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 Polaradio - Published CD review -

Polaradio CD Review - ChristianMusic.com



Mission / Goal Statement: For the CD AND for POLARADIO


ChristianMusic.com asked POLARADIO for a mission or goal statement for the group and their debut album, entitled, POLARADIO.

"I think both of these are essentially the same. People think Christians are these people who are supposed to have it all together, to have all the answers, and always go around with a plastic smile on their face. The lyrics to me are essentially journal entries. I am, like other humans, a person who makes mistakes, falls flat on my face, and hurt sometimes. The difference is, I have all the answers I need: That the same God who made the universe, became man, died for my sins, and rose again, paying the price for my sins so that I can have eternal life with Him. If that doesn't make you love someone with all of your heart and all of your life, I don't know what would. I don't see myself, or the band, as a preacher, but as a witness to the amazing power of God's redemptive love in daily life and real daily situations."


"Polaradio is not about a rosy Christian life... but it is about life, the ups and downs, the joys and disappointments, the smiles and the tears... except, we want to leave you hopeful... because there is a great ending!"


Dusty Hughes

Any favorite Bible verse or truth which is meaningful to you or influenced your songs on his CD?


I would have to say the entire epistle to the Philippians. So much practical, yet life-changing advice is contained in that book.


Check out their Bio and Christianmusic.com Interview


Review of POLARADIO Debut CD:


WOW, what a Christian rock album!! Ready for expressive, spirited rock paired with real lyrics, which express the ups and downs of our human condition and ultimately point to the hope we have in Jesus? Polaradio's debut CD entitled, POLARADIO is a lively collection of well-done songs with rock / acoustic / contemporary audience appeal that has it all: high quality musicianship, dynamic vocals and musical performances, paired with meaningful, honest lyrics, described as being essentially "journal entries."


Moreover, Polaradio's musical efforts on this album have an intensity, energy & spirit, emotional umph, and are held together with solid, diverse compositions, which are all Polaradio's calling cards, for the benefit and entertainment of the listener.


For this inspiring project more than lives up to its goals, as the songs offer Polaradio's always energetic, poignant to spirited, driving rock style musical compositions, and vocal performances, which perfectly match the intent of the song at hand. The music and talent found in this collection of songs surely does "witness to the amazing power of God's redemptive love in daily life and real daily situations," in a most entertaining and effective manner, lifting the spirit and encouraging the listener, in daily challenges, in battles with our weaknesses, enduring heart breaking instances and bumps in the road we all experience, sooner or later.


The quality of the musicianship in the accompaniment, compositions and the inspiring vocals point to musicians who not only have the gifts to create high quality musical sound, but also have help in the spiritual inspiration department. Their inspiration by the Holy Spirit, and their emotional and spiritual faith connection to the Lord flows through their various compositions and poignant, stirring vocals, revealing their heart for God. (LIKE YOU * WHO I HAVE BECOME * HYMN)


Whether energizing acoustic / piano, or spirited electric rock, or something in between, each song on this album has its own driving, underlying emotional current, or rock-based spirit, varying in intensity, tempo and level of dynamics, which flows throughout the album, despite the type of song offered.


Members of Polaradio intensely express their faith and love for the Lord with melodic, dynamic to poignant electric rock & piano compositions paired with honest, emotional, real lyrics which express the pain and joy of life experiences (ONLY IN TIME * FLOAT * HOLD ME DOWN * DON'T LOOK BACK * BETTER OFF LIKE THIS), pointing to the hope and peace one finds in Jesus Christ's mercy and love (MOMENT OF TRUTH * LIKE YOU * EVERYTHING.) This group of Christian rockers were drawn together to create music which "witnesses to the amazing power of God's redemptive love in daily life and real daily situations."


