Friday, January 12, 2018
Sweet & Lynch released their debut album ONLY TO RISE in 2015. Fast forward to 2017 and they released their second album UNIFIED (Frontiers Records). The band lineup is the same: Michael Sweet (lead vocals), George Lynch (guitars), James Lomenzo (bass), and Brian Tichy (drums). Here are my track by track thoughts:
1. 'Promised Land'-It's a hard rocker that begins and ends with Sweet's signature screams which Stryper fans love! I was pleasantly surprised at the overt Christian lyric with this being a mainstream release: "Don't let the Devil rob your soul/You've got to know/He'll always try to take his toll on you".
2. 'Walk'-A rocker with melodic moments. Lyrics include: "Take the high road to be free/Walk with the wise and be wise/Run with a fool, never rise/Do what is right/Lead the race, take the prize/Walk with the wise to be wise".
3. 'Afterlife'-A bit of a spooky rock feel to it musically. Seems addressed to God: "You don't owe me a thing/I owe you my own life/You gave me everything/On this earth and in the afterlife".
4. 'Make Your Mark'-Includes a great electric guitar solo. Lyrics include: "Shine bright in the dark/Let the light make your mark/You know what's gonna save you/Take the power that God gave you and you show them how it's done".
5. 'Tried and True'-A lovely rock love ballad: "When you walk into a room/Every head turns to you/You're beautiful and I'm blessed you are mine/You're every dream and every prayer/I promise you, oh this I swear/You've got me baby/Till the end of time".
6. 'Unified'-The title track. An inspirational rock ballad/anthem: "We all bleed red/Despite what's in our head/Have we done all we can to be unified?/We all have our own views/And that will never change/From the Gentiles to the Jews/The normal to the strange".
7. 'Find Your Way'-A slow rocker. "Don't believe what hate can say/Thank the Lord/Everything's going to be okay/When love's explored/You know you'll always find your way".
8. 'Heart of Fire'-A faster paced rocker. A bit self-serving: "You've gotta know your soul can shine brighter than the sun/And you can be the eyes for the ones who are blind/Heart of fire/Oh will you be one to inspire and to set hope free?".
9. 'Bridge of Broken Lies'-A bit of a sleeper musically. Lyrics include: "Know that I feel bad for you/I'd love to see you heal/You need cement, some kind of glue//So you can start to really feel again/You've built a bridge of broken lies/You always wore the perfect disguise/Apologies will never minimize/Your bridge of broken lies". Makes me think of the friction between Stryper and former bassist Tim Gaines, but may not be about that at all.
10. 'Better Man'-A mid-tempo rock number. A bit sappy: "I am the lock and you are the key/I'm gonna spend my life loving you/When I'm with you baby/I wanna be a better man/When you're not by my side/I think about you and when I'll see you again".
11. 'Live to Die'-A rock song of encouragement: "We're here to be defenders of the faith forevermore/Explorers who surrender/To the dreams of every shore/There are no limitations/If we conquer and believe/We're beautiful creations/Who are crafted and conceived".
My assessment of UNIFIED is that it is a wonderful rock album, but not the kind you bang your head to or pound your fist in the air to. It's a solid effort which I will rate 88 percent. The lyrics are written in such a way that both Christians and non-Christians should be able to get something out of them. For more info connect with the band on facebook or at www.sweetandlynch.com where you can see the video for 'Walk'.