Building 429 Delivers Praise Music to Raise Your Spirits -- and the Roof

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Building 429 Unashamed Dennis Russo Critical Blast

Anyone familiar with Christian Rock today probably knows well the band Building 429. Comprised of Jason Roy (Lead Guitar/Vocals/Keyboards), Michael Anderson (Drums), Jesse Garcia (Guitar/Keyboards/BGVS), and Aaron Branch (Bass/BGVS), their newest album UNASHAMED already has two hit singles getting quite a bit of airplay: "Impossible" and "Ocean Deep."

For those not familiar with them, their name is derived from Ephesians 4:29 which in the HCSB Bible reads as “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” They were the Gospel Music Association New Artist of the Year in 2005, and have had many hit Christian songs through the years following, not the least of which was 2012’s “Where We Belong” which set a record for remaining as Billboards #1 Christian Song for an unprecedented 15 weeks.

I really like their style of music, and this album is one that I enjoyed playing loudly! Their songs are uplifting and thought-provoking, and -- true to their name -- anyone listening to these songs couldn’t help but be built up by them; and for me, the louder I can crank praise music, the more praiseful I feel it is for me. The musical arrangements are complex at times, and fresh sounding, each song as different musically from the next as are the lyrics. They have almost what I would call an 80’s rock sound to them (and I mean that it a good way) with the keyboards and guitars blending into this wall of sound.

While the “hit” songs are very good indeed, as I find with most albums I listen to, the songs that speak the most to me are often the ones that get little airtime, if any. Now, I can’t say that my two favorite songs here haven’t been played on the radio, because maybe they have. What is important is that they are here. “Go” and “Hold Them Close” spoke loudest to me, with “Hold Them Close” in particular hitting hardest -- dealing with what I have or need, instead of wanting what I don’t have or need; and being truly thankful for all that I have, realizing as the song says, I have more than I have not. It's a wonderfully crafted song that I will play over and over.

“Stronger” is another outrageously well-crafted and sung song that deals with someone being abused; instead of encouraging leaving or seeking revenge, it speaks of standing up in the face of it and saying that not only will I be made stronger by whatever you do or say to me, but I see what you pretend to be and the hurt in you and will also forgive you, so that maybe one day we can stand together. This is way different from the modern world view. Speaking of abuse and forgiveness, and not revenge?! Hmmm, let’s see that’s like, oh, I don’t know…say, praying for your enemy? How about that for going against the world’s view!

Sonically, this album is very good with a wide soundstage and good depth. There is a lot of music being played, and while sometimes it was difficult for me to tell if it was a guitar or keyboard, the way the music filled my listening room and complimented the lyrics so well, I didn’t mind. This is a case where the sum of the parts was more important than the individual parts. Sometimes an audiophile needs to remember that the idea of a band is to play together, and not as separate individuals. Now, that is not to say that if you wanted to listen to the bass lines that you couldn’t hear them; often the bass is superbly interwoven in the song and played such that it is almost like a vocal instead of just rhythm. The vocals were centered well, with the harmonies set back behind the lead, giving a nice sense of depth to the sound stage, which gave me an overall sense that I was sitting in the 3rd or 4th row as compared to mid-hall.

I wholeheartedly recommend this album for several reasons. First, it is foremost praiseful. It is also uplifting; it is thought provoking; it is convicting -- and it is also very good music! I think anyone who likes to listen to music would enjoy this album. And who knows? They might just come away with more then they started with.

Songs:

  1. Eyes Up

  2. Impossible

  3. Ocean Deep

  4. Unashamed

  5. Go

  6. Earth Shaker

  7. Hold Them Close

  8. Be With Us Now (Emmanuel)

  9. Hearts Collide (Feat. Mike Barnes of Red)

  10. Stronger
Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0