Thinking Out Loud

December 26, 2008

If You Like Relient K … Album Review – Capital Lights

Filed under: Christianity, music — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:15 pm

Capital Lights – This is an Outrage – Tooth & Nail Records, 2008


This is an outrage!   Yes, it’s also the album title, but it’s also an outrage that a band whose bio suggests that their goal was to “abandon commercial expectations” should produce something that is so upbeat and full of commercial appeal.    I mean, forgive me guys, but there’s not a lot of musical distance here between what you’re doing and what I hear on Radio Disney.  This is an album of feel-good, move-your-feet songs.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  After all, at my advanced age, I’ve just admitted to occasionally tuning in Radio Disney.      Listening to the band performing live on the second video — “Mile Away” — on their MySpaceMusic page you can’t help but notice the kids singing along with the band.   The song has a great hook.

Commercial music is not a bad thing, guys; it’s why they call it the music business.    Listening to lead singer Bryson Phillips deliver the lyrics on the title song, “Outrage” reminds me of the song “1985,” a major hit in 2004 for the band Bowling for Soup.   Commercial success isn’t a bad thing, either.   The instrumental work on this album, especially the guitars and added keyboards are, as the Brits say, ‘bang on.’

Lyrically, there’s a lot of  imagery to think through.   It reminds me of the lyric writing of the band Yes in the “Leave It;” or “Owner of a Lonely Heart” era.   Not a comparison the band would be expecting, but rather good company, I would say.   Though Tooth & Nail is a Christian label, I would say this is an album that Christians would enjoy, but not a “Christian album” in the sense that raises narrow lyrical expectations.   On the other hand, songs like “Night of Your Life” remind me of the advice the writer of Proverbs is giving to his son.


This is a debut album for a band from Tulsa, Oklahoma that you should purchase* and give to anyone who enjoys music with energy and life; whether they are the right age for Radio Disney or a ‘You’re never too old for rock ‘n roll’-er like myself.

*My first choice advice: Forget the downloads; spring for a whole CD!  The songs are all good!   Also check out Capital Lights’  “His Favorite Christmas Story” on the various artists album X-Christmas.

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