Superchick released their major label debut KARAOKE SUPERSTARS in 2001. It included the songs ‘Barlow Girls’, ‘Karaoke Superstars’, and ‘One Girl Revolution’. In 2005 they released their fourth album, BEAUTY FROM PAIN. The next year they revamped it and released it to the mainstream market as BEAUTY FROM PAIN 1.1 (Columbia/Inpop). One of the changes is that this version does not include the song ‘Stories (Down to the Bottom)’ featuring TobyMac. Tricia Brock is the main lead vocalist on the album, with sister Melissa Brock singing lead on three tracks. The latter also plays guitar. Other group members are: Dave Ghazarian (lead guitar, vocals), Max Hsu (Keyboards/DJ), Brandon Estelle (drums, vocals), and Matt Dally (bass, vocals). A press release at the time said: “Superchick recently returned from a European tour which included performances in Finland and Germany to audiences numbering more than 20,000 fans”. In the album’s liner notes, Tricia writes: “Thank you everyone who lives life with me, the good, and the painfully hard times. It’s easy to share joy, but takes really loving someone to willingly share their pain”.
Starting things off is ‘Anthem’, a rock rally cry for girls worldwide: “Here’s to the ones who don’t give up (3X)/This is your anthem/Get your hands up/We are fire inside/We are lipstick and cleats/We are not going home and we are playing for keeps/We are girls with skinned knees/We are concrete and grace/We are not what you think/Can’t keep us in our place”. ‘Pure’ is a catchy pop song full of hope: “This is my brand new day starting now/Letting go of the ways that I fall down/The old can be made new, the lost can be found/The lost will be found/I bring the pure flow like water around/The rocks of life won’t pull me down/I bring the pure flow drink so deep/The river of life my soul at ease”. ‘Bowling Ball’ encourages girls not to stay with guys who treat them poorly: “You need that boy like a bowling ball dropped on your head/Which means not at all/You have too much to give to live to waste your time on him”.
‘We Live’ was used by the TV show ‘Brothers and Sisters’. This light pop song reflects on our mortality: “There’s a cross on the side of the road/Where a mother lost a son/How could she know that the morning he left/Would be their last time she’d trade with him for a little more time?/So she could say she loved him one last time/And hold him tight/But with life we never know”. ‘One Girl Revolution’ first appeared on the band’s debut album. Here, we have a Battle Mix of it. It’s another rock rally cry for girls: “I wear a disguise, I’m just your average Jane/The super doesn’t stand for model, but that doesn’t mean I’m plain/If all you see is how I look, you miss the superchick within.../I’ll be everything that I want to be/I am confidence in insecurity/I am a voice yet waiting to be heard/I’ll shoot the shot, BANG, that you hear round the world/I’m a one girl revolution”.
‘Wishes’ is a song many teen girls will relate to: “I wish we could have worked it out/I wish I didn’t have these doubts/I wish I didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now/I wish I didn’t know inside/That it won’t work out for you and I/I wish that I could stop this wishing/And just say my last goodbye”. ‘Stand in the Rain’ was not on the original BEAUTY FROM PAIN. The song hit #1 on the R&R Christian Hit Radio (CHR) chart. It’s a rock ballad, featuring Claire Indie on cello and Caitlin Evanson on violin, and encourages perseverance: “She wants to be found/The only way out is through everything she’s running from/Wants to give up and lie down/So stand in the rain/Stand your ground/Stand up when it’s all crashing down/Stand through the pain/You won’t drown/And one day what’s lost can be found/You stand in the rain”.
Melissa Brock sings lead on ‘Courage’, a tender song about eating disorders: “I don’t know the first time I felt unbeautiful/The day I chose not to eat/What I do know is how it changed my life forever/I know I should know better/There are days when I’m ok/And for a moment/For a moment I find hope/But there are days when I’m not ok/And I need your help, so I’m letting go/Some days I’m still fighting to walk towards the light...” ‘It’s On’ is a rock song encouraging perseverance: “And the view will never change/Unless you decide to change it/Don’t feel like it today/Just show up anyway/And though life will take you down/It only matters if you let it/Get up, go through, press on/Today’s your day”.
‘Suddenly’ encourages those going through rough waters: “And suddenly it isn’t what it used to be/And after all this time it worked out just fine/And suddenly I am where I’m supposed to be/And after all the tears I was supposed to be here.../Skies will clear and the light will find her where she’s always been”. Last up is the title track, a ballad which looks ahead to better times courtesy of God: “I forgot how to hope/The night’s been so long/I cling to Your promise there will be a dawn/After all this has passed/I still will remain/After I’ve cried my last/There’ll be beauty from pain/Though it won’t be today/Someday I’ll hope again/And there’ll be beauty from pain/You will bring beauty from my pain”.
BEAUTY FROM PAIN 1.1 clearly is an album aimed at teenage girls. Those who fall into that category are under a tremendous amount of pressure in today’s society. Physically, girls feel the pressure of having to look like the airbrushed models in men’s and women’s magazines on the newsstands. Physical perfection is the goal and many girls will fall into patterns of bulimia and anorexia to try to achieve it, and many suffer silently. Then, there are the pressures of doing what their boyfriends want them to do, even if they are uncomfortable with it. Overall, musically this is a fun rock record with elements of pop music here and there. The lyrics offer hope to teen girls when hope seems to feel so far away. Unfortunately, the lyrics are pretty simplistic and the main topic of perseverance and overcoming is repeated over and over. Though this is not as strong a record as Superchick’s earlier ones, I’m still giving it 85%. For more info visit: www.inpop.com and www.facebook.com/superchick.