Artist – Red
Album – End of Silence
Year – 2006
Genre – Hard Rock/Alternative Metal
When is Christian rock not Christian rock? When it’s simply ROCK! Yes, the Christian message in Red’s Breathe Into Me is apparent just from the title, and if that’s what you pull out of the song, then I’m all for it. But even if the song doesn’t have a religious connotation for you, then there’s still a great deal of emotion to grasp from this track. And a bit of headbanging too, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
This song has an absolutely pulverizing riff, and it hits your ears like a cannon. The guitar is definitely a highlight for this song, and it manages to stay very melodic when the chorus comes, but more on that later. Frontman Michael Barnes is an incredible powerhouse singer, with the perfect blend of very clear melodic singing and just enough grit to add that hard edge. The verses in this song just really cut the core. He’s speaking to God about how he much he needs him in his life after all his hardships, but to me the song speaks of putting your trust in someone else when you’ve fallen so far. You can hear the pain in his voice as each line becomes more aggressive vocally and instrumentally, and he pulls you in.
The chorus is explosive and has a great hook. It really raises you up and pulls you back down again as Barnes effortlessly hits every note. The guitar I mentioned earlier creates a great background that keeps that equilibrium of melody and balances the slight harshness of the verses. Barnes’ anguished “BREATHE INTO ME” yells at the end of each chorus are heart wrenching and when the song repeats the chorus a final two times, those yells turn into screams of pain, rage, and sadness that really give that extra emotional oomph.
There’s some really cool effects at play throughout this track. For example, there’s some great string work during the bridge of the song, and towards the end there’s some chilling vocal echoes that add yet another great layer of catchiness to this layered bunt cake (did I really just say that) of a song.
Instrumentally, the song rocks hard. Crashing drums, beefy bass and guitar, and the aforementioned vocal talent all make a rock lover’s dream, with that extra lyrical value that no great song can do without.
Breathe Into Me is a song that will appeal to any rock fan, Christian or not. This is a clear cut example of song that was written with a particular meaning in mind, but many other meanings have been taken away by each and every listener. That’s the beauty of it all, and with a song like this that has the whole package of soft and loud and high and low, it becomes a piece of art.
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