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Infuze Magazine, Christian Library Journal, and ChristianBookPreviews.com. She's written two novels and is working on her third, a fantasy. Also a Christian music fan, she helps out regularly with concerts at her church and strives to promote the artists and bands she enjoys. Visit her online at her blog.