TFK has been in the business since the late nineties, and since going independent in 2011, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down. Their first venture into the independent world, The End is Where We Begin, fused all their styles together, from rap, rock, metal, and balladry to produce one of their best albums to date, and today they follow it up with a new two part album series titled, Oxygen.
Part one of the series, Oxygen:Inhale, is the natural follow up to the End, and it takes a different turn from what most fans are used to. Of course we still have the rawk (the TFK term) songs, but they have also taken a more southern rock twist with these songs, and after a quick listen through the samples, a much slower album to what we’re used to. But that doesn’t mean it’s void of any rock, like I said before, half of the album is solid, classic rock and roll, and because it’s TFK, Trevor inserts his signature rap style vocals into the mix, and is especially apparent in Born This Way and Untraveled Road.
The idea of oxygen, Trevor explained, was that we need to not take half breaths, but full breaths. We’re not to just be living day by day like we have forever, but to live everyday like it’s our last. We must take in all God has for us, and leave nothing behind.
Lyrically, what’s most pleasing about this record is that it’s a whole lot more worshipful than previous ventures. Though TFK have always included God clearly in their lyrics, it’s never been so blatant as it is on this record. Over half of the record takes the worship approach, without it ever sounding like a run of the mill worship tune, and it will please most worship fans, including myself! The devotion and love for God Trevor and the boys show on this record is intense, and not since Needtobreathe’s Multiplied have I seen such emotion poured out. Trevor’s voice is simply incredible, and all who have read my review on the Masquerade album, know his is a voice not to be reckoned with. He’s reaching new highs I’ve never heard him reach before, and it’s definitely enough to get the blood pumping.
So how does Inhale compare to Masquerade, or even the End is Where We Begin or Phenomenon? Let’s have a look.
The album begins with Like a Machine. A song that’s sure to get the blood pumping and the party started. Not deep lyrically, but a fun opener nonetheless.
Untraveled Road is where the album really begins to show it’s spiritual side. A song about walking the path less traveled, the narrow road. Trevor sings in the chorus, “We walk, where no one wants to go, on this untraveled road!” A battle anthem that’s sure to make you want to walk the life of Christ instead of talk it, because, “Light shines brighter in the dark.”
Born This Way is another rocker, but this has a lot more of a classic, southern feel to it that puts a big smile on your face. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, and not trying to live like someone you aren’t. We’re all God’s children, and each one is unique. We’re all equally loved by God, no matter who we are.
Set Me On Fire is the first worship song on the record, and boy it’s catchy. A pop song at heart, but it still feels like TFK. Simply about God setting us on fire with His love. Not sure if we’ll see it in church, but it would be amazing if it did.
Give It to Me is the final full on rock song on the record, matching the heaviness of Born This Way and Like a Machine. Trevor plays with the high range of his voice magnificently in the verses, and like Born This Way, is just a fun song about God taking our burdens off our shoulders.
I See Red brings it down a notch, but picks up again in the latter half. A fun light rock song about the saving power of the blood of Jesus. In the final half, you just want to sing along as Trevor sings, “We can run, we can hide, but we can’t live without it. It’s the same in us, takes the blame in us.”
Light Up takes a beautiful acoustic turn, and leads the way into the softer half of the record. It displays Trevor’s falsetto perfectly, though at times it does get just a little overbearing. A simple love song that can either be about a romance or as worship to the Lord.
In My Room is lyrically, one of the best TFK songs to date! About a teenager facing abuse from those around him, so he goes into his room, and cries out, “They make me feel so empty, their words they cut like knives. You tell me to forgive them, but I’m not sure I’ll survive. I’m not sure if it’s a good time, or even if you’re home. It’s a long, long way from your throne, but can you meet me in my room?” A tear inducing song, and a must listen.
Oxygen takes a full on worship route, and it does so brilliantly. My personal favourite on the record, it brings chills each time, and is full of God’s presence. Declaring that God is our oxygen, and that we have no life without Him.
Final song, Glow, takes a country turn, and is one of the best on the record, and in my opinion, the perfect closer. It begins with the chilling words, “Today I died in search of you.” Again, so much devotion for the Lord. This song reminds me of the cry of Elisha after Elijah went up in the chariot of fire. He cried for Elijah’s anointing, or nothing. In this song, Trevor sings, “Burn me bright, or let me go, make me stronger on the inside. Hold me tight, or just let go, because I don’t want it if I can’t glow.”
Overall, TFK have definitely passed their last album, and maybe even Welcome to the Masquerade. With half of the album rock, the other half ballads and worship, this is sure to have something for everyone to love, even if you’re not a TFK fan.
I highly recommend Oxygen:Inhale by Thousand Foot Krutch as one of the best albums on the year!
Here’s the album stream if you’re interested: Youtube, thousand foot krutch, oxygen inhale