Going Public

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For the most part, Going Public is a first-rate pop/rock album from this Australian-based band. Although there are traces of dogma in the lyrics, there is enough variety, depth, and cleverness both musically and lyrically to make the album a winner. The first two numbers, "Real Good Thing" (with a great thumping bassline) and "Shine," are extremely hook-laden and musically hard to resist. Lyrically, the album looks at the themes of unmerited grace, being open with one's faith, and the cost of discipleship, among others. Musically, the recording runs the gamut from the ballad "Be Still" to the almost punky "Lights Out" (which is critical of those who are sure of the timing of the Second Coming), with a good balance between slower and uptempo cuts. The best moment on the album is the last cut, "Elle G." It is the story from a survivor's point of view of trying to come to terms with a friend who has committed suicide. What makes this song so outstanding is its honesty, lyrical depth, and the complex musical journey that accompanies the story line. The words reveal both deep compassion and acute anger, in addition to trying to bring a greater meaning to the event in a larger context. The ending guitar solo fits extremely well with the lyrical content, while the entire cut leaves a lasting impression on the listener. The willingness to go deeply into such a subject matter and admit some ambiguity may be seen as a sign of weakness to some believers, but in this case it brings a profundity that is not expected, and most welcome.

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