Pedro The Lion has been doing their thing for years now. In the comfortableness of the Christian scene, or lack there of, they have released albums garnering much acclaim. Now comes 2002, with the release of Control on talented independent secular label, Jade Tree. Gossip by the water fountain has been said that this is their finest work, but not without a little controversy.
Nobody does it better than David Bazan, the head of Pedro The Lion's now five piece act. Lyrically, Bazan pulls at the heartstrings, and through the murkiness and despair, hope arises. "Options" challenges how sometimes people lie just because it's easier than what's being thought while "Rapture" punctually paints a picture of extramarital affairs. "Penetration" begins with "Have you ever seen an idealist with gray hairs on his head, or successful men who keep up in touch with unsuccessful friends? You only think you did, and I could have sworn I saw it too. But as it turns out, it was just a clever ad for cigarettes. Cause if it isn't making dollars then it isn't making sense. If you aren't moving units, then you're not worth the expense."
"Magazine" talks of how Christians sometimes wave their fingers at "wrong things" saying, "Oh, look you earned your wings. Are you an angel now, or a vulture? Constantly hovering over, waiting for a big mistake… I feel the darkness growing stronger as you cram light down my throat. How does that work out for you, in your Holy quest to be above reproach." "Priests and Paramedics" states "Paramedics brave and strong. Up before the break of dawn. Putting poker faces on. Broken bodies all day long," which holds a bright luminosity on paramedics but isn't too kindly on priests in general. "Rejoice" ends in few words but ones that could steam up the most debate.
Pedro The Lion is no Elvis. But much like The King, controversy has been running rampant with Control. A few select tracks could shock some, as well as a very few select words; but through these songs, I see pain. Thoughts of murder, divorce, sex, and distaste of corporations and man's views of religion, shows a man lost and looking for something. Who am I to say what's right or wrong in an individual's Spiritual views? It's not my place to decide. Whether it's shaking your pelvis or saying a small number of choice terms, everyone will never ever be happy.
Control was a blessing in disguise for me. Inside all the darkness, a light, albeit a small one, shown through to lead the inevitable way. It illustrates that life just isn't as bad as you imagine and that some things are just taken for granted.
God Bless you, David Bazan, because we certainly all need it.- Review date: 7/6/02, written by Blake Garris
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