These songs and performances are the perfect mix of dynamic, inspiring rock, which support beautifully a variety of vocal deliveries and anthems with memorable melodies, ranging from gritty (HOLD ME DOWN * THE END) / spirited rock (MOMENT OF TRUTH, ONLY IN TIME * BETTER DAY) to intense, poignant yet dynamic piano-acoustic based ballads, which this reviewer describes as prayer and worship /anthems-hymns. (EVERYTHING-acoustic * DON'T LOOK BACK-acoustic and strings * BETTER OFF LIKE THIS -piano * WANT TO MEET YOU THERE-acoustic)


Sometimes it is a mix of both styles, just to make it interesting! (LIKE YOU * FLOAT * I'M THE ONE * WHO I HAVE BECOME * HYMN)

In many of the above songs, the dynamics and buildup of intensity are perfectly executed, qualities which always send this reviewer to the moon and back! Often, the songs begin softly, yet pumped with an underlying current of intensity or edginess, which reflects the skill of the main songwriter, Dusty Hughes.


Dusty also knows how to create interesting, musically enjoyable bridge segue ways (BETTER DAY * WHO I HAVE BECOME) that build to a huge sound in the chorus, musically supporting and accenting the lyrical punch-line of the song's spiritual message, enthusiastically presented through the vocals found in the chorus.


Dusty Hughes also has the skill to write interesting compositions in either a major or minor key, often adding accidentals, interesting intervals and a few modulation segues which bring sparkle, edginess and spice to a composition.(HOLD ON * THE END.) These skills reflect a musical ability, not often found in songwriters.


The vocals are equally wonderful, provided by the considerable vocal power of Dusty and guest vocalist Terrell Hughes, who definitely have the spiritual heart, diction, voice and breath control & ability to sing any vocal style, emotional delivery, dynamic or vocal interval required in these songs; a characteristic sure to please rock music enthusiasts who enjoy a dynamic variety of vocal talent.


While this is true, still quite a few of these cuts would be gladly accepted in contemporary worship services who lean toward both acoustic and rock music genre as their musical vehicle to inspire their worshipers. {LIKE YOU * MOMENT OF TRUTH * EVERYTHING * BETTER DAY * HYMN * DON'T LOOK BACK; (Sermon anthem)}


Let us not forget to mention the WELL DONE sound recording and mixing, which can make or break an album. Dusty Hughes is the man behind the wonderful recording of the tracks, mixing the sound tracks and dynamic levels just right for each song, bringing forth the musical gems and vocals found in each cut. This resulted in producing an album which is most enjoyable to listen to, absorb and be comforted in all our woes, and uplifted by the spiritual reality that we have hope and a source of encouragement and love in Christ.


In case you haven't guessed, POLARADIO Debut CD is highly recommended by this reviewer for Christian music lovers who appreciate music with heart, energy and spirit. This collection of songs comforts and uplifts the soul within, encouraging a deeper faith and walk with the Lord, through its dynamic, well-done mix of compositions, performances of all involved and the very real lyrics which make one think and react to the messages so well presented.



All these inspiring compositions and vocals discussed above are truly the perfect musical vehicles to present the down to earth, lyrical messages, expressing the reality of human existence, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ, which is at the heart of these songs.


Dusty explains to Christianmusic.com about goal of the lyrical themes: "It is about life, the ups and downs, the joys and disappointments, the smiles and the tears... except, we want to leave you hopeful... because there is a great ending!"


Spiritual themes and song evaluations, with a sample of the lyrics are posted below.




* * * * + + EVERYTHING - A joyous praise and worship song celebrating Jesus for who He is and what He has done in a person's life who depends and trusts in Him.


