Three men of God, one band, one record that changed Christian music... again. In 1992, dc Talk came out with the record that everyone said was the turning point for Christian music, Free At Last. But this was only the beginning. Three years later, Toby, Mike, and Kevin are back again, from the "House of Insomnia" (their studio in Franklin Tennessee) with Jesus Freak. Now let's take a look back at the album that refined a generation of Christian rock and roll.
A funky guitar riff and raw drum intro on "So Help Me God" opens Jesus Freak. The song asks God to be with us and for Him to be our source of hope, and not the world. Next up is the hit tune "Colored people" which obviously speaks of the diversity of God's creation in people. The next track is arguably the best track on the record, if not one of the best and most memorable in the history of Christian rock, the title track, "Jesus Freak." dc Talk has come 180 degrees stylistically as "Jesus Freak" creeps in with a moody acoustic riff before utterly erupting with hooky electrics and an often haunting melody. "What If I Stumble?" opens with a now renowned quote from Brennan Manning, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." The quote appropriately sets up the song which confronts the band's concern about falling while being under the public's watchful and critical eye. The band's remake of the familiar tune by Stephen Schwartz in the early ‘70's, "Day by Day" is given an aggressive face lift from trio.
The melodic hit "Between You and Me" addresses the importance of seeking forgiveness from others when needed and about confessing our sins to God, "If confession is the road to healing/ Forgiveness is the Promised Land." "Like It, Love It, Need It" is a schizophrenic pop/rock free-for-all that about seeking Jesus not worldly pleasures. Michael Tait throws a curve ball with the very off key operatic version of "Jesus Freak" in the "Jesus Freak (Reprise)." A worthy cover of Charlie Peacock's "In the Light" heated up pop charts while "What Have We Become," one of my other personal favorites in the record, is a darker song about how worldly, prejudice, selfish, and ignorant we are as people in today's society. "Mind's Eye" is the last musical offering on the album, and lyrically explores man's faith in God's existence. The last track is a spoken poem by Kevin Max entitled "Alas My love."
All in all, Jesus Freak is a phenomenal record that is a milestone in Christian music that has changed the industry forever, opening doors for artists in new ways. From Toby's promise "I got somethin' for ya, man" at album's opening to the last words of Kevin's poem, Jesus Freak is pure musical greatness.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 2/6/03, written by Jeremy Gibson for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Everything changed when dc Talk unveiled Jesus Freak unto the world. One of the highlights of CCM history, Jesus Freak is unparalleled in its influence and importance on Christian music. dc Talk never had, nor never shall rock as hard as they did in 1995. - 12/4/04, Josh Taylor
Artist Info: Discography
Record Label: Forefront Records
Album length: 13 tracks, 57 Minutes and 53 Seconds
Street Date: November 21, 1995
Buy It: Amazon.com
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