In its six-album history, dc Talk has often explored new territory and tinkered with its sound. All three veterans have released solo projects this year, and Kevin Max's Stereotype Be shows a creative pioneering that fits dc Talk's resident poet.
It's obvious Max was striving to create art. The first track, the exceptional "Return of the Singer," declares, "We're gonna make some history. … No joke, no trend, no fad of the week." Stereotype Be mostly keeps the promise. Some songs sound strikingly like The Beatles, Oasis, U2, and even Jim Morrison. But Max makes it work by adding Middle Eastern drumming and other eclectic influences into the mix.
Max's lyrics can be complex: "And the raven in the tower clock, / Spins poetry and devil talk, / and the woman by the endless well. / She's drawing water from the mouth of hell." What's that about?
For the most part Max successfully and eloquently writes about relationships, art, and self-discovery.
In the end, he is just trying to figure it all out—like everyone. "What is this, this mess of my existence is? / All these politics of life and death and relevance. / It's my existence."
Todd Hertz is CT's assistant online editor. His music reviews will appear regularly in The CT Review.
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Stereotype Be is available at Christianbook.com.
Kevin Max's official site has examples of his poetry, music, and inspiration.
ChristianityToday.com's music section also reviewed Max's solo project.
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