Unbreakable is infused with a tremendous sense of drama and such skilled use of the power chord to propel a song that its no wonder NBC licensed it to promote its Bionic Woman series. It's also taken Fireflight to the top of the Christian music charts, again.
Would Unbreakable, the album, be worth a more substantial investment?
Yes. None of the other nine tunes on the disc, which is out today, grab you quite as quickly as Unbreakable. But Fireflight's sophomore release is full of the same kind of drama, skill and conviction that has made that hit a career single for the Floridians. There are a lot of bands in mainstream and Christian rock that seem to feel like they ought to write about issues such as suicide and depression. Fireflight gives you the feeling the band members have to, that they've either lived through or close enough to these and other situations that they can make authentic statements. The band distinguishes itself by always bringing the conversation back to faith, and the role it plays in perseverance and healing.
Take that title track, which is actually sung from the point of view of the adulteress that was about to be stoned before Jesus intervened, according to the Gospel of John. This isn't one of those cryptic mainstream crossovers. It's pretty easy to tell what lead vocalist Dawn Richardson is singing about. There are some routine tracks on this disc such as Stand Up and Wrapped in Your Arms that it almost seems Fireflight needs to get out of its system. But in that big Bionic hit, and several other tunes such as You Gave Me a Promise, are indications Fireflight is soaring toward a substantial career.
A very sad announcement: Third Day guitarist Brad Avery has left the band. He will not be replaced, the group said in a statement on its website. "We appreciate Brad’s many contributions to the band's career to date, including his work on our forthcoming album, but the time has come for us to follow our separate paths," the statement said.
When Avery joined Third Day, he was key to helping professionalize the then-struggling act, which has now become one of the biggest bands in Christian rock history. With fellow six-stringer Mark Lee, Avery has been part of one Christian music's most creative guitar duos.
According to Billboard magazine's Deborah Evans Price, one of the authorities on Christian music, Avery will be pursuing solo projects.
Left: Brad Avery performs with Third Day at the 2007 Ichthus Festival. Photo by Rich Copley.
~ Mark Harris of 4Him fame will be at Northeast Christian Church on Friday, March 28.