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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Oct
Sounds like … the brightest and best in the current Christian rock scene, ranging from the lighter fare of Newsboys and Jeremy Camp, to the pop punk of Hawk Nelson and Relient K, all the way to the hardcore of Underoath and Demon HunterAt a glance … X2007 is an impressively packed, comprehensive overview of a Christian rock scene that's quietly become stronger and more varied in recent yearsTrack Listing Flights–Falling Up Go–Newsboys Is Forever Enough–Hawk Nelson Awake–Seventh Day Slumber Tonight–Jeremy Camp Fly–Sanctus Real Somewhere in the Sky–Kutless Rebirthing–Skillet Writing on the Walls–Underoath Absolute–Thousand Foot Krutch Blaze of Glory–Audio Adrenaline The Next Big Thing–FM Static Do Not Move–David Crowder Band Undying–Demon Hunter Studying Politics–Emery Who I Am Hates Who I've Been–Relient K Role Modeling–MxPx Become What You Believe–Last Tuesday Open Wide–Future of Forestry Invisible Hook–House of Heroes We've Only Just Begun–Run Kid Run

Hard to believe we're already at the fifth annual release in the X series, a rock supplement to the best-selling WoW compilations. Giving fair consideration to bands and artists generally deemed too niche for WoW's softer focus, X 2007 succeeds where its predecessors have failed by developing a focus that that avoids going too far pop while wisely sidestepping hip-hop altogether (since we also now have the Hip Hope Hits series).

And yet this extremely packed and comprehensive single disc never settles into a rut, indicating that Christian rock has grown beyond a parade of punk (Relient K, Hawk Nelson) and nü-metal (Kutless, Thousand Foot Krutch). Those bands, like others, have evolved into a spectrum that also includes power pop, emo-rock, and hardcore. Is it more impressive that the same album features both David Crowder Band and Underoath, or that both successfully co-exist on it?

Praise too for the timeliness of new tracks from Skillet, Jeremy Camp, MxPx, Seventh Day Slumber, and Newsboys—all of them delivering material ranging from good to excellent. The compilation also recognizes rising bands like Last Tuesday, Run Kid Run, and Future of Forestry (though I wish Edison Glass and The Classic Crime were also promoted). And completists can appreciate the inclusion of Audio Adrenaline's rocking finale "Blaze of Glory," as well as House of Heroes' "The Invisible Hook" from the expanded reissue of their debut.

Switchfoot is still noticeably absent, as are P.O.D. and Mute Math, though it'd take a bureaucratic miracle to clear permission for any of them. More unusual is the favoring of Sanctus Real's "Fly" is favored over their bigger hit "I'm Not Alright" (featured on WoW Hits 2007), and FM Static still sounds a little out of its league compared to their peers. Those quibbles aside, X2007 is an excellent way to feel the pulse of a thriving Christian rock scene.

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