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Fighting for You

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Sep
Fighting for You
Sounds like … semi-worshipful pop/rock reminiscent of By the Tree, Starfield, Sonicflood, MercyMe, Circadian Rhythm, Among Thorns, Ten Shekel Shirt, Fusebox, and so onAt a glance … while this isn't a bad effort per se, muffled production and routine songs prevent Detour 180 from making a lasting impression that distinguishes their music from countless other similar sounding bands before themTrack Listing By the Time You Know My Name Back to the Cross See My Saviour Fade Away Headlong Silent Anthem Fighting for You Forever Wait for Me Recognize Hallelujah

After initially creating a stir in their New Zealand homeland via the internationally reputed Parachute Festival, Detour 180 went on to release their self-titled debut through Cross Driven Records in 2003. A lot has changed for them since then, starting with a move to America in 2005 with hopes of taking their music ministry to the next level. The life change probably led to the shift in the band's lineup—half remains unchanged, joined by a new guitarist and rhythm section, with founding member Jono Scarlet trading his bass for producer/manager/songwriter duties. And Detour 180 now finds itself on a new label, Spring Hill's Slanted imprint, for the release of Fighting for You.

Yet in spite of all that, the more things change the more they stay the same for this band. Worshipful origins notwithstanding, Detour 180 still mixes praise with the occasional personalized rocker ("By the Time," about coming to faith while there's still time) and vertically focused single ("You Know My Name," written with worship artist Carl Cartee). "Silent Anthem" is an effectively poetic worship ballad, but a live version of their "Hallelujah" praise chorus seems an unnecessary inclusion after featuring it on their previous album and other compilations since.

There's some occasionally good guitar and Adrian Robertson's vocal is strong, but the band's talents are hindered by lackluster songwriting and production. It's bad enough that the overall mix sounds muffled and B-level at best, but tracks such as "Back to the Cross," "See My Saviour," and "Wait for Me" exemplify routine, resembling hundreds of other songs by semi-worshipful bands like By the Tree, Starfield, and Sonicflood … or perhaps forgotten acts like Circadian Rhythm, Among Thorns, and Ten Shekel Shirt. While it's commendable that they've found success through relentless touring of churches across the country, Detour 180 needs to find a more compelling direction than this if they're to leave a lasting impression.

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