I will admit that I had never paid much attention to Avalon. My only experience with the Nashville-based group had been their breakout hit "Testify to Love" and their rendition of the popular worship song "In Christ Alone." I had assumed they were just another cookie-cutter pop/worship group the likes of which tend to over-saturate the Christian market and inhibit its creativity. So, imagine my surprise when I came across this absolute gem of an album.
O2 Avalon Remixed is, in a word, revolutionary. From the first beats of "My Oxygen," this album hits the ground running and only looks back long enough to say "Hey! I told you good dance music can happen in the Christian market." What is more, this album was released in 2002, yet its electronic beats are still very much up to standard almost ten years later.
Although fun, with its constant funky dance beats throughout, a certain perspective must be adapted when listening to O2. The album does not necessarily convey its message through its interspersed lyrical fragments as much as it delivers the messages using the emotions in the music. For example, in "The Best Thing," the music is slow and sonic in times of contemplation, but kicks off into a fast dance beat in moments of amazement and celebration of the love of Christ.
Each track is great, but some come as close to perfect as I have heard in the Christian market. "My Oxygen" kicks off O2 by making sure we all know that this is a dance album. "Can't Live a Day" is simply beautiful as Avalon rendered the help of dance music star DJ Tiesto. "Undeniably You" could be mistaken for a radio dance-pop song, except for its truly exceptional musical quality. Finally, "Wonder Why (Roswell Mix)" is an electronica fan's heaven.
It is quite hard to find anything negative to say about this project. Perhaps the two tracks that just do not meet the standard of the album are "Testify to Love" and the album's closer, another version of "A Maze of Graze." Neither is bad; they simply do not have the persistent drive the rest of the songs have. Regardless, this record blows all of the other remix albums in the Christian market out of the water, and it is well worth listening to. They set the bar quite high for future Christian dance records. I only wish Avalon had continued this sound in their future albums.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 12/18/011, written by Matt Estes for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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