- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Dec
- Somebody Sold Me
- None Too Ladylike
- Save Your Voice (Quiet Down, Boy)
- Boulevard of Both Extremes
- Rocky's Now My Name
- Heavenly Hill
- Spread the Way (Galilee Beach Boys)
- Bone Digger
- Bad Dad
- Back in the New Testament
- Humpty Dumpty Country Club
- Here I Go (Against All I've Known)
- Won't Get Born Again
- Want It Dead or Alive?
- Singled You Out
Wordplay is the thirteenth album from Christian parody band Apologetix, and while they have an unquestionably loyal fan base, the makeup of that fan base is somewhat mystifying. Is the target audience kids or adults? Christians or non-believers?
Ideally all the above, though I remain skeptical. Sure, astute parents who keep up with their children's music may recognize reworked versions of Bowling for Soup's "1985" and Velvet Revolver's "Slither." But will kids in turn appreciate nods to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" or Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" from twenty to thirty years ago? For that matter, is the target Christian audience savvy enough to recognize such mainstream hits?
If graded on mimicry alone, then credit Apologetix as one impressively talented and versatile cover band. Just as "Weird Al" Yankovic effortlessly bounces between rock, pop, and hip-hop, lead singer J. Jackson and company successfully impersonate Green Day, Trace Adkins, U2, and Kanye West.
However, parody by definition involves imitation for the sake of humor or satire. "Somebody Sold Me," a fun and spot-on retelling of
Also, the endless lyrical references to chapter and verse (especially in "Jehovah," i.e. Steve Miller's "The Joker") are meaningless if the songs don't actually inspire listeners to pick up their Bibles. Some undoubtedly are, proving that this band is more than evangelical entertainment, but it only plays well to a receptive mindset. The songs have changed, but Wordplay feels like every other Apologetix album—which is to say you'll love it if you love them, and won't if you don't.