- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jul
With seven years under their belts, over 400 concerts performed, and three top 10 rock radio hits, it's about time Arkansas band Tinman Jones moved up from the independent ranks to major label territory. Thanks to Cross Driven Records, that's become the latest notch in the band's belt of accomplishments, allowing their music to reach a wider audience than local and regional
tour dates could provide. Prior to the brand new
In a sense, the group will have no trouble finding chart time as
The lackluster vertical lyrics continue on "Falling Forward," boasting lines like "Tripped again stumbling to the ground/But this time I'm falling forward, falling forward/Took a hit, but I won't back down/Cuz' when I fall I'm falling forward, I'm falling forward." I'm sorry to report that the brash title cut and the praise-minded "I Will" (re-retooled slightly from the group's indie days) are also simplistic in their thematic focus revolving around the Christian faith while once again calling to mind Seven Day Jesus or Bleach. The latter cut's lyrics sticks to unimpressive basics such as "If you don't praise him I will/If you don't cry out I will/I'm here waiting to get my fill/If you don't praise him I will."
A short rap by percussionist Don Guthrie does nothing to improve "Friend," and it's that same out-of-place rap that sabotages "Father Like You," which, combined with the surf-rock motif and catchy pop progression, sounds just as silly as though KJ-52 were to infiltrate a Switchfoot song. A slightly better use of Guthrie's freestyle urbanization interacting with lead vocalist's Bryan Alexis' scruffy pop disposition is found on "Falling Forward," which despite the trite lyrics is a building ballad that falls into the Audio Adrenaline or Bleach-styled rock punctuated with hints of Pax 217.
Close followers of the band and rock radio in general will probably recognize another of Tinman Jones's re-recordings in the form of "Superhero." Building off the original version, take two is a punchy, fleshed-out guitar-driven composition with, unfortunately, some of the most trite and cheesy lyrics circulating these days. Repeated phrasing of "Jesus wants to be your superhero/Jesus wants to be your superhero" bring the band down to an elementary level. "Sunshine" takes on a slightly more assertive backbeat with a better example of Alexis' enthusiasm, except the group still insists on the simplistic, forming the lyrics around the very true but frequently used assertion that knowing God can enhance the other relationships in your life.
While the album lacks musical ingenuity and lyrical craft, that doesn't mean the group's messages and upbeat sounds won't be effective in reaching out to fans. Obviously, Tinman Jones has
enough of a following to get them this far, and their commitment
to ministry is admirable, intending to encourage the body of