Musical Notes: Another possible altar call song. Swirling poignant song of testimony, written in 3/4 meter, in a minor key, with some interesting accidentals, creating a memorable melody. This inspiring musical effort is presented with great dynamics, poignant vocals, moving lyrics and a memorable use of both acoustic and electric guitar ensembles. Begins simply and softly with an acoustic guitar, builds throughout the song with electric guitars and drums adding sparkle and umph. Another great electric guitar ensemble interlude is heard right before the last time through the chorus. Vocals shine in their dynamic performances, bringing the lyrics roaringly to life in spirit and celebration in the chorus, offering great contrast from the vocals heard in the verses, which begin at a softer level and build in volume to the chorus.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 4:4-7, Psalm 107:1, 14-17, 19-21)


Lyrical Sample: Out of the water / I see your face / You took my place / Reaching to save me / The priceless cure I'm searching for / Burning through the ashes / Vital signs open my mind / Out through the darkness / I finally see the beautiful / Bright light of day /
Chorus: You are the one I can call / Cause I need someone stronger than me / You are the one that I trust. //


* * * + + WHO I HAVE BECOME -Being set free from the chains of bitterness and hate, and being healed by Jesus.


Musical Notes: Begins softly, with an energetic, driving acoustic guitar, building in sound through the bridge and into the chorus at full throttle, electrical guitars plus! Volume quiets down a little for second verse, with a lively acoustic ensemble supporting the melody and beat. Vocals again are wonderful: dynamic, and from the heart of a believer.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 1:9-11, Romans 12:2, Romans 8:38)


Lyrical Sample: "I've wasted time trying to change the past and I /Could change my mind but it wouldn't last / Wrapped in chains of bitterness and hate / Lost a year every mile / Losing hope, fearing now it's all too late/


CHORUS: and I was gone too far and was in too deep / Had to clear my head cause of losing sleep / I shouldn't try to understand how you heal the heart of a broken man / and change who I become//


* * * * + + MOMENT OF TRUTH - Rock prayer hymn / anthem of confession and love for the Lord


Musical Notes: Strong favorite of this reviewer. Great dynamic changes, in both vocals and music. Begins in a solemn mood, softly with the nice touch of soft, echoing synths & electrical guitar chordal support, with light drums supporting the poignant, smooth vocals in the first verse. Vocals, lyrical message and melody are front and center. Bridge grows in volume. Chorus begins with a bang. Energetic, hard rock sound and intensity goes up a couple of notches at the chorus, with harder, rock drums and driving electric guitars provide precise pumping, dotted note irresistible counter melody, supporting the heart-felt dedication heard in the edgier vocals. Volume and dynamics soften again for the second verse, repeating the pattern established. Great dynamic changes through the last two times through the chorus: SOFT / LOUD.


Vocals are equally dynamic, beginning softly, in a prayerful style of reflection, building into an edgier rock persona in the chorus, which joyfully expresses the hook of the song, which is both entertaining and spiritually uplifting.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 2:7-11, Psalm 89, Luke 10:27)


Lyrical Sample: Chorus: When it all comes down / to the moment of truth / There's nothing less / That I would do / When it all comes down / to the moment of truth / I'll tell the world I'm / So in love with You //


Verse 2; "I admit that You have saved me / I admit that I've been long gone / I admit that I owe You my soul / I admit that I need a savior / I admit that savior is You / I admit that You have made me whole.


// Bridge: And I'm not ashamed to call your name / like a desperate man //


* * * * + + LIKE YOU - Energetic Rock prayer hymn of confession and petition - To erase the pain, wash the soul clean, to be made new and more like Him - Jesus


Musical Notes: Favorite song of this reviewer: First stanza begins quietly in a minor key, with electrical guitar playing a steady flow of eighth notes acoustic part, which establishes the rhythm and offers chordal support for the melody and vocals. Sound builds from second stanza into the fabulous bridge, which opens wide into a glorious rock sound, carried by electric guitar ensemble and drums, in the chorus in celebration, reflecting the hope found in the vocals. Very nice harmonies in the chorus. It would make a terrific altar call song in any contemporary service. Vocal style changes between verses and chorus, offering another layer of musical flair, umph, and color to the presentation of the lyrical message.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 1:6, Romans 3:23, Ephes. 4:23-25, Romans 12:2, Galatians 3:10)


Lyrical Sample: When I see me / I see everything that's never quite enough / Who I should be / When I see You / I see everything I've wanted deep inside / Living here in me / No excuses for how I am / The shambles of a broken man. Bridge: No excuse for How I am / The shambles of a broken man //

// Chorus: Take my life and make me new / Make me like You / Erase the pain that I've been through / Make me like You. //

Mercy, Forgiveness and Love of Jesus


* * * * + + I'M THE ONE - Explores how the Lord feels when a person leaves the faith, turns away from Him, to "find his or herself."


