A Review: TFK

1 05 2012

In the midst of my travels, I seem to have neglected this blog.  For those of you who wish to find out about these travels, visit my blog somethingclevertravel.wordpress.com. 

But now?  The End is Where We Begin.

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The End is Where We Begin is the latest release by Canadian rockers Thousand Foot Krutch.  These guys have been around for a while, releasing a series of excellent albums–Phenomenon in 2003, The Art of Breaking in 2005, The Flame in All of Us in 2008, and Welcome to the Masquerade in 2010.  Over the years, they have built a staple of hard rock anthems and some great ballads.  Unlike many rock bands, Thousand Foot Krutch, or TFK as they are known, is not afraid to evolve their sound.  There has never been a huge change, but each subsequent release has its own character.

Does TFK succeed again with The End is Where We Begin?  The answer is, emphatically, yes.  Previously under the label Tooth and Nail, this is TFK’s first independent album since their very first efforts pre Y2K.  It shows.  TFK’s sound has moved from a hip hop/rap/rock style to a more modern hard rock sound, and while it has done so gracefully, the hip hop elements present in Phenomenon and The Art of Breaking were a huge part of keeping those albums fresh and interesting.  With their independence, I can only assume that they felt freer to do what they wanted, and the result is a cohesive effort that evolves while reaching back for a heavy dose of “old-school” TFK. 

Though it is irrelevant to the music, I give huge props to whoever is making the album cover decisions.  The Flame in All of Us featured this cover:

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Welcome to the Masquerade featured this cover:

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I like it when bands have continuity in their album art, and TFK has taken the initial idea from The Flame in All of Us and created an identity from it.  Also, the cover for The End is Where We Begin is just awesome.

So, the music.  What does TFK: TEIWWB sound like?  Well, here’s from their youtube channel:

That’s War of Change, one of their initial singles from the album.  The album starts off with an intro, then moves into the rousing and energetic We Are.  At this point, sitting in the Munich Airport waiting for my plane, I was expecting the rest of the songs to be similar and for TEIWWB to sound similar to Welcome to the Masquerade; this is not a bad thing, as We Are is fantastic and more of that is good. 

But then Light Up the Sky came on and, oh man, you knew this album was different.  Here we can see their decision to go independent paying dividends.  Lead singer Trevor McNevan is phenomenally talented.  He is in the same rare mold as Jon Foreman, that is, a great songwriter, fantastic musician, charismatic, and creative.  One of his many talents is rapping, and in Light Up the Sky, Trevor breaks out his rapping to great effect.  Underneath the rapping is a wonderfully groovy, syncopated guitar riff.  Then, in the chorus, Trevor’s vocal prowess is shown off as he ascends to the stratosphere to light up the sky.

After that comes the title track, a more restrained melodic rock anthem which is very catchy.  The next two tracks, Let the Sparks Fly and Wicked, also summon 2003 and earlier TFK, especially Wicked, which exhibits more verse rapping.  The next track, Be Somebody, is the best track on the album.  It starts off with just an electric guitar and Trevor’s smooth and emotional vocals a la Breathe You In.  Then, in the chorus, it turns it up to 11, throwing heavy guitarwork in.  The song shows some of the best of vocals on the album: 

When I could only see the floor/you made my window a door/so when they say the don’t believe/I hope they see you and me/when the lights go down, I’m just the words you are the sound…We all want to be somebody/we just need a taste of who we are/we all want to be somebody/we’re willing to go but not that far…

The second half starts off with the enormously epic Courtesy Call.  Its business as usual for a couple tracks (read: rock) until the final trio of songs.  All I need to Know sounds like a campfire song and is a pleasant, acoustic break from the previous songs.  Fly on the Wall, the next song, is perhaps the second best song on the album.  Its lyrics are dark and brooding:  we were divided, we were the same/and we free but we all wore chains/we couldn’t see it, but we created/a place between truth and overrated.  The song itself derives much of its energy from the cellos and strings of the verses, but it also plugs in the amps during the chorus. So Far Gone ends the album as a simple, but touching, worship song. 

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Too much attention gets paid to whether or not a band is ‘Christian’ or not.  There’s probably a forthcoming blogpost on that, but, for The End is Where We Begin, the question is only secondary:  TFK’s latest release is excellent music.  Go buy it, listen, love it like I have.

4.5/5 Smileys

🙂  🙂   🙂   🙂   :-

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