Every once in a while, you just have to wonder why a compilation record is released. In this case, the excuse is to encourage 8-12 year old boys who are into the whole "2:52" movement. However, when it seems like there was no effort put into the project, it raises questions. One can understand the desire to encourage youths to buy tobyMac's excellent debut album, Momentum, but by putting one of his fresh new songs among dusty and aged ones won't help a whole lot.
2:52 gets off to a decent start with toby's rocking "Get This Party Started," but is quickly followed up by Skillet's "Invincible" from their 2000 release of the same name. The song is an excellent example of Skillet's industrial rock sound, but it would seem the producers forgot that the band released their newer album Alien Youth last Fall. "Live Out Loud" from the Benjamin Gate follows, a paced yet driving anthem calling Christians to wear their faith on their sleeves. Although an excellent song, it's also dated being that Contact, their newest release, hit shelves last month. A newer treat would have been a stronger addition here.
The compilation begins going down hill at a rapid pace as ForeFront begins to dust off some old records to include some songs here. "Super Good Feeling" from Bleach's 1998 ForeFront release Static just seems a little outdated being four years old now and with the band having two other albums since. Wouldn't their new single "We Are Tomorrow" from their debut Tooth & Nail release be more fitting for teens? It seems like a no-brainer, but it would seem the label wanted to keep things in-house for this release. Audio Adrenaline's worshipful "Hands and Feet" from their 1999 release Underdog is next in line, again feeling a little aged when they've released a hits album and a new album since this song. One of the three most baffling featured songs includes the late Seven Day Jesus' 1997 hit "Butterfly," from their self-titled sophomore release. Seven Day has been long gone for years and the members have been in other bands since. The weak "Gratitude" by Pax217, from their 2000 debut record precedes the title track, "Soulbait," from the early 1997 release by Code of Ethics. As if that isn't enough to make you scratch your head, the powers that be behind this production reached back six projects to Five Iron Frenzy's debut album, Upbeats and Beatdowns, from 1996 just for their song "Cool Enough For You." Are we to believe the band hasn't had a more relevant song in six years?
To close out this completely odd compilation of old and new songs, the album ends with "2:52," by The 2:52 Crew, a group of musicians as ambiguous as the reason for this project. Surprisingly enough, 90's rock fans who just might somehow hear this record will recognize the vocals behind the title track as none other than Guardian's lead vocalist, Jamie Rowe. The pop saturated rock tune is probably great for the younger Jump5 crowd, as intended, but it isn't for the older audiences.
Ultimately, the songs themselves aren't bad (with the exception of maybe one or two being on the weak side), but the order is simply something you might just hear on a shuffled playlist instead of on this schizophrenic release. Even with its intended focus on the 2:52 age group, I really don't even see the point of this record. If there really is a need for the title cut, then just release a single with a Bible cover or something, not a full release. Skip this one folks, unless you're really feeling nostalgic, but then I just suggest pulling out your old records and listening to the whole thing.- Review date: 8/17/02, written by J.D.
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