Last year, the producers of the WOW compilations teamed up with Tooth & Nail Records to come up with an alternative look at the hits of today's Christian music. The result was a two disc, 33-song set, featuring some of the biggest names in Christian rock music. It was a hit, so it isn't really a surprise that it was followed up with this year's X 2004.
Personally, I thought that X 2003 was very good, and T&N compiled a very creative compilation. Except for a few downers, which made some of the songs seem like fillers, it came out very well, and did well on the market. But does X 2004 live up to it's predecessor?
In a word, yes. With a huge line-up, a couple new recordings from some favorite artists, and an exclusive song by Cross Movement, X 2004 is sure to be an amazing record. The disc starts off with the ever-powerful smash hit "Savior" by Skillet. An emotional hard rock track, "Savior" is an excellent way to kick off the disc. Kutless' "Treason" follows, and then we are thrown straight into one of the new recordings on the disc, "One Phenom (Remix)" by tobyMac. The original song is on Toby's latest effort Welcome to Diverse City, but the remix was only available on the Phenomenon single released independently last Summer. This version of the song is a lot edgier with heavier, fuzzy guitars, and synthesizers in the background.
Next we have one of my personal favorites, "Rawkfist," courtesy of Thousand Foot Krutch. From that rap/rock offering, we run into some punk with Relient K's "I Am Understood," and FM Static's "Definitely Maybe." Pillar steps in to take us back to the hard rock scene with their exclusive, previously unreleased at the time, "Bring Me Down." The play list goes on from there with a mix of rock and rap/rock influences, with songs by Audio Adrenaline, Big Dismal, KJ-52, and the very in-your-face remix version of Superchic[k]'s "Hero."
I only really have a few complaints about X 2004. First of all, BEC includes a Jeremy Camp song from his debut album on this record. With a new worship album that had just released and with a new studio project looming in the coming months, surely some kind of newer material could have made this release. Also, John Reuben's track "Freedom To Feel" doesn't fit too well on the album. It seems out of place and most likely could have been replaced with something from the Supertones or another Tooth & Nail/BEC artist. But other than that, X 2004 is a solid 18-track compilation of some of the biggest names in Christian rock music today.- Review date: 11/8/04, written by Justin Mabee
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