We Once Were
Christian rock group Rush of Fools capitalized on the success of their self-titled 2007 first album by quickly putting out a second album, Wonder of the World, in 2008. They have spent three years crafting their third, We Once Were, during which time guitarist/keyboard player J.D. Frazier was replaced by Jacob Blount. The group's musical approach hasn't changed in the interim, however. They still write and record charging, anthem-like rock songs dominated by ringing guitars and emotive vocals. And their lyrics still take an overwrought, somewhat insecure viewpoint, redeemed, of course, by faith. "Never thought I'd amount to anything," sings Jacob Chesnut in the first single, "Grace Found Me." In "Won't Say Goodbye," he confesses that he "doubted what I said I believed in," and "The Wrong Things" has a chorus that goes, "I'm in love with the wrong things." It may be risky for a band from Alabama to write a song called "A Civil War," but in that song Rush of Fools acknowledge that "Surrender is such a hard pill to swallow" and declare, somewhat tautologically, that "It's time to fight for...what's worth fighting for." Christians will understand what they mean, however. What's worth fighting for, of course, is salvation, and the band engages in that fight throughout. It doesn't hurt that, like any bunch of pop musicians, they understand the importance of a hook that goes "Whoah-oh-oh-oh," one they use to their advantage in "You're the Medicine." Still, these guys remain on the melancholy side, finally mustering up their conviction at the end on "Inside and Outside" to use a small choir repeating "I'm not over, I'm not finished yet/I've got a ways to go/I'll be all right." Thankfully, the music is more heroic than the words.