Release Date: August 26, 2014
Reviewed by: Micah Garnett
- Like A Machine
- Untraveled Road
- Born This Way
- Set Me On Fire
- Give It To Me
- I See Red
- Light Up
- In My Room
Thousand Foot Krutch has certainly been around the block. It’s hard to have a conversation about Christian rock without mentioning TFK. The band, fronted by Trevor McNevan, has put out eight albums over the span of almost two decades, all critical and commercial successes. Oxygen:Inhale is the band’s latest effort and hopes to continue TFK’s streak of excellence.
“Born This Way”, no relation to Lady Gaga’s 2011 hit, initially had fans scratching their head. Some were quick to embrace the change in style, claiming experimentation and growth, while others felt the band had strayed too far from their roots. For those wondering, “Born This Way” is a good indication of the rest of the album. In fact, Oxygen:Inhale sounds more like a mixture of Decyfer Down, Disciple, and FM Static than it does a TFK album. It does have its moments (like on the album highlight, “Untraveled Road”), but the style change will leave many confused. The lyrics are as vague as ever, but Trevor McNevan knows how to write a song that will leave your rawkfist in the air. It’s a pity there aren’t more rockers on the album. “Like a Machine”, “Untraveled Road”, “Born This Way”, and “Give It To Me” are more in the traditional rock vein, but it’s simply not enough on a ten track album. That being said, a lot of Oxygen:Inhale sounds like a throwback to earlier albums, most notably The Flame In All Of Us. “I See Red”, a song about giving our anxiety and addiction to God, not only sounds like a track from Flame, but it even borrows lyrics from that album. “It’s the same in us. It takes the blame in us…”
“Set Me On Fire” and “Light Up” may as well be FM Static songs. “Set Me On Fire” is good, while “Light Up” isn’t quite up to par. Neither seem to fit in with the rest of the album or any previous TFK songs. However, if there’s one thing to appreciate about the softer songs on Oxygen, it’s the fact that Trevor is baring his soul. His honest introspection is like opening up a window to his beliefs, which are honest and earnest. Half of the album is blood-pumping rock anthems, while the other is straight up love songs to God.
“Just like the wind, you blew right through me tonight. It makes me wonder how I missed you before, hiding in plain sight. Cause like a knife, you cut me open. I feel alive for the first time in my life. You’re the oxygen that lights my fire inside.”
Overall, Oxygen is an album that doesn’t really know where it fits. It doesn’t sound like a TFK album, there isn’t much growth outside of Trevor’s vocals, and there is a sore lack of rock songs on a brutally short album. If TFK wanted to experiment, this wasn’t the way they should have gone about it. The depth of their previous releases is gone. The honesty is still there, but outside of the ballads, the typical TFK passion feels lacking. The only songs really worth a repeat listen are “Like a Machine”, “Untraveled Road”, and “Set Me On Fire”. Fans are better off waiting for the upcoming second part of the album, Oxygen:Exhale. Everything else can be skipped for now.
3 songs to listen to: Like a Machine, Untraveled Road, Set Me On Fire
RIYL: Decyfer Down, Disciple, Family Force 5, FM Static