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Stryper Reborn MTM Music / Big 3 Records
0681-144
· Produced By: Michael Sweet & Kenny Lewis

· Running Time: 39.50

· Release Date: August 29

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: MTM Music Big 3 Records Stryper
92%
Songs: 90%
Sound: 94%
Stryper's first studio album in some 15 years reveals a different band that we last heard on Against The Law.
That album itself was a lot different than their earliest work and proved the band were willing and able to move with the times.
Here's that ever present problem again – how does a band reform after such a long period of time and remain relevant, yet still deliver something fans that have waited patiently for will appreciate – without sounding like dinosaurs?!The answer is as hard to find as the number of bands that have successfully revived themselves, but in this case, Stryper might have just pulled it off.
Reborn sees the band supporting vastly updated sound – heavier than ever and darker and more contemporary too – giving them every chance of appealing to a new audience, but familiar enough to keep the old.
I compare this album very closely to Europe's comeback album from last year – Start From The Dark. The album features the same production sound, updated for the new millennium and noticeably heavier and darker than before – just as Europe did.
But Europe fell short by including a few filler songs and not featuring quite enough of their past in their current work.
Stryper have carried over a little more of their past personality into this record – especially on the choruses, with layered harmonies and the knack of remembering an all important hook to hang the song on.
Not being a general fan of the band – I only own the very good Against The Law album – I was not depending on anything other than some catchy songs and the guys deliver that. In fact, I'm surprised how much l like most of the tracks on the album, which I guess is a very positive sign for the quality of the material.
Opening with a bang and tough rocking approach, Open Your Eyes shows a new intensified sound that gives way to a great chorus.
Reborn is a lot darker again and features some of the heaviest riffs I have heard from the band. But another strong chorus helps the appeal of the song.
The mid-tempo rock ballad Make You Mine has great emotion and features another strong chorus over riding a very contemporary sound.
Passion is another ballad-esque number with intensity and appeal.
Other highlights include the modern rock anthem If I Die and the old-meets-new ballad Rain.
The Bottom Line
Not totally convincing on the first listen, the album takes some time to grow. But importantly, it contains enough class to draw the listener back in and it's then you discover something new. And so it goes until you realize this is a great record and the guys deserve a lot of credit for the contents of this album. I dare say that the sound and style might alienate a few, but I think the vast majority will agree that this is a very credible album and should see the guys sticking around for a while yet.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· The Yellow And Black Attack
· Soldiers Under Command
· To Hell With The Devil
· In God We Trust
· Against The Law
· Reborn

Line Up:
· Michael Sweet: Vocals
· Oz Fox: Guitars
· Robert Sweet: Drums
· Tracy Ferrie: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Stryper
· Europe - Start From The Dark
Track Listing
· Open Your Eyes*
· Reborn*
· When Did I See You Cry*
· Make You Mine
· Passion*
· Live Again
· If I Die*
· Wait For You
· Rain*
· 10,000 Years
· I.G.W.T.
--*Best Tracks


02/05/06: Brian - titansandbraves@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
The yellow and black attack has put out a great comeback album! I would've rated this as a classic if it weren't for the doowop choruses on a couple of the songs. Otherwise, this is a hard hitting, melodic rock album! Essential for new and veteran Stryper fans!

16/03/06: Jason - Tupac327Boy@aol.com
Rating: 10
I judged the last Europe effort "Start From the Dark" a little too quickly.....without realizing that some albums have to have a couple more spins before actually getting into. It was the same case for this album.....First time, I was turned off by it......with some of its moderness....and the fact that it was far more darker than any other Stryper album. Now, after four listens, I actually can put myself in that same perspective as the album. First five tracks are great......as well as a few of the other tracks. As I said before, this takes a few listens, so don't judge it on the first spin.

17/02/06: John Elway - megjimp@cableone.net
Rating: 68
I have no problem with a band updating their sound. However, these guys sound nothing like the band they once were. What!? No guitar solos! They also underuse their classic vocal harmonies. On top of that the songs are all midtempo and just don't rock. Very dissapointing.

31/01/06: Martin - mbw21@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Holy crap - totally blew me away! Those bashing this release are not being objective reviewers. Best new album from an 80's band I've heard in a long, long time. Not over-complicated, faithful to what made them successful updated with a modern sound. Very well done guys!

16/12/05: mark - sluss528@yahoo.com
Rating: 30
this album sucks! very boring! enouph said.

22/11/05: Erik - stryperrocks@wanadoo.n
Rating: 80
Hi!
Wow this album is very cool!
It's a new style, and the lyrics are great!
i like: Open your eyes, reborn, when did i see you cry, passion, if i die and I.G.W.T. These are my favorites. The others are nice too.
Great comeback!
Can't wait for the next album! If that comes :P

19/11/05: koogles - endangeredcds@hotmail.com
Rating: 77
Not a coincidence, I give this CD 77.7 out of a hundred. That's because I'm convinced this is a CD that has "passion" (no pun intended) even though that is not enough to sell me on the modern sound. I hear James LaBrie style vocals throughout (esp. on the title track)- certainly not a bad thing- but it's the darker nature of this CD that keeps it out of A-grade territory. Second single "Make You Mine" is a decent stab at melodic rock and "Open Your Eyes" gets things off to a rockin' start but there's an absence of bright, feel-good anthems (as found on my favorite Stryper release, In God We Trust) that demotes this to the ranks of good-but-not-essential. And something about that drum sound really gets on my nerves. Other than that, a decent rebirth, but not on par with its former incarnations.

