Well, dear friends and followers, my second/third favorite band, RED has released a new CD. (I say second/third because they’re tied with Disciple. No one can ever beat Skillet though. Sorry.) Which means it’s time for another review.
RED is one of the best gifts to rock music. They’ve had explosive singles and CDs ever since they shattered their way into the music industry back in 2006. Hits like “Breathe Into Me”, “Death of Me,” “Fight Inside”, “Shadows”, “Lie to Me”, and “Buried Beneath” keep hungry fans yearning for more each time they come around. Their second album, Innocence and Instinct, is still one of my favorite albums of all time.
And now they’ve Release(d) the Panic.
That’s the name of the CD…Release the Panic. I was just making a funny…anyway.
This CD is beautiful. Their songs are starting to begin with a different kind of beat, more along the house and dubstep ideas of life, as well of intense rock riffs and subtle songs that build. It seems like a lot of new bands are re-dabbing in their electronic roots (which gives me excitement to see what Skillet is going to do with their new CD…if they ever decide to release it -_-.) The thing that’s best about RED, though, is they know how to show off their talents. Their lead singer, Michael Barnes, has such unique vocals and he knows how to use them. From intense rock, to screaming, to soft piano ballads, that man can belt out whatever he needs to in order for the song to progress. Seeing them live is kind of unbelievable sometimes, because he’s able to switch all those modes of singing the same way he does on record, and it’s crazy to watch someone’s neck veins almost popping out from screaming and melt into a power ballad. But he rocks it.
So, you may be asking yourself, what does this new CD sound like? (Apart from epic.) Below you can find some tidbits of lyrics from songs I think make the album strongest, but I only had to pick and choose so I didn’t post the whole album here. (Gotta leave a little to the imagination.)
Release the Panic
Drumroll please! Baseline please!
That’s how this song starts. Then it hits you in the face real quick with some screams and guitars, and then Michael Barnes’ epic voice comes through with a catchy melody.
Release the panic
Oh, release the panic
‘Cause you’re trapped in the countdown
And your days are numbered
Don’t you know that you’re done for
Right now, lights out
Let your panic out
This is one of those songs where, as a rocker, I’m torn between headbanging and dancing. The beat and the melody of this make me want to move one way or the other, but I’m afraid my confusion on dancing and rocking looks a little silly. Perhaps I’ve created a new “thing” to do at concerts….
I think this is the perfect song for someone who’s a little bit down in the dumps. If I’m correct about the meaning (even if I’m not, it’s still my perception), this song reflects the idea of people who try too hard to be “perfect.” No one is perfect, there’s really no such thing — and this addresses the people who are perceived as “outcasts” and is a sweet nod to reminding them they’re not alone, and the people they strive to be aren’t exactly the best influences anyway.
I see right through you, see right through you
Paint it on, cover every inch
Any flaw will expose your weakness
I’m immune to your fantasy
I won’t become you, won’t become you…
There’s nothing to hide behind
I know who I am inside
I’m perfectly broken..
You want a perfect, PERFECT LIFE
Nothing wrong, nothing real inside
All I see is an empty lie
I don’t want your PERFECT LIFE
It’s songs and lyrics like these from this band that keep people so addicted. They address real problems in an encouraging (yet rocking) way, and gives people the perfect opportunity to scream it out.
Insert dubstep/electro beat. When I go to EDC this year, it would be awesome to hear a remix of this song. It’s a simple beat, but it’s near impossible to sit still while this track is playing.
The cool thing about this band, and almost every other Christian band out there, is the way their lyrics can be perceived. Coming from their Christian standpoint, this song seems like a song dedicated to God, but for someone who’s going through a break up or doesn’t necessarily believe in God, this song can be a dedication to any loved one. It’s things like this that also attract a wide audience, because they don’t feel preached to or condemned, and in this day and age that’s all most people can ask for.
This is one of those songs of theirs that knows how to build. It starts with another electronic beat, molds into an almost creepy melody, and busts up into some screaming. The verses are kind of scary if you don’t listen to what they’re saying, but the way it’s sung causes it to become a haunting melody in almost every sense of the word, which makes for a good listen. Especially if you can’t decide if you’re scared or motivated to scream. In a good way, of course.
I am human debris
I am crashed and dead
I’m a catastrophe
(I am waiting)
I am human debris
I am crashed and dead
I’m a catastrophe
I like this song because it speaks to how people think of themselves in a negative way sometimes. Saying all you do is damage and all you cause is misery is a falsity most humans believe about themselves. RED is one of those bands that’s not afraid to address human issues, sometimes topics that can be thought of as “taboo”, because they like to remind everyone of the unity that’s shared between humanity on a subconscious level. Everyone has negative thoughts. Not everyone is brave enough to address them.
