A Return to Form (Thank God)

Worldwide (Forefront Records)
Audio Adrenaline

By Kory Wilcoxson

Audio Adrenaline's last album wasn't bad, really. It sold well and spawned a Christian radio hit in "Ocean Floor." The music was well written and some of the songs were downright beautiful.

But AA is not a beautiful band. It made its name by proclaiming the gospel over driving guitars and concert-ready sing-along choruses, not over violins and vulnerability.

Worldwide is a welcome return to form for Audio Adrenaline. The songs are more upbeat and catchy and not coincidentally the good news message is more contagious. "Dirty" is the best example of that. Over a an anthem-rock guitar riff laid down by Tyler Burkum, Mark Stuart invites us to "Come on and serve someone/let's get dirty/let's get used," and not in the Christina Aguilera way, I can guarantee you.

"Worldwide" does lull a bit in the middle as the band churns out the obligatory soul-emptying ballads, but AA are at their best when they rock, pure and simple. Songs like "Church Punks" and the excellent live version of "Start a Fire" speak to both soul and eardrum. It's safe to say that AA has returned to form.