Christianity Today Reviews "Wordplay"
Mon., Jan. 8. 2007 11:22pm EST
Christianity Today has just published a review of the latest ApologetiX CD, "Wordplay," on their website. Although still skeptical of the overall value of the parodies of ApologetiX, reviewer Russ Breimeier does pay the band a few compliments:
"generally well impersonated parodies of pop/rock hits"
"If graded on mimicry alone, then credit Apologetix as one impressively talented and versatile cover band. Just as "Weird Al" Yankovic effortlessly bounces between rock, pop, and hip-hop, lead singer J. Jackson and company successfully impersonate Green Day, Trace Adkins, U2, and Kanye West.
"'Somebody Sold Me,' a fun and spot-on retelling of Joseph's story via The Killers' "Somebody Told Me," proves Apologetix capable of clever wit."
But every rose has its thorn. Mr. Breimeier seems to have problems with three aspects of ApologetiX:
1. Too Broad a Target Audience
while they have an unquestionably loyal fan base, the makeup of that fan base is somewhat mystifying. Is the target audience kids or adults? Christians or non-believers? Ideally all the above, though I remain skeptical. Sure, astute parents who keep up with their children's music may recognize reworked versions of Bowling for Soup's "1985" and Velvet Revolver's "Slither." But will kids in turn appreciate nods to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" or Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" from twenty to thirty years ago? For that matter, is the target Christian audience savvy enough to recognize such mainstream hits?
2. Sacrificing Humor for the Sake of the Message
But more often, the band's commitment to "reach the lost and teach the rest" squelches their ability to be funny. "Bad Dad" could have been a funny parable about a bumbling father needing to improve his family life. Instead, it's a serious song offering comfort to the abused and neglected, which only sounds superficial when set to Daniel Powter's familiar pop smash "Bad Day."
3. Too Many Scriptural References
Also, the endless lyrical references to chapter and verse (especially in "Jehovah," i.e. Steve Miller's "The Joker") are meaningless if the songs don't actually inspire listeners to pick up their Bibles. Some undoubtedly are, proving that this band is more than evangelical entertainment, but it only plays well to a receptive mindset.
Here's the full review: http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/reviews/2007/wordplay.html
Of course, every person is entitled to their own opinion, including Mr. Breimeier. Furthermore, opinions can be changed with respectful exchange of ideas. Christianity Today welcomes your feedback, and invites it on the very same page as the review.
If you have personal testimonies you'd like to share with Mr. Breimeier that you think might change his mind, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. But please be nice, and please be brief. We know he's already heard from a few of you. Thanks.