Cornerstone 2003 marked the end of Hangnail. Yes, their final album
Transparent was released after the festival; but the band is finished, having completed the album
before the decided break-up. Transparent is the final chapter and a very fitting close for the band.
It's a shame to see them go; but if there was ever a way to go out, this is how it's done.
Hangnail is known for their honest, intelligent lyrics. Never watered-down, the Christian messages are
loud and clear; and you should expect no different on Transparent. In fact, this disc is actually
a step up from their two previous efforts. And that's saying something. Musically, the band strays very
little from the formula that has got them where they are. Grinding guitar, strong lead vocals from Mike
Middleton, and perfect background vocals that add an incredible extra layer to the music of Hangnail
Transparent opens with the appropriately titled "Survey of Self." Confused with life, the band
turns to God knowing that He won't give up on them. Next on the platter is "Temporary," dealing with a
struggling friend and trying to make him see the wrong in his actions. The beautiful "I Aspire" simply
expresses a longing to be "a shining light" in a fallen world. "The Sleeping Giant" confronts the battle
with the entertainment world that controls us as a culture. Hangnail's final message to the world is heard
in the form of the final track "Don't Look Back," telling listeners to never look at where they've been but
to always look at the here and now.
It's sad to see Hangnail go. For three years now, they've been a driving force in Christian music.
And when they are looked back on in the years to come, I hope this is the album that people will look to
as Hangnail's defining moment. Three years of growing and maturing led to this, their greatest performance;
a beautiful piece of work that I will enjoy listening to for a long time.
- Review date: 7/25/03, written by Josh Taylor