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Viva La Revolucion 
Artist: Tragedy Ann
Label: Organic Records
Time: 10 tracks, 74:13 minutes

Sample
La Revolucion
Once again Organic Records’ Tragedy Ann have been flung onto the scene in a burst of energy.  Lead vocalist/guitarist Mikee Bridges, formerly of Sometime Sunday and fellow band members guitarist Lucky Seven, drummer Chaps McGuire and bassist Shorty Valentine have managed to release a highly charged rock and roll  album, Viva La Revolucion

From the first, the power and energy driving each song is very evident.  Besides the obvious musical talent, the lyrics clearly show how serious the band is about their relationship with Christ.  Bridges says their goal as a band is to escape the glamorous side of the music industry.  He said they don't want to be seen as stars but as people who love the Lord.  Not that their music suffers from this separation from stardom.  In fact, it just makes it more real.

Between hard driving songs and mellow sweet melodied songs, the album can certainly stand up to others in its genre for quality.  “Alone,” the album opener starts strong and doesn't let up until the end.  Lyrically tight, the opener is just a taste of the remainder of the album.  “I sometimes feel all alone/Like the dark is closing in/I look for Sonshine/Splitting night, crashing in/Where’s the victory/And death where is your sting?” 

“Your Escape” is a sad, yet powerful song about abortion with the chorus pleading, “Don’t tell me it’s ok to stop this gentle newborn heart/Don’t tell me it’s ok to escape this way.”  “Nothing But The Blood” is a new arrangement of the classic hymn, featuring powerful vocals, plenty of distortion and tight bass lines. One of the softer but no less powerful songs on the album, “Why Can’t the World Love” speaks of the pain of every day life and the answer in God’s love.  Catchy melody lines and lyrical metaphors combine to create a fun song with a serious message. The title track, ironically found as the album closer “La Revolucion” speaks out of a deep desire to see lost souls saved.  “And the little kids all join hands and pray/Because we wanna see the world saved.”   The idea behind the song is that each individual is capable of starting their own revolution to change the world by simply loving those around them.

Overall, Viva La Revolucion is a powerful and poignant album.  Lyrically, the album effectively exhibits the bands’ heart desire to serve the Lord.  Musically, while the band tries to shy away from the glam-star mentality, their music may just spring them into that spotlight.

Kerry Maffeo 7/29/2000

Mikee and Co. try for the third time to get everybody to rock out for Jesus. Big guitars, big drums, and big bass accompany Mikee's much improved singing -- sort of like Metallica's younger country rock brother without the metal foundation and a much shorter melodic reach.

The album follows the pattern of last year's One Nation Under God: start off strong with some great rockers, then throw in some filler, wrap it all up with a few acoustic tunes, and then record the band playing around in the studio for a half hour. The Tragedy Ann formula.

And they do start off well, with track two "The Last Time" actually providing some atmosphere, building energy, and perfectly balanced fusion of southern rock and post-grunge. But it gets increasingly mediocre from there. And it's still fully annoying the way each song bludgeons its simple lyric to death. I've never heard rock lyrics so repetitive.

They do a big southern rock slide-guitar version of the hymn "Nothing But the Blood" before unplugging and playing pretty acoustic pop tune "Why Can't the World Love," country rock worship song "His Face (I  Know)," and final track "La Revolucion," which declares "we can all change the world today." Even though I like Mikee a lot and respect the simplicity of his heart and message, the way he puts it to music just doesn't do much for me.

The biggest thing holding Tragedy Ann back, other than their repetitive lyrics, is that they still sound like a  well-produced party garage band -- like they're just playing around rather than spending time developing their songs beyond a simple riff and hook. But from the funny studio chatter (and couple extra songs) filling the latter half of the album, it sounds like they're having a lot more fun than most bands. Good for them.

Josh Spencer 9/15/2000
 
 

Josh Spencer, contributing senior associate editor for The Phantom Tollbooth for over two years, is also publisher and editor-in-chief of spiritual pop culture webzine Stranger Things.  Reviews and articles by him are usually simultaneously published in some form at
http://www.strangerthingsmag.com.

 
 
 
 

 

   
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