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BLOOM (1996)
Bloom - Click to view! It's an album the band has found hard to top, an uncontrolled statement of trust, energy and salvation urging listeners to Bloom. The opener screams the "Secret" of God's immeasurable love, unhindered in it's rock bombardment. "Never Gonna Be" stands it's own as one of the hottest Christian singles of all time, a strong melody stressing humility and the enduring glory of Jesus. Though it's easily forgotten first time through, "Good People" thanks the everyday fans and folks who AA have met, and see as their role models. More open declaration strengthens track four, which contrasts Elvis and cultural monarchs with the King of kings, concluding, "I'm not the king ~ I just sing." With prevailing audacity and direct candor, "Walk on Water" abridges the gospels in ruminating on Christ's magnificence. Awkward with their high profile status as a rock band, Audio A. ask their audience to "See Through" them to the only perfect example (don't miss the deft guitar work). What makes this CD such a "live" experience is the band's maturation as tight players together. Incidentally, Barry Blair's unassailable solos are front-center on Bloom; his exit has been sorely felt by the "new" AA, who have yet to equal Bloom's addictive sound. The highly controversial remix of "Free Ride" follows, the band substituting Edgar Winters' fix for an eternal buzz. Fluent in real-life snapshots, "Man of God" distends a confession of blame for not having firm faith. The ninth cut contrasts a "harps and flowers" image of Heaven with the true "Gloryland" our ultimate destination is. "Jazz Odyssey" pokes fun at the cappuccino college crowd, while "Bag Lady" cries for grace and hope to intervene in a dying world. Further liberating aggression is seen in "I Hear Jesus Calling," a demo-quality recording rejecting reclusiveness by hearing the expansive vision and wisdom of Christ. The raving cut that closes the CD, "Memoirs," has great conviction (and even greater decibel levels) in urging believers to not detach their faith from their routine. Understated and underrated, this concert of 13 tracks is Audio Adrenaline's exhortation to see people Bloom where they're planted.
- Josh M. Shepherd
February 2000
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