Anthem Lights is an innovative, high-energy pop foursome with soaring vocals and hearts bent on ministry. The group's infectiously melodic self-titled debut delivers 10 powerful anthems sure to leave a ripple effect long after the CD stops spinning.
Anthem Lights' Alan Powell says this about the new album, "These songs were born out of what we've experienced over the past couple of years, spiritually. We've had to learn some very difficult lessons about who God is and who we are. We've gone through moments where we felt really close to the Lord, really felt Him at work in our lives, and then very real moments when you feel you re going around in circles and can t find Him at all. I think we've just tried to be really honest about what that darkness feels like and yet make it clear that 'the Light always wins."
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2011 has seen the return of many popular music fads, a big one being something the music industry hasn’t seen in early a decade: boy bands. Of course, with the return of classic all male groups such as Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block within the last year, it was almost inevitable that we’d begin to see new bands sprouting up and making their own names. As far as Christian music goes in this category, it’s been nearly seven years since the disbanding (no pun intended) of popular Christian boy bands Plus One and TrueVibe, and since then, the CCM genre has yet to produce anyone that has remotely matched their sound… enter in Anthem Lights.
Consisting of members Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm, Kyle Kupecky and Alan Powell, the group started back in 2008 under the name “Yellow Clavalier”, and changed their name shortly before signing with Reunion Records. I got my first taste of this band during the annual Rock And Worship Roadshow Tour this past March, and I was immediately drawn in by their style. Catchy pop/rock grooves, spot on harmonies, upbeat lyrics, and a positive gospel message. Not to mention, they put on a pretty spectacular show. I knew right away this band was something special, and I looked forward to the May 2011 release of their debut self titled album, to hear more from this up-and-coming group.
The album starts off with the first single, "Can’t Shut Up", which introduces you their sound --pop driven harmonies with a driving rock edginess. It’s a song that could very easily be heard on secular pop radio, which gives this band an imediate likability with unsuspecting listeners. Musically and lyrically, it sets the perfect tone for the rest of the album. The upbeat "I Wanna Know You Like That" talks about a wanting radical life-changing relationship with Jesus, while "Circles", starting off with a beautiful string section, showcases the band’s musical maturity, and their ability to sing pop, as well more contemporary stuff, very well.The worshipful "Can’t Get Over You"transitions seamlessly into "Stranger", a song that follows along the same lines "Circles" lyrically with a techno flair.
The fast paced "Outta My Mind" is instantly going to become a fan favorite to hear live, the song making a bold cry for God to rid us of self-absorption so we can help a broken world in need. "Lifeline" speaks of the saving power of God, while it boasts one of the catchiest choruses on the entire album. It takes a rather unexpected R&B twist mid-song, but it gives it a certain quirkiness that I like. "Lighthouse" is by far my favorite song on the album. With convicting lyrics, it paints a beautiful word picture about how easily we forget the reason we exist (“like ships bound for shipwreck, most people simply drift along and miss the destination without knowing anything is wrong.”) It’s the only song on the album that carries somewhat of an underlying hip-hop beat, but it fits this bands vocals extremely well and blended with signature pop, it’s something I’d like to hear them do more in the future.
"Freedom To Slavery" is a clever and well-written song about how we sometimes think the things God asks us to do chain us down rather than set us free. Is is, lyrically, the deepest track on the record and I hope it’s one that connects with fans struggling with the issue of compromise in their lives. Encouraging and beautifully crafted, "Where The Light Is", brings this energetic album to a calm and melodic close.
Anthem Lights has one of the strongest debut albums I’ve heard in long time. There is no denying the talent this band possesses (see them live and it will prove itself), but it’s the truth in the words that will resonate with you long after you listen. Heartfelt lyrics about going out and living as a light for Jesus brings this band and their message full circle, and it only makes me look forward to what’s to come from these guys. Musically, their straightforward pop sound may not be for everyone, but if your looking for a fun, well made, and Christ-centered alternative to mainstream pop, definitely give this band a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Anthem Lights| Posted July 30, 2013
Anthem Lights is a awesome band! I found out about them through a friend and their music is amazing!! The album is amazing too! If you guys are looking for a guy band that truly loves worshipping God through their music, this band is it!! Their song, Can't Get Over You is the a perfect example of a person who is truly in love with Jesus! Get this album yall, its truly incredible!!
the best!| Posted November 27, 2012
Anthem Lights is one of my favorite bands! their music is catchy. and the energy they give off is amazing. i had the oppourtunity to see them in concert. wow they are better than i thought. thank God for them. their song titled Cant Get Over You is such a beautiful song telling about how we cant get over Gods love, and his mercy. They ask God to hold them close because they dont want to loose Gods Presence. over all i love anthem lights ((:
Simply Amazing| Posted July 02, 2012 To put it simply, Anthem Lights is amazing! The four guys’ vocals are awesome and unique, and when added together, the sound is just remarkable. I think they are the best new band of 2011. Their debut is amazing and filled with spectacular songs with Christ centered lyrics and beautiful harmonies. There is not one bad song on the album and no weak points whatsoever. My favorite song is Circles and, well, I can’t say there is a least favorite song. Their songs are so meaningful and they all sound awesome! It’s really easy to fall in love with this band. Everyone I let listen to them becomes a fan. I can’t wait to see what Anthem Lights has in store next! What can I say? I’m a Lightbulb (and for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a die-heart fan of Anthem Lights).
Amazing| Posted May 31, 2012
Their Album is just so amazing and inspirational. Its full of great beats and lyrics, an album i could not stop listening to
songs that have so much meaning definetly worth listening to.
One of the Best Albums of 2011| Posted September 24, 2011
I recently bought Anthem Lights' debut album and I have to say that it is one of the best albums that has been released this year. Some people say that the album is more of the same old and that the songs don't cover anything new. That is probably true about the lyrics, but the music that is paired with it transforms it into something new. This is a group that truly deserves some recognition.
AWESOME!!!| Posted August 03, 2011
I am a big fan of Plus One and pop music in general...Anthem Lights is no exception!!!! They are awesome!!!!! they give an amazing sound to upbeat songs such as can't shut up, outta my mind, i wanna know you like that, and they have great slower songs such as circles, where the light is, stranger, and my personal fave can't get over you. five out of five is my vote :)
Still Digesting| Posted May 27, 2011
Not sure on this one yet. I've listened to it twice and saw them in concert twice, not sure I can handle another"boy band" yet, but I am working on it. Lyrically it has potential and I've yet to test it on the teens I teach. So hopefully I can edit this later to give a fuller review. As too the live preformance, Lots of energy and a good show. I'd like to see more originality and some greater diversity of songs but it definetly had the younger crowd rockin' and that's a good thing.
Anthem Lights Rock!| Posted May 10, 2011
I love the 'boy band' sound, especially the harmonies!! When they were Yellow Cavalier I loved them, and I still love them now! Their new album/band has a fresh new sound and message that its all out for God! The band is hilarious, their hearts are chasing after God's, they have great music, great dance moves... what more could you ask for?! Go Anthem Lights!