The End Is Now
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Dec
It's been a long time coming! After what seems like a decade-long contractual battle with Word Records (the parent company of ill-fated Squint Entertainment), L.A. Symphony has finally been able to break free from the mess, hooking up with Gotee Records (Christian market) and Basement Records (mainstream) for
Refusing to succumb to the business woes tying them up, the crew allowed their creative juices to flow, releasing various independent side projects, solo albums, and EPs, whetting the fans' appetite for the LAS goodness they craved. Many of these fans wouldn't wait for Squint to drop the lauded
With a renewed sense of purpose, L.A. Symphony gave birth to the self-produced, self-mixed, and self-engineered
Take the southern spunk of the first single "Gonna Be Alright," dedicated "to anybody that's lost their job before [and] anyone that just broke up with their significant other." Its simple and reiterated hook "Everything's gonna be alright" is followed by rapid-fire verses on the ephemeral nature of problems. Laced with a phat Timbaland-esque beat, "I Can't Have Her" is about maintaining sexual purity; its specific message is good advice for anyone dealing with lustful feelings.
"Charlie Brown" recounts the Squint debacle through quirky samples, plodding pace, and a silly chorus, all working together to tell their painful story—and yet point to God in the midst of it all. You can hear the disappointment in Pigeon John's voice: "How about you work out a record deal?/Why not, God? You made fire/Why not a deal with sire?/God, You're frustrating me/Your hands created me, right?/Then what am I going to do with this guilt that it's killing our might?" A similar theme is revisited in "Wonderful," where members are given a chance to "vent" about their ordeal. Both old-school and laid-back, you can't help but feel for the Symph, especially for Joey the Jerk, quite possibly the most disenchanted of all.
Two tracks are exclusive to the Gotee version of the album (for the Christian market). The first is "Here to Party," a somewhat vacuous party track that encourages listeners to "dance" and "shake it" (gasp!) as an extremely synthy and grating horn section jumps out of the mix. The second is "One of a Kind," a track that's rhythmically superior but a bit gratuitous in its use of braggadocio to drive its point across.
Despite the crew's reputation and ardent underground following, I don't know how well Christian audiences will receive