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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Southern Hospitality

  • reviewed by Andrea Dawn Goforth Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Sep
Southern Hospitality
Sounds like … the hard rock style of P.O.D., Project 86, and DecembeRadio, blended with the classic metal and southern rock of bands like Guns 'n Roses and The Black CrowesAt a glance … Disciple gets rootsy with their brand of melodic hard rock and dips into some classic rock, ultimately keeping the style and message that help define themTrack Listing Southern Hospitality Romance Me 321 Whisper So Loud Whatever Reason Phoenix Rising Liar Falling Star Right There On My Way Down Lay My Burdens Savior

If you've been watching the WWE lately, you might have heard one of Disciple's songs from their last album playing as Curt Hawkins took the stage. Or maybe you heard their song "Game On" playing at a sports arena. Disciple's new album Southern Hospitality has a tough act to follow after the success of 2006's Scars Remain. But the title of this release is a perfect fit as the bands embraces a different, more rootsy feel.

The band also shows some serious staying power. Since forming in 1992, they have put out 8 albums, earned 2 Dove awards, and become a staple in the Christian rock scene. Despite changes in line-up over the years, Disciple continues to put out albums that show growth and creativity.

Southern Hospitality is no exception as Disciple pulls away from its thumping heavy beats and moves to even more melodic metal like classic bands from the '80s. The title track surprises you with its Guns 'n Roses feel, as well as the guitar solo at the end, something that Disciple is not known for.

What they are known for is solid memorable songwriting, which they have once again pulled off in songs like "Phoenix Rising" and "321," which display that catchy rock style that P.O.D. was known for. These, along with most songs on the album, feel like they will soon be featured favorites on Guitar Hero. Disciple also keeps the album interesting by throwing in the occasional ballad like "Whatever Reason" and the acoustic-tinged "Savior."

Disciple has had its share of change, but their message is one thing that remains the same. "I believe in Christian rock music. It changed my life," says lead singer Kevin Young. Their faith is most evident in the final track, "Savior," which prays for a girl in her "darkest hour"—"I know you love her more than I could love her… I know you can save her, Jesus." Disciple shows their understanding of the balance between the Lord's power and his love in their lyrics. They don't apologize for obvious faith references, but rather relate it to everyday life in a way that feels more genuine.

Granted, Disciple's sound is creeping slowly towards the more commercialized rock that has been overplayed on radio for the last decade, and it's sure to have some categorizing the band with Nickelback and Creed. But that's not really what they were going for. Instead they have served up a solid rock album that plays with influences, throws in some wild solos, and ultimately lives up to the album title.

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