'Aftershow': the new album from LZ7
Christian rap band LZ7 will be releasing their latest album 'Aftershow' on October 6.
For those who don't know their sound, LZ7 produce electronic dance music with upbeat tracks and implicit religious lyrics.
Those familiar with Dubstep will appreciate this style of music- a style that is not naturally associated with Christianity.
The band regularly performs in school in primarily the Manchester area and at festivals, using music as outreach to young people outside the church.
Because of this, LZ7 tend to avoid overtly religious messages as a means to engaging their target audience, the youth - which includes me - who it's often assumed care more about drum beats than the Word of the Gospel.
Bear this in mind when you listen to the tracks '#Aftershow' and 'Give Out The Love', which introduce the album. On first listen, '#Aftershow' did not express any obvious religious messages, with lyrics such as: "Now will somebody hit the lights and drop drop drop that bass. We LZ7 so you know that this place about to blow blow blow blow."
The track's title is presumably referring to the afterlife or life after becoming a Christian, though most would simply think of an after show party when hearing this and not make any celestial connections.
With hope of discovering a clearer religious reference I listened to track after track, only to discover that each song lacked as much religious content as the last.
For those of us who enjoy traditional worship, the two songs that come closest to that are 'Brave Face' and 'Overcome by Love', where the lyrics are not distracted by wild accompaniment.
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'Brave Face' has a slow tempo in comparison to the other tracks and the focus is put on the vocals and lyrics for the first time in the album, creating more of a familiar and traditional worship song sound.
'Overcome By Love' is in my opinion the most endearing of LZ7's tracks, in which lead singer, Lindz, sings of his personal relationship with God. This track was co-written with UK singer, Matt Redman, perhaps the reason for it being my favourite track as I am a big Redman fan.
Like 'Brave Face', 'Overcome By Love' has a simple and somewhat stripped accompaniment when compared with the entire body of work. The phrase, "I've been overcome by love, your heart beats in me" is repeated in each chorus, allowing listeners to easily sing along.
It is disappointing to me that the lyrics in most of the songs don't go deeper and I feel this will be a disappointment for Christians who look for that in the music they listen to.
Despite being of the age LZ7 aims a lot of its music at, I have quite traditional expectations of Christian music being centred on the Word of God and, being new to their music, I admit to initially being a bit shocked by a selection of electronic tracks that bare so close a resemblance to the dance floor music of today's clubs.
In spite of that, the music itself is an enjoyable listen and not only did I dance along to the upbeat tempos, I was fascinated by the layering of melodies and powerful sounds. Aftershow is an undeniably positive and good mood-inducing album - something that was perhaps one of the underlying aims for LZ7 in creating it.
Being a teenager myself I cannot deny that LZ7 are great at what they do - this is well crafted, modern music - and clubbing with my friends, I could easily play their tracks and have a great dance along without anyone realising the religious references. But that's perhaps the problem I have with it?
Older listeners and anyone who puts a high premium on spiritual lyrics are likely to struggle with this take on Christian music - unless they're up for a dance or enjoy a bit of Dubstep.