Which leads me into this song, where they pretty much emphasize the thoughts I just shared under “Damage.”
This attraction, we are not getting well
It’s a fever I share, it’s a plague you feel
Separated, I am quick to resist
I am all alone infected with this
I am immune to you, you’re immune to me
We are both sick cells with the same disease
Hold Me Now
Ah, and the beautiful power ballad of this album. Michael Barnes knows how to make their written lyrics strike a chord in your heart. It’s hard not to fall in love with their power ballads, especially if you’re someone who likes to hear the vocal talent of the singer. Their ballads also know how to build into epic crescendos of pure beauty.
Fall asleep to dreams of home,
Where the waves are crashing.
The only place I’ve ever known,
Now the future has me.
I see the fire in the sky,
See it all around me.
I said the past is dead, the life I had is gone.
Said I won’t give up,
Until I see the sun
Hold me now,
‘Til the fear is leaving,
I am barely breathing.
If We Only
Best song on this CD. They have violins, intense rock, and crazy beats. It’s just like a schmorgasboard (I totally don’t know how to spell that word, but I’m going with it) of musical awesomeness. I hope this song is released as their next single and I can hear it on the radio all the time. Of all the songs they play over and over and over again, I would blast this one every single time and jam hard.
I know what you have done
Why can’t I let it go
Find a way to escape all the hate
If we only can get over
All the pain inside
All the wasted pride
If we only, if we only could just face the truth
Give up the fight and let it die
I can’t say enough good things about this song. If I ever see this live, and you’re at the concert with me, get out of my way. I’m going to get it. Perhaps this will replace “Gangnam Style” as my shower jam that I almost hurt myself to….Hmmm….
So Far Away
Another beautiful ballad, but not a soft piano song. It’s got an uplifting rock beat, but perfectly blends slow and upbeat music. This is one of those where the vocals of the song, again, make it so addicting. It’s relatively easy to sing along to, and I like that.
This is one of those songs where the perception is left to the listener as well. It’s a really beautiful love song, especially if you’re singing it to an unrequited love, chanting about how much you miss them.
Any song that incorporates violins is automatically added to my “awesome” list. This isn’t an in-your-face rock song, but it’s not a slow-paced melody either. It’s easy to hear what he’s singing, which I know is sometimes a deal breaker for listeners, but the song moves swiftly and doesn’t drag at all…except for dragging us along with it.
We deceive the world with lies we hide
Behind the smiles we can see the home of desperate hearts
The truth is falling down
The illusion we’ve become
A fear we can’t outrun
We’re closing in our emptiness
The positive messages they know so expertly how to weave and manipulate into beautifully-written songs is a huge reason this band is at the top of my list amongst so many other that I love. It’s almost like they get me….
The Moment We Come Alive
If you don’t buy the Deluxe Edition (which you should. You always should), this is the ending of the CD. I like it when bands let CDs go out on not as intense note as they begin. It’s almost like they’re letting you take a breath from the intense rollercoaster they just pulled you along. (Of course, if you have the Deluxe Edition, this is just another beautifully written rock ballad.)
Like the grand majority of RED songs, the beat and melody aren’t what complete the song, but the enriching lyrics that speak to thousands of people. Once again, they aren’t afraid to sing about thoughts people are too scared to admit they think of.
Love Will Leave a Mark
The first song off the Deluxe Edition, and they bring back the electro-rock they experimented so well with at the beginning of the CD. I highly recommend the Deluxe Edition for this song alone, because it’s one of the best ones on the album. (I feel like that happens a lot with Deluxe Editions, which is why I always recommend/buy them. You never know what beautiful jewels like this you’re going to miss out on if you don’t.)
And no one comes out the same
Love always leaves a mark
The scars give it all away
Burned in your heart
Love will leave a mark
Twisting, tearing apart
Holding me together
Changing every thought
Haunting me forever
Ever been through a bad break up? Does this sound as familiar to you as it does to me?
As You Go
Keeping up the idea of letting the CD go on a soft note, they go even softer than “The Moment We Come Alive” with “As You Go.” Beginning with another beat, but not one you can dance to, they beautifully mold their lyrics, melodies, and simple background beats into another exquisitely addicting rock ballad. Adding some perfectly balanced background vocals to enhance this song, it’s one of those relaxing songs that when listened to intently reflect a deep idea that the surface of the song doesn’t begin to scratch. A song that demands to actually be listened to instead of just heard, this is such a beautiful song to end this CD on. (Before the remixes, of course, but this is the last “original” song.)
If you get around to getting the Deluxe Edition (which is where you’ll find the last two songs), you’ll also get a couple of extremely awesomely legit remixes that I just mentioned from some of their older songs. What are you still doing here?! Get to buying!