Musical Notes: Another dynamic song, written in a minor key. It begins with a somber acoustic guitar ensemble; great combo of a guitar, playing the underlying moving eighth note melody support, with a nice counter melody played by a second guitar. The change of melody in the bridge is both delightful and prepares the listener to the strong presentation in the chorus.
The smooth, poignant vocal presentation of the lyrics breaks your heart, especially in the chorus, as they reflect what the Lord must feel when a person turns away from the faith of their upbringing, to follow other things in this world, which call them off track.


Scriptural References: (John 3:16, Hebrews 7:27 & 12:1-3)


Lyrical Sample: Chorus: I'm the One / I'm the One /I'm the / only thing you need / I'm the One / I'm the One / I'm the / only thing you need. //
Verse 2: I heard you talking to yourself / There was something that you said / That was tearing me apart / AS you fell back on the bed / You have to find out who you are/ And you don't want me around / So I am dying for your soul / And watching as you come unwound.//

Bridge: Don't throw it all away / And walk out on me / Don't throw it all away //


* * * * + + HYMN - Love letter to the Lord. After walking many highways, looking and trying to find his or herself, this person finds the answer to be Jesus, who reached down to save him or her.


Musical Notes: Another possible altar call song. Quieter, hymn-like song with an easy beat, with electrical guitars playing an acoustic part; offering rhythm and melody support. Vocals are smooth and memorable, coming from the heart.


Scriptural References:(Romans 3:23-25 & 8:38)


Lyrical Sample: I tried to be a good man / But never measured up / You rescued me with mercy / And saved me with your love / My sins have been forgiven / Now I'm washed in the blood.// I've walked a million highways. / And crossed the raging sea. / Looking for the answers / But no answer set me free / 'Till you reached down to save me / Now I'm washed in the blood./


* * * * + + BETTER DAY - Depending on Jesus always to pick us up when we fall down, because of our tendency to get off track and sin. We can't earn His grace - it is a gift. We should thank Him with praise!


Musical Notes: One of my strong favorites. Joyous praise and worship ROCK song of thanksgiving, written in a major key, which hits the floor running with an energetic upbeat melody intro, (keys of some sort - synths?), which is joined by a driving rock beat provided by steady drums and smoking electric guitar rhythm / melody support ensemble, playing moving eighth notes, propelling the spirit of the song from the very beginning. Again, the bridge is fabulous, with a change in rhythm and accented notes, swelling into another full sound of joyous thanksgiving. Vocals are again dynamic, full of joy and thanksgiving, flowing from a thankful heart. Interesting accidentals and modulations in the chorus.


Any contemporary service and the young at heart would love this song. It would also do well on the radio.


Scriptural References:(Ephes. 2:7, Gal. 5:1)


Lyrical Sample: I'm barely more than nothing / I'm even less in some folks' world / A far cry from who I could be / And who I should be is even more / I am a living example / I am the voice of urgency / I see myself as stained with sin / And torn within, not who you see....
Bridge: Just get Your voice into my head / And go, turn it up /
Chorus: I've been down and I've been back again / Cause IT always keeps me coming back to You, my friend / I've been down and now I'm back to stay / Cause you always have me coming back to a better day. //




* * * * + FLOAT - Praise and thanksgiving for a human love relationship in the first verse and from the spiritual blessing felt in using musical gifts and talents for the Lord, being inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Lord is pleased when we follow His plan for our gifts.


