Audio Adrenaline’s “Underdog”

UnderdogTwo years following the release of Some Kind of Zombie, Audio Adrenaline returned with a fifth album released on ForeFront Records. Underdog scored Audio A a few hits, including “Get Down” and “Hands and Feet.” Underdog also features a cover of Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door” and a remake of one of their own songs (“DC-10” from Audio Adrenaline).

Underdog (1999)[1]: 12 tracks, 43 minutes

Although not as rock-based as Bloom or Some Kind of Zombie, Underdog does hit at the heart of Audio Adrenaline’s niche. “DC-10” and “Let My Love Open the Door” take you back to the Bloom days, while there’s also some worshipful stuff featured on this record as well. “Get Down” and “It is Well With My Soul” fit the spiritual maturity that you can see on their senior effort. Also, Mark Stuart and company allow us a trip back to Smooth Steve from “Jazz Odyssey” on “The Houseplant Song.” The band takes a lot of different routes here, with “Jesus Movement” and it’s organic, catchy sound as well as the obvious rock ‘n’ roll influence on “DC-10.” The ambient “It is Well” cover also adds substance to this record.

Audio Adrenaline never fails to deliver some clever lyrics. “Underdog” confirms this in the second verse: “What they [the world] don’t see is / That a winner is not judged / By his small size / But by the / Substitute he picks to / Run the race.” “Jesus Movement” reminds us of the worldwide community of Christians and “This Day” is a great reminder of how we need to start the day. “Mighty Good Leader” has a great premise . . .

. . . but they never really say what the Mighty Good Leader will do to help you in times of temptation, except for “take away all your sin.” Kind-of underwhelming after the great lyrics in “Some Kind of Zombie.”

While different from their previous two releases, Underdog is still authentically Audio Adrenaline, with mature Christian lyrics and a rock influence that put them out there. I really enjoy this album and the diversity that it offers musically while also remaining pure and clean in nature.

[1] Image courtesy of Amazon.

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