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Adam Up 
Artist: Apologetix
Website:  www.apologetix.com
Label: 2003 Parodudes Inc. 
Length: 22 tracks/77:30

Adam Up.  It’s either a new soft drink or the latest from Christian music’s reigning parody party masters Apologetix.  The opening cut (spoofing Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band”) sets the scene with sufficient slam:

We’re in a parody band
We’re here to share with the fans
We’ve got two-part style
We’ll tell you part’s Weird Al
The other part’s Billy Graham
Adam Up is Apologetix’ eighth incarnation of “Weird Al-leluia” (as one critic called it).  And usually the band solicits either rave reviews or rancid rebukes in the process.  Purists consider parodies—even by master spoofers like Weird Al Yankovic—as commercial corn or kooky knock-offs of the original.  That’s fine (no one denies the fluff factor).  But geez, lighten up, loosen the tie and laugh a little.  
We’re in a parody band/
tHe Bible’s there in your hand
and you’re thumbing through yours now
we’ll help you start it out
with a one-year reading plan
The real deal with Apologetix is they keep getting better, both musically and lyrically.  Like their namesake, their mission is to entertain, evangelize and educate fans with biblical brain munchies.  Consequently, they turn a Three Dog Night hit into an info nugget on Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch (“Boy Tell The World”).  Or they highlight one of Esau’s wives named Oholibamah (which gives the band an excuse for a southern spoof of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”).  They even have a whole song about Jesus’ healing spit (“The Spittle” parody of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World). 
We’re in a parody band
We’re in a terrible van
We’re comin’ to your town and if your car breaks down
We’re good Samaritans, man
No matter your musical meal plan, Apologetix has something for every taste on _Adam Up_.  There’s '80’s new wave and '70s disco.  There’s '50’s pop and '90’s country.  There’s grunge and punk, rap, and heavy metal.   Some old, some new.  Even Weird Al doesn’t run the table like Apologetix nor does he try to carefully copy the original like J.J. Jackson, Karl Messner, Keith Haynie, or Bill Reiger.  Lyrically, the songs are different but musically the muscle is still there and justice is done in cloning the original cut.  That’s a double Adam’s Up right there.
We’re in a parody band
We’re into prayer and defense
We’re from a two-sport town
Three if the Pirates count
It’s just so rare that we win
Adam Up.  That’s eight now.  The boys from Pittsburgh are doing just fine.  Despite offerings from major labels, they prize their independent band status (“we have a lot more control over what we do,” admits Jackson).  And their recipe for success is fairly simple:  “Take every opportunity you can to play…in our early days we played for free and we played for three.”  Nearly a decade after their debut, Apologetix now works the large festivals, playing sometimes for tens of thousands of fans.  They travel extensively, playing venues from churches to coffee shops.  And their songs continue to chart, largely due to deep fan support and radio-friendly programmers.  Currently, their parody of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (re-dubbed “Look Yourself”) is finding comfortable chart success.

We’re in a parody band...will this hilarity end?

Is Adam Up any good?  High-brow music critics will no doubt have their field day (that will never change).  The Apologetix faithful will debate inclusion of certain songs (like spoofs of Sum 41 or Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs).  J. Jackson seems to have heeded previous criticism by inviting more humor to his renovated lyrics.  Nevertheless, the variety, quality and biblical depth makes Adam Up a keeper.  

Frankly I can’t stop playing it.  Can’t even Adam Up how many times.

Song list:
1.     “We’re In A Parody Band” (Parody of “We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad)
2.     “Lifestyles of the Rich and Nameless” (Parody of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” by Good Charlotte)
3.     “Boy Tell The World” (Parody of “Joy To The World” by Three Dog Night)
4.     “Choose Your Daddy” (Parody of “Who’s Your Daddy?” by Toby Keith)
5.     “Meshach”  (Parody of “Love Shack” by the B-52s)
6.     “I’m Gonna Feed (500 Mouths)” (Parody of “I’m Gonna Be [500 Miles]” by the Proclaimers)
7.     “Get Found Tonight” (Parody of “Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band)
8.     “Look Yourself” (Parody of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem)
9.     “Should I Pray or Should I Go?” (Parody of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash)
10.   “The Spittle” (Parody of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World)
11.  “Sweet Oholibamah” (Parody of “Sweet Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
12.  “It’s Not Eden” (Parody of “Superman [It’s Not Easy]” by Five for Fighting)
13.  “Listening After Midnight” (Parody of “Living After Midnight” by Judas Priest)
14.  “Psum 14” (Parody of “Fat Lip” by Sum 41)
15.  “The Word” (Parody of “Grease” by Frankie Valli)
16.  “Wherever You Will Sow” (Parody of “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling)
17.  “Wake Up Talitha Cumi” (Parody of “Wake Up Little Susie” by The Everly Brothers)
18.  “Guide The Way” (Parody of “By The Way” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers)
19.  “Little-Read Bible Book” (Parody of “Lil Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs)
20.  “Downer of a Sister” (Parody of “Chop Suey” by System of a Down)
21.  “Lazy Brain” (Parody of “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne)
22.  “Called My Wife” (Parody of “All My Life” by the Foo Fighters)

Rick Chromey  January 17, 2004
http://www.daperfesser.com


 
 

Rick Chromey is professor of youth and family ministries at Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, KY.
   
 
   
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