It’s not too often that I listen to a whole album day one, even from a band I love. From the opening strings in “IntroIt” to the final tune in “Pioneers”, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to for King & Country’s Burn The Ships.
I had the fortune of seeing them headline The Roadshow tour last year. They had not released this album yet, but they did play track 2: “joy”. The upbeat salsa style mixed with enthusiasm the brothers Smallbone bring captured me from that performance.
I checked my Amazon Music account daily until it released. After it released I waited rather impatiently as the remainder of songs dropped one by one until they all became available for download.
Alone, each of them are amazing compositions of stirring music. Their true beauty lies in listening to the album as a whole. I have been a fan of the album as a mood journey since my discovery of Pink Floyd in high school.
Since that revelation, I have found very few albums achieve this formula from song to song. It is a true rarity to find an album that flows from song to song seamlessly, leading the listener on a journey that stirs the soul. This album took me on that journey, and oh what a journey it was!
From the excitement of “joy” to the valley of pain with a mixture of encouragement of “God Only Knows”, the first song lifted me up to plummet me into a valley with the second.
The third entry “Amen” brings back an upbeat tone, opting for a moving message of salvation. I envisioned a metamorphosis during this song, a butterfly coming from the cocoon spun in ‘God Only Knows’. Every rousing chorus of “Amen” makes me sing out loud with pure enjoyment.
Then the title track hits. A bit of gravity with the slower, more soulful chorus intro. The piano keys mixed with the opening line “How did we get here?” adds the weight necessary to capture my attention. This song has become my anthem for this year.
A reminder to get rid of the past, to let it fade. I’m not who I once was. While I should never forget my past, It is time to move forward and live this new life God has given me. The uplifting chorus once again raises my spirits, encouraging me to move forward.
Continuing the theme of starting new, “Fight On, Fighter” is another encouraging lyric that speaks to me. While I wouldn’t exactly use it as walk out music for a fight, it does move me to feel emboldened. After listening to this song, I’m ready to tackle the issues day to day life throws at me.
Another song moving you into a valley, “Need You More” is a reminder that our source of life comes from God. It is a reality check for me which brings me back to a sober look at why we need to turn back to God in the valleys and on the mountains. “Need You More” is an inspiration for me to spend more time in the Bible and more time in prayer with our Father.
“Control” echoes my feelings and thoughts when I begin to doubt the mission God has given me. “You asked me to let go, but I thought I knew better.” This opening line of the song summarizes my struggle with giving up control to God.
Then the chorus reinforces my need to give that very control up to Him. The song climaxes near the middle with a resolution that they will raise up their voice to sing, which is all they have left to bring. It reminds me that I may only be able to convey my thoughts by writing them out, but I resolve to do this for the glory of the One who made me.
The next song just makes me smile when I hear the “Hoo hoo” intro. “Never Give Up” is an uplifting, lighthearted song which reminds me a bit of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. It’s so catchy, I find myself singing it for a few days after listening to it.
That’s not a bad thing either, as the message of the song is to never give up, keep your head up. It is a breath of fresh air, and an encouragement to me as the album begins to draw to a close.
I imagine the song “Hold Her Tonight” was written with a wife in mind, as the songwriter is on the road. It is a moving piece which drips with the emotion of the writer. The moving music set against the powerful lyrics nearly moves me to tears. I envision having to leave my own wife and praying the lyrics of this song to God as I mourn the time away from her.
The final song, “Pioneers”, showcases the wives of Luke and Joel Smallbone. This song was written to encourage married couples to “carry on”, a message that too often falls on deaf ears. A message of true love, I find this final song a fitting end to the album.
It blends a hopeful tone with a cautious beat. It gives me a feeling of treading carefully through life with a vision and a desire to build something eternal, something that will stand the test of time with the one you love.
All in all, I love this album. As a fan of rock music, I really wanted to dislike for King & Country the first time I heard them. Their innovative lyrics and infectious energy won me over. This album has trumped their previous entries in my book though as it wasn’t just a few songs that hooked me, but the entire album.
If you haven’t heard it yet, I highly recommend that you take the time and give it a listen. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
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