thousandftcrutchpick-of-the-monthIf you only buy one album this year, make it this one!

Oxygen:Inhale

Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch

Produced by TFK

www.thousandfootkrutch.com

10 tracks

Listening to Oxygen:Inhale by TFK is like taking a breath of fresh air. I have always contended is that too often in music, an artist will overproduce new albums. What I mean is that sitting on the shelves of many fans are the new records that rarely get listened to because, well, it sounds just like the last one. And the one before. And the one before that. Instead of an artist getting better with age they begin to sound like a broken record- pun intended- and the listener is caught thinking to themselves, "Didn't I just hear this song?"

This is not the case with Thousand Foot Krutch. It seems they get better with every album. Just when you think they have reached the top, they come out with Oxygen: Inhale.

I started to play this album, and it was like inhaling a breath of fresh air. The opening track "Like A Machine" hits you hard, hooking you with the heavy crunch guitar and their signature vocals, warning you that they are coming at you "Like a war machine". The sound, though clearly TFK style, sounds so new and fresh. They follow it with what should be a radio hit on hard rock stations- "Untraveled Road". I am just going to insert my opinion here, but I cannot help but think it is one of the greatest TFK tracks ever recorded. The energy behind the song is so intense and infecting that listening to it once is simply not an option. Its challenging lyrics - "We've only got one shot so let's make it count" - echo through the walls of your mind, pushing you to be better, louder, more persistant.

This flows well into the intro of the more guitar driven song "Born This Way" (I couldn't help but crack a smile as thoughts of another mainstream artist came to mind - and the feeling that this was an answer to her...) The energy continues well through until track 7- "Light Up". Here the album begins to soften out a bit, with a beautiful love song that could easily be about a relationship with God.

This tune carries you into "In My Room", which, quite frankly, brought a tear to my eye. Sung in mellow fashion through the eyes of someone feeling completely lost and in desperation seeking God - but not knowing where to start. "Can You meet me in my room? A place where I feel safe - don't have to run away, and I can just be me" the person asks... The hope in the reality that God will meet us where we are, because He loves us so much... "I've never prayed, so can we just talk?" the question is asked, and makes me think of the reality that God wants a relationship, not religion. So yes - He will meet us in our room! The album closes out with "Oxygen", describing God as "My oxygen tonight / You keep me breathing" and "Glow," which focuses on his relationship with God.

Overall, a beautiful album, an energetic album, an album that has potential to appeal to a very wide range audience. If you only get one album this year, make sure it is this one.

Randy Jackson

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