25/10/05: juanpedro - jp@binho.es
Rating: 45
Stryper are a bunch of capable musicians, which makes the album listenable.
But where is the enthousiasm from the previous albums?
And if you can screw up one of your best songs, I can only conclude that this is not a very good album.
Next one I won't buy!

16/10/05: Joey Silvera - joey@silvera.com
Rating: 69
Stryper comes thrusting at you with a brand new album, spewing with frothing metal. This album is full of money shots & will make a great addition in the library of any engorged music fan, Christian or not.

07/10/05: Don Watson - manton15@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Album of the year for me! Seems like the people who bash this music wanted Stryper to split up for 12 or so years, hide in a closet, then pop out with music that sounded exactly the same. Wake up people! If these bands do not try to evolve at least a little they will all be gone for good. Is that what some of these reviewers want? I feel Stryper, along with Europe, has done an awesome job of updating their sound. I do miss some of the guitar leads also but I love Sweets voice! The biggest thing I can't stand about todays modern rock is the "I'm gonna puke" sounding voice. Maybe they will add more leads on the next one. Keep Rockin' STRYPER!!!

07/10/05: Splash - Splash777@msn.com
Rating: 45
Now this is an album that is better left to the bible bashers. Stryper has never been on my favorites list but Law saw them put together a good fist pumping album. The band's musical ability is top notch on this album but the lyrics are stuck way to deep into the bible. Singing about nice things and positive things are wonderful and I fully support that ideal. But this is nothing more than preaching. Every song just runs over the same territory. I found it so annoying at times I can't get through entire songs. This is why this album won't work outside of their christian metal core. I bought one of MIchael Sweets solo albums and borrowed a different one and they were both good albums with tollerable lyrical reference to religion. I really like his voice. I am bashing this album more for the over the top religious preaching. But the songs aren't as strong as they could have been either. If this is the best of the best from a band who's had atleast 10 years worth of writing material to sift through since their last recordings then it's time to call it a career and rest on their laurels. I am Highly disappointed by a band that should have relaunched their career on high point.

07/10/05: Robert Knight - rknight66@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Very good CD. Good heavy modern tone with great lyrics! The only thing that I would have liked to hear were some bigger harmonies. Stryper still includes harmonies in their songs, but I would have liked to hear them more like the old 5 part harmonies, like angels singing. Still great stuff though!

04/09/05: Chris - shot-ny@stny.rr.com
Rating: 100
I go back a long way with Stryper... I thought Yellow and Black Attack was amazing. S.U.G.C... rocked. To Hell With the Devil was just awesome. I thought Against the Law was a good direction for the band. Alot harder music, and a different edge missing from the band up until that point.

So, now we have Reborn. All I can say is WOW. Right from the start this CD kicks ya in the ass, and doesn’t stop.

In this day and age, when you can't tell one band from the other, or even one song from the other... It's nice to be able to say that this CD contains one of the best and freshest songs I have heard in a bit. The song "Rain" is worth the $16 bucks I paid for the CD. It's slow-tempo ballad, that kicks into the power mode for the chorus. I might catch slack for this, but I think the song is a lot like "Carrie Ann" from Styx. Very good vocals, and Beatle-ish background vocals. I would love to see them pull this one off in concert!

Other highlights include. I.G.W.T (In God We Trust) Yep, Stryper covering Stryper ;) They added an updated sound, and took out the "bubble gum" metal you might remember from original version.

Reborn is dark and edgy. Amazing.

Passion is the Stryper "ballad." Layered vocals and harmonies all over the place... filled in with a power chorus, and then back to the ballad. Great hook, and easy to sing along with (even if you can't reach the notes ;) lol)

10,000 Years. A very cool rocking version of Amazing Grace. A nice touch to hear an up tempo rock version. They got the Title of their version from the second to last verse of Amazing Grace... "When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun." Would have liked the full song, but what they do is amazing.

Overall, I just love when one of my bands from the 80's/90's put out an amazing CD that is different than you expect. I bought the CD more for nostalgia reasons, but it has already found a way to become a mainstay in my CD player for many days to come!

03/09/05: craigie cubsfan - kuhlman@mts.net
Rating: 30
3 good songs and that's all. kermit the frog on vocals, and no melody. very disappointing record. stryper sold out, and not in a good way. plus, don't they owe brazil a ton of money?? to hell with stryper.

01/09/05: jeramie - jercar2004@netscape.net
Rating: 100
this cd rocks killer vocals an yes it does in some points sound like a solo from micheal but hell he writes mostley all the songs anyways but who cares it rocks they r back an thats what matters the cd kicks as so did all his solo s also

01/09/05: Brian - bpaulg1@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Great album. For those complaining about it sounding like a Michael Sweet solo album listen--Michael Sweet has always been the primary songwriter for Stryper, so of course it may sound a bit like his solo stuff, however, the Stryper harmonies are there. Plus, if they didn't modernize the sound some, it would not go anywhere. I love the album!! Amazing work!!!

31/08/05: Bruno - brunotak@yahoo.com
Rating: 99
Just what Stryper neede to realease. If they had come up with another to Hell with the devil or against the law it would have probable been disapointing. its been 15