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Love and Radiation
Artist: All Star United
Label: 7spin music/Furious Records
URL: www.allstarunited.com
Time: 11 Tracks 37:12

All Star United were one of the most incredible satirists of Christian Rock and Roll in the late 1990’s. They released two albums and a greatest hits compilation all between the years of 1997-2000 before taking a short hiatus and then recording the solid _Revolution_ album in the fall of 2002. Their song “Beautiful Thing” appeared in several films and commercials including the 2004 film Saved which starred Mandy Moore. 
 
However, sometime in late 2002 the band disbanded and lead vocalists and songwriter Ian Eskelin went off on his own and recorded a solo project which was released in 2005. However, here in 2007, more than five years after their last album, All Star United have re-united to write and record Love and Radiation.
 
“You You You (Yeah Yeah Yeah)” is the first step back into Eskelin’s trademark satirical twist on how so many Christian artists write the ultimate happy song in order to get a hit on the radio. That theme turns up again on one of the albums best tracks “Song of the Year:”  

I'll never be the same
Holy holy worthy worthy something
something something something
That rhymes with Jesus name
That oughta do
Guess I'm through
Time to canonize
I like to write movies too
About Christian superheroes
Who join forces to ward off the anti-christ! 
Then Eskelin goes on to state a very powerful and stunning statement towards much of the CCM market: 
It's the song of the year
But God's still unimpressed
With our radio success? 
If this song doesn’t garner some attention as the year goes on, I will be very surprised. 
 
“Let’s Rock Tonight” sounds like it should be the next popular rock song of the summer. It features a very catchy guitar mixed with lyrical harmonies and backgrounds “oh’s” and handclaps. This song sounds like it could have been recorded in the late '60’s and been a huge hit. 
 
The Title track is about how following Jesus isn’t always safe and friendly. It can be a life that is dangerous and requires a lot of bravery at times.  
 
“Jesus On the Radio” summons up the CCM happy fest theme again. It’s about how people sometimes think that they can ‘receive Jesus through the radio.’ Though at the same time Iskelin does seem to applaud what Christian Radio does to encourage Believers in their walk.
 
“There’s Gotta Be Something” is a song about soul searching and how everyone needs to have something that ‘means everything to them.’ “In A World Where Nothing’s Wrong (You’re Alright)” is a humorous song that calls to mind some of their other humorous tunes like “Worldwide Socialites Unite” and “La La Land.” 
 
“Take Me Away” is the closing track on this project and it is another standout moment. It is the slowest song on the album. Filled with similes and metaphors, it’s here that Eskelin describes how much he longs for Heaven, as he states: “I’ve had it all, I’ve had it all, But it all amounts to nothing without You.” 
 
This is another fine effort from All Star United. While it still somehow lacks a bit of the punch that made both their self titled and Revolution albums incredibly fun from a musical perspective, it still rivals anything coming out of the Christian Music market these days from a lyrical perspective. If you enjoy Derek Webb’s powerful lyrical essays on the current state of the Christian Music industry you will enjoy what All Star United have to say as well. 
 
James Morovich


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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