Hear the disappointment

Lift (Forefront Records)

Audio Adrenaline

By Kory Wilcoxson

Audio Adrenaline is one of the staples of the Contemporary Christian music scene, having produced a string of best-selling albums in the past decade. To back that up, they tour incessantly and put on one heck of an entertaining live show.

But all that work and travel and energy has to take its toll, and it has done that on their latest. Lift is much more subdued and pensive than previous efforts, but on most of the songs, they don't make that approach work. What's glaringly missing from Lift is the playfulness of their last and best album, Underdog. The band doesn't seem to be having any fun, and that gives songs like "Ocean Floor" and "Glory" an unnecessary heaviness.

The songwriting, which has been creative and inventive on past works, is too pedestrian, and at times, as on "I'm Alive," so clichéd it's embarrassing. That song, like several others, is rescued by catchy choruses, but usually AA doesn't have to work that hard. I could handler a softer, gentler AA if they didn't compromise their excellence. But apart from "Glory" and "Speak to Me," they do. Lift is a good album by most standards; but we've come to expect better.