On their website, Matt MacDonald, vocalist for Tooth & Nail newcomers The Classic Crime, says he wants his band to have stats like the albatross, a bird with a fourteen foot wingspan and an eighty year life span. It's an impressive and gutsy goal, but unfortunately, neither of those words can rightfully describe their debut album, Albatross.
The Classic Crime sounds eerily similar to Fall Out Boy… MacDonald's voice, the musical arrangements, everything. Compare "All the Memories" to Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin' Down," and to call them the "Christian Fall Out Boy" by no means sounds like a stretch. For those unfamiliar with mainstream's latest media child, Fall Out Boy is an aggressive four-piece pop/rock outfit with a knack for writing melodic, yet toe-tapping tunes. There are differences between the two acts, of course (The Classic Crime is a bit more intense), but it's similar enough at times to make you do a double take.
But while musically they may sound like a carbon copy, lyrically, The Classic Crime gets a lot right. Songs like "Who Needs Air?" convey the exhilaration of having a desperation for Christ, "And I stand alone before the night. My nakedness is so clear in the glow of the moonlight. Life is old but so short. We are young. We want more. I'm drowning, but I don't care, because when you got what I got, who needs air?" And "The Fight" portrays the disciples answering the call of Christ, "Would you cry for the weak? Die for the peace of men? I'll take my heart back and set the people free. I'll leave the dead to die and take who's coming with me."
Discerning parents will be excited to hear about this new Christian alternative to the usually sexually charged messages of Fall Out Boy, and I won't pretend that it doesn't excite me. Seeing so many of my peers into MTV's latest trend is somewhere between disheartening, and just plain annoying. But, on artistic merit alone, The Classic Crime is a letdown. There is potential for growth, absolutely. The lyrical quality assures that things only look up from here. But for now, unless desperate for a mainstream alternative without the mainstream message, you will want to let this one pass you by.- Review date: 6/5/06, written by Josh Taylor
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