Musical Notes: Flowing piano ballad with a light easy rock beat, featuring a memorable melody and expressive vocals which float effortlessly over some hard intervals which jump into the upper scale register. Vocals are totally different from any of the other songs, sung in a style which fits well with the musical composition and the feeling of euphoria felt, doing justice to the message and spirit of the song. The vocals truly express in the first verse, the feeling of a man in love with a woman, expressing the mountain top experience of falling in love. In the second verse, the vocals express a lasting inner joy felt which only the Lord can provide when we complete a task for Him, depending on the Holy Spirit.


Scriptural References:(John 15:16, 1 Cor. 12:4-6, Phil. 2:13)


Lyrical Sample:


CHORUS: You make me feel like I am flying / Higher than I've ever floated before / You make me feel like I am falling / Higher than I've ever floated before //
2nd verse: Ten thousand songs / I know they felt the same / A crowd of people / Just wandered away / Hearing Your song / Echo in my brain / I can't help believing / You're feeling the same. //


STEPPING OUT IN FAITH - Depending on and trusting the Lord as a source of strength in letting go of the destructive past, and in struggles in this world dealing with difficult human relationships.


* * * * + + DON'T LOOK BACK - Dwelling on past sins and regrets is self-defeating and can crash any spirit. Go forward, focus on the present and future, depending on the Lord.


Musical Notes: Strong Favorite of this reviewer. Written in a minor key, an acoustic and string ensemble powered composition, which would fit well in any service as a sermon anthem. Beautiful, memorable melody, supported with acoustic guitar and string work, featuring another dynamic, memorable melody, poignant chorus, with moving vocals, which express so well the angst of reliving past mistakes, in a quieter, yet poignant style. Hard intervals into the upper scale register are again performed like they were easy! The chorus again is the hook - presenting the main message of the song.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 3:12-16, & 4:8, Hebrews 10:2, 22)


Lyrical Sample: "Another night I hang my head / All the thoughts of past regrets / Always come to tear me down / I remember what You said, To get it all out of my head / CHORUS: Don't look back / you'll be broken by the weight of the world / Crashing down to break your heart" //


* * * * + + HOLD ME DOWN - Seeking strength for self-control and fortitude to stand against destructive human relationships; not compromising. First verse deals with a deceitful person. 2nd verse deals with an over-controlling family member.

Musical Notes: Another strong favorite of this reviewer. Written in a minor key, begins with a mournful, reverberating bass solo, playing an interesting, slightly dissonant, dotted note melody intro which sets the beat, counter melody and mood of this song. Another interesting melody, carried in the verses by the dynamic vocals, with a sound which fits perfectly with the lyrical message. Vocals begin softly and grow in emotion and intensity, in full rock intensive mode by the chorus, with matching intensity in the musical accompaniment, which also goes up a notch or two in the chorus, thanks to the electric guitar ensemble. Soulful, bluesy, mournful electric rock excels in the chorus and in the interlude.


Scriptural References:(Ephes. 6:10, 14-18, Phil. 4: 4-6, 13,)


Lyrical Sample: Verse 1: Tell me what you've got in mind / Share your thoughts and I'll show you mine / But I'm not gonna call a compromise / Tell me that I'm overboard / I can tell that you hate to be ignored / But I'm not going to fall from all your lies /
Chorus: I don't wanna feel dirt cheap / When you've gone too far and I'm in too deep / Well, I don't wanna / I don't wanna break down now // I don't wanna tie my tongue / I've grown much too old to go and act so young / Well, I don't wanna / I don't wanna break down now.//

Bridge: Hold me down / feel like its gonna break - Hold me down///
Hook: Whoa, Whoa, I don't want to break down now..


* * * * + + BETTER OFF LIKE THIS - Reflections on a failed relationship. Seeing the blessing in a break up, but struggling with the pain and loss, finding the strength to continue to walk away from the relationship.


