Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
Whatever you might say about Kevin Max, you can’t question the guys artistic integrity. After brief stint fronting Audio Adrenaline, Max left over the creative direction of the band. Not content playing worship music for a steady paycheck, Max chose to go back out on his own.
Musically, you might not find much different between Audio Adrenaline’s return and Broken Temple. Obviously, I attribute most of that to Max’s unique and unmistakable vocal style. But it is quite a departure from the gutsy Cotes d’Armor (Max’s 2010 solo full-length). Not just musically but lyrically as well. It might be Max’s safest album laically since he parted with DC Talk. Which makes sense. Kevin said when he joined Audio A that he wanted to show he wasn’t the “bad boy of christian rock” that he had been painted to be. While the lyrics might be “safe”, Kevin’s decision to leave Audio A shows his integrity as an artist and it isn’t like Broken Temples is a worship album.
There’s nothing wrong with Broken Temples. But it sounds like records we’ve heard from Max before. The songs are good. Upbeat and fun with meaningful lyrics. Good King’s Highway is more fun than anything that was on the Audio Adrenaline comeback record. Light Me Up is another danceable track. Just As I Am feels like a nod to Max’s love for the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds. Clear is a little moodier and introspective musically. Very new wave. Max stated he wanted to do something similar to Coldplay and that showcases itself on When We Were Young and That Was Then, This Is Now. White Horse isn’t new wave, but it’s another nod to Max’s love for 80’s music.
I really like and enjoy the songs on Broken Temples. The problem is, it doesn’t feel new. And it doesn’t have to. But because there’s no pushing the envelope lyrically, it feels like something is lacking. So we’re left with just a good record. A really good and enjoyable record. But it just doesn’t have something that takes it to that next level. Maybe the record will grow on me more with time. Because I like the songs enough to keep listening. 4 out of 5 Stars.