The success of the many singles ("Anthem," "It's On" "Pure," "One Girl Revolution," and the hit single "We Live") of Superchic[k]'s Beauty from Pain was apparently good enough to launch the mainstream version, Beauty from Pain 1.1 version. And despite what fans may think of Superchic[k]'s work ethic considering time between album and album lengths, there is no denying that the formula that Superchic[k] uses has been successful and continues to be successful.
It's not too hard to guess what genre Superchic[k] mainly deals in after hearing "Anthem," a rather catchy girl rock song which uses some loud guitar riffs. The song "Stories (Down To The Bottom)" with tobyMac, was omitted from the 1.1 version which all but eliminated the occasional hip hop feel that Superchic[k] infrequently uses with the exception of quirky rock song "Pure" and "We Live." While the background vocals in "Bowling Ball" are irritating, the fast paced, upbeat punk/pop/rock anthem remains intact thanks to a consistent beat and lead singer Trisha Brock's fine vocals. While "One Girl Revolution" was originally released on the band's debut disc Karaoke Superstar and re-mixed on their Regeneration project, the mixed version shows up again on the 1.1 release, probably for the same reason it has showed up on previous albums: the beat, vocals, and riffs all rock (although it's about time the trend died). The juvenile sounds of the verses in "Wishes" don't get much more mature throughout the song and its out-classed against the always rocking "It's On." Likewise, "Suddenly" falls short of the intensity of "It's On" with the average rock chorus. One thing that Superchic[k] thrives on besides catchy girl rock tunes is emotional ballads which are heavily influenced by Brock's passionate vocals on "We Live." The one new song on the disc, the mega hit "Stand In The Rain," is very artistic with the mesmeric piano, and the title track is also an amazingly well-crafted ballad, which is an excellent moment to end the album.
Despite Superchic[k]'s solid music, their mission of inspiring, empowering, and helping their fans believe in themselves is a little shallow. Going hand in hand with Beauty from Pain 1.1 was their explanation of what the band believed in which included not limiting ourselves when it came to changing the world. However, for whom we should be changing the world for was avoided. With that in mind, Superchic[k]'s lyrics can be better understood. Though "We Live" has great lyrics about embracing the moments that we have ("We live we love/We forgive and never give up/Cause the days we are given are gifts from above/Today we remember to live and to love"), the focus is certainly not on God. The same is true of "Stand in the Rain," which basically takes a simple message of standing through trails and transforms it into an emotional hit with the help of some inspirational music. Sparking a revolution is definitely on Superchic[k]'s mind (which is simplistically portrayed on "One Girl Revolution (remix)" and "It's On"), though remember, God's name is never mentioned or implied on either tracks. Both "Wishes" and "Bowling Ball" target the need to let go of bad relationships for girls, while "Courage" centers on an eating disorder. Based on Job 23:12, the message of "Beauty from Pain" is described in the title ("I wonder why God lets me walk through this place. You will bring beauty from my pain").
Overall the changes on Beauty from Pain 1.1 have left a better album than the original, with a better song selection. The music is incredibly solid from the catchy pop/rock tunes to the riveting ballads, but while the messages they send are all positive, there is some shallowness to the lyrics that doesn't just apply to the lack of spirituality.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 12/29/08, written by Nathaniel D. Schexnayder for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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