Musical Notes: Written in a minor key, a solidly composed piano ballad with great support from guitars and easy beat drums. Song features the usual inspiring melody, building dynamics and an appropriate vocal style for this poignant ballad, which would do well on radio play. Dynamic vocals portray the ambivalence felt upon seeing this person; sadness in the break up, but willing to go forward in faith that this is best.


Scriptural References:(Romans 5:1-5, & 8:28)


Lyrical Sample: You know I saw you yesterday / It didn't hurt like I thought it would / Maybe each step away / Is only one step toward who we really are //
As I walk away / Say that its fine / Someday we'll look back and we'll see / That this was the only possible way./




* * * * + + ONLY IN TIME - Developing a relationship with the Lord takes time and patience, as we trust and depend on Him


Musical Notes: Another strong favorite of this reviewer. Written in a major key. Energy and quiet intensity begins immediately with moving, lightly played 8th note electrical guitar rhythm, with rock drums joining in, but quiet down, keeping the driving energy on a softer level, providing a quieter yet driving support for the vocals in the verses. The rock elements and sound open up with enthusiasm at the chorus, with a propelling dotted eighth note / 16th note rhythm, supporting the louder vocals, edgier vocal part.


Great harmonies in the chorus. Interlude features a driving electrical guitar part, having fun with running 8th notes, in a driving rock style, creating a vigorous electric guitar jig of movement, which is quite entertaining.


Scriptural References:(Psalm 27:14 & 37:54 & 46:10, 2nd Peter 9:13, 28.)


Lyrical Sample: Silence, You speak / Everything opened up to me / Like rain that falls / Echo inside these four walls / I feel there is something more to this / Then I understand / Only in time will I ever see / Something more than this could be / Only in time will you ever show / A silence deeper still unknown / More than enough / More than anything I need / To feel you here......


* * * * + WANT TO MEET YOU THERE (Bonus track:) - Spending time with the Lord strengthens our faith and trust in Him.


Musical Notes: Hopeful, simple, yet effective acoustic ensemble accompaniment supports the memorable melody and poignant vocals. Solo, spirited rhythm guitar supports the melody and rhythm in verses and chorus. Lovely guitar ensemble in interlude. Energetic vocals carry the melody, spirit and message, all to great effect.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 4:4-6, ePHES. 3:16-19, Matt. 6:6 & 11:28, 2nd Kings 4:33, Psalm 62:1 & 91:1-2)


Lyrical Sample: If there is a thin line between there and here / If there is an old time between your love and fear /
If there is one thing that I see / is that I think that I could be / want to meet you there//

If there is a space between your doubts and dreams / there is a whole world between having it all, and falling apart at the seams / If there is one thing that I see / is that I think that I could be / want to meet you there

If there is one thing that I see / is that I think that I could be / want to meet you there//




* * * * + THE END - Signs in this world point to the future return of Jesus as bringer of peace, justice and brotherhood.


Musical Notes: Written in a minor key, begins with dissonant, futuristic sounding intervals played by synths keys, creating the wonderfully foreboding atmosphere of the song. Synths and electric guitars, with a basic rock beat provide strong support. Vocals carry unusual, futuristic melody, in styles, ranging between wonderfully creepy and being positive and hopeful. Great dynamic swell into the chorus.


Scriptural References:(Phil. 2:10-11, Rev. 5:9-13, & 7:10, & 11:15 & 14:1-5 & 21:1-6, Rev. 13)


Lyrical Sample: Tripping in slow motion / Heading toward apocalypse / Lies and promises are / Dripping from your burning lips / Is this the end / Peace on earth is coming / Brotherhood is soon to be / I hear voices selling / False sense of security.//

Reviewed by Julie Carr - For ChristianMusic.com

Polaradio Video 1 * Polaradio Video 2 * VISIT OUR POLARADIO STORE * Christian Special Index

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