In the two years since Abandonís Forefront Records debut Searchlights, the San Antonio-based band scored a Dove nomination, throngs of critical acclaim and tours alongside Fireflight, Building 429, Remedy Drive, Teen Maniaís Acquire the Fire, plus a plethora of major faith-based festivals. Amongst all the activity, the modern rockers crafted its sophomore CD Control, which finds the five-some taking the next natural evolutionary musical step, while also turning inward for their greatest lyrical depth to date and writing two songs for the album with Aaron Gillespie from Underoath and The Almost. Releasing Control 4/19/11, the album builds upon Abandonís Coldplay meets The Killers pedigree adding each of the individual guysí personalities in the studio.
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MAIN REVIEW Abandon’s sound has been described as The Killers meet Coldplay which is a great description. I would also compare them to The All-American Rejects, Maroon 5, Mute Math and Christian rock bands The Almost, Falling Up and After Edmund. They have a steady rush of uncommon creativity that has both modern flash and worshipful depth. Brothers Josh and Justin Engler had moved from their home state of Indiana to Texas while in high school, where they met Dave and Stevan Vela, cousins, at church. Gelling by jamming in the worship band, they felt a growing desire to write original music together as well. In the two years since Abandon’s Forefront Records debutSearchlights, the San Antonio-based band scored a Dove nomination, throngs of critical acclaim and tours. Amongst all the activity, the modern rockers crafted its sophomore album Control, which finds the five-some taking the next natural evolutionary musical step, while also turning inward for their greatest lyrical depth to date and writing two songs for the album with Aaron Gillespie from Underoath and The Almost.
I have loved this band since the original EP released in 2008 and can’t get enough of their sound musically, especially stand-out songs “Providence,” “Hold On” and “Be Alive In Me.” If you liked those songs, then you’ll absolutely want to pick up this album immediately which picks up literally where it left off with hit song “Hero,”and includes a new recording of that song and is jam packed with energy from the other twelve new original songs. First single “Feel It In Your Heart” is already one of my top songs of the year and has quickly jumped up the charts with the super-catchy dance-flavored rock beat, similar to “Misery” by Maroon 5, but with an uplifting message. The song is about casting aside life’s numerous distractions in favor of plugging into God’s plan, in turn, stirring up an undeniable passion to go forth with an eternal mindset. “Help” has a Mute Math feel to the song, and acknowledges that in the challenges of life, rather than complicate things, we all need to cry out to God, “I need You.” The guitar hooks actually just keep getting better with each song on this album, as “Live It Out,” has one of the best guitar licks of the year and I love the driving rock beat and positive message.
“SOS” and “Push It Away” were both written with Aaron Gillespie and both songs usher in a slightly different sound. They both have more of a punk-rock feel overall and remind me of “Monster Monster” by The Almost musically. “Your Love Goes On” seems destined to be a hit in every radio format with the vertical lyrics and relatable theme. The song speaks about God constantly pursuing His creation, even those who feel unworthy or like they’ve committed too many sins in the past to be wiped clean. A couple of the other gems on this excellent album are at the end of the album, especially “Under Fire” and “Known.” I love the electronic pulsing beat of “Under Fire” which is one of the best album tracks I’ve ever heard, and has a catchy chorus where Josh boldly proclaims, “we are under fire, but we know the Truth in our hearts, we are under fire, but we hold the Truth of who You are, and though we haven’t seen Your face, we know that we walk by faith, we are under fire but it only burns, burns our doubt away.” It really has a Brit-rock feel to the song and I can’t get enough of this great song. The last two songs, “Known” and “Hero” are all about knowing and being known by our Savior, Jesus. If you are wondering about the basis of the hope-filled messages of this great band, then get to know Jesus and experience true joy.
CLOSING THOUGHTS If you’re looking for an album to get you excited about your faith and you like Brit-rock bands U2 and Coldplay and alternative rock bands The Killers and Mute Math, don’t miss out on the best Christian alternative rock album of the year. Control by Abandon will certainly be one of my top albums of the year. The stand-out songs are “Feel It In Your Heart,” “Help,” “Live It Out,” “Your Love Goes On,”“Under Fire” and “Hero.”
Rating: 9.2 out of 10 (92%, A)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org
Abandon: Control| Posted September 14, 2011
Before this album I had never heard of Abandon. It is a possibility that I have heard one of their songs on the radio without knowing it, but they have never been on my radar. Now they are one of my favorite bands. The first song on the album "Feel It In Your Heart" really cemented itself in my brain. I found myself singing it to myself throughout the day. After hearing it for the first time I was singing along with it each time.
The second song "Help" sounds to me like a mix between the musical style of DC Talk and the modernity of Relient K. It has that kind of old school flare to it.
The whole album really is pretty solid. The album really flows, but each song can stand on its own. All of the songs on the album could become hits on the radio if more people knew about them. I am pretty sure that "Feel It In Your Heart" is already being played regularly on the radio, but none of the other songs are. I could definitely see "Hero" being a huge hit if more people heard it. The song is filled with so much emotion and really awe at our Savior.
Abandon started off the album with four or five songs that are really upbeat songs and ones you just want to dance to. Then they transition into more laid back and mellow songs. The last three songs are extremely emotional.
Abandon has now become one of my favorite bands, and even after my three times of listening to it for the review: I cannot stop listening to Control. It is just so solid. I hope they are more recognized for this album. I cannot wait to hear what they do next.
Favorite Song: Feel It In Your Heart
Favorite Lyrics: "There He goes - a hero. A savior to the world. Here he stands with scars in His hands. With love He gave His life so we could be free. The Savior of the world." (From the song "Hero")
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
Abandon: Control Review| Posted April 25, 2011
There is a difference between a good album and an outstanding album. Abandon's sophomore project Control is the latter. With an all-new thirteen-track album, Abandon asks the thought-provoking question, "Who is in control of your life? Is it you, or is it God?"
The extremely catchy track and radio single "Feel It In Your Heart" kicks things off superbly, speaking of following the plan that the Lord has placed in each of our hearts. The guitar driven track was excellent, followed by "Help," an equally awesome track. "Help" carried a little bit of an older Newsboys sentiment with the fill-ins sounding much like Peter Furler, although the rest of the track, pleading for help from God, sounded much like MIKESCHAIR music.
"Live It Out" begins with a haunting wind sound that reminded me of Natalie Grant's "Your Great Name" track, but was actually a nice rock track speaking of making a difference by living God's love out to the world. "SOS," one of two tracks on Control co-written by Aaron Gillespie, reminded me very much of "Straight to Your Heart" by Mikeschair, and also contains a bit of an Anthem Lights sentiment to it. This track is a cry to God, asking Him for the help that comes when we surrender oursleves to Him.
"Your Love Goes On" is a slightly-slower, acoustic-guitar based track with booming drums, speaking of how the love of God is a constant. Both musically and lyrically, this track reminded me of Chasen's "On and On," and was therefore quite enjoyable and worshipful. While still slower, "Let Go" speaks of surrendering all control to God and is followed by "New Years Day," a track speaking of the newness that we experience in Christ when He comes in and changes us. The fillins in between the verses were a huge asset to this track.
"Talk to Me," is another catchy track, asking God to take full control of our lives. The lyrics of the chorus are especially enjoyable: "I don’t know which way to go/ Cause I’ve never been down this road/ I’m tired of second-guessing and obsessing/ So I’m asking please/ Talk to me!" "Push It Away," also co-written by Aaron Gillespie, bears resemblance to Newsboys' radio single "Miracles," and encourages Christians to never be moved by tough times, but to remain strong in our faith.
"Under Fire" speaks of knowing the truth even through the fire: "Though we haven't seen Your face/ we know that we walk by faith/ we are under fire/ but it only burns all doubt away." "Why Does It Take So Long?" is a song of lamentation, asking why it takes so long for us to find our way home: "I've carried this cross/ I've been lost and lonely/ I had to walk this world to see/ that You are where I want to be/ and why does it take so long/ to find my way home?" "Known" is a slightly slower song with encouraging lyrics to those who feel worthless, reminding them that God is there to help us in times of our weakness.
Abandon's Control project is ended with "Hero," slightly different from the radio version, as it contains more drums, and background effects not heard on radio. The mostly piano-based track that tells the story of Jesus was very enjoyable, and put a very nice ending to Control from Abandon.
Abandon's Control project is a good mix of many modern rock bands, such as Anthem Lights, Chasen, MIKESCHAIR, Downhere, and others. I very much enjoyed Abandon's sophomore project, full of thought-provoking lyrics, amazing vocals, and a totally catchy rock sound. This album has something for everyone, from the upbeat and dancy, "Feel It In Your Heart," and "SOS," to the slower, worship tracks such as "Hero," and "New Years Day." I highly recommend this album to fans of Christian rock, and fans of the radio singles "Feel It In Your Heart" and "Hero"!
love them| Posted November 27, 2012
ive loved Abandon since the begining! their music is great. this album is by far the best in my opinion! and seeing them in concert makes listening to their music a better expirience. (: Keep At It Abandon.
I heard about the band Abandon, from here on NRT, so I thought I'd check 'em out. I soon after heard their song "Hero" on the radio, and totally fell in love with this group. I've listened to the album countless times already, (I've only had it a couple weeks, haha.) and I'm totally stuck on it. Honest to goodness, I love every song. They're such a FANTASTIC group! By far one of my new favorites. But, if I had to pick just one favorite song, it would probably be "New Years Day". It just does my soul good to listen to that song. :P The chorus goes:
"Dark has turned to light and I will celebrate
All my wrongs made right
Everything has changed
My sins have been erased and it feels like
New years day."
Totally connected to those lyrics. Awesome tune, also! Which really goes for all the songs. Can't wait to hear what Abandon comes out with next! :)
Abandon continues to craft great sounding and catchy songs and does not dissapoint with this latest release. There are quite a few layers to each song with many things going on and I really enjoy not only the level of musicianship and variety on this release, but also the lyrics and their ability to bring me to introspection and reflection. Great job once again!
Amazing| Posted April 20, 2011
Let's just say that Feel it in Your Heart is totally my jam and it is my favorite song at the moment. I can't help but dance to it and all my friends feel the same way when they hear it! Awesome awesome awesome cd.
Kids play it non-stop| Posted April 18, 2011
My kids have been listening to samples from this new album for a couple of weeks. It seems like it is all that we get to hear. But that is okay. Abandon has a really good style of music and good messages too.
Abandon| Posted April 18, 2011
Ever since I first heard Abandon two years ago, I have been hooked. They have a nice rock edge with a great message behind it. I was so excited they were releasing a new album. When I first heard "Feel it in Your Heart", I knew the new album would not disappoint. There are so many great songs and artists out there but Abandon stands out with their great beats and amazing lyrical ability. The best songs in my opinion are "Talk to Me" "Feel It in Your Heart" and "Under Fire." If you haven't heard Abandon and like good music, take a listen to them. You won't be disappointed.
I am glad these guys finally put out a new record. It has been a little while since they have had a new album, I think about two years. Glad to see that they are still cranking out the good tunes. One of my favorites.