For the Love of the Game
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Feb
- For the Love of the Game
- Turn It Up
- Reckless Youth
- State of Emergency
- Smiling Down
- The Runaway
- Get Back
- I Fade Away
- Forever Starts Now
"Who are you, and what have you done with Pillar?"
That's how I imagine some fans respond to the hard rock band's sonic shifts with every album. After listening to
Pillar's plight is understandable, since most nü-metal bands from the last 5-10 years (e.g. Linkin Park, P.O.D.) are also struggling to find their identity. The good news is this is the best the Tulsa, Oklahoma foursome has sounded since
The lyrics, however, remain a mixed bag. Pillar excels at writing from a hopeful and clear-cut Christian perspective, yet never proselytizing enough for non-believers to object to. "State of Emergency" is a well worded call to serve, "Reckless Youth" challenges us to shine the love of Christ without fear of consequences, and the title track runs with St. Paul's sports racing metaphor from
"Turn It Up" deserves special mention, celebrating the history of Christian pop/rock using song/album titles by 34 artists for the verses (much like Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"). A clever idea, but it ends up as meaningless as fridge magnet poetry stringing phrases together: "I can only imagine all of the magic that would happen if we all come together … I can hear sounds of melodies and the remedy that comes when you lift me up from the flood, in the sea of faces."
Pillar nevertheless seems more focused and invigorated on this enjoyably rocking album. Of course, we've no reason to believe that they'll sound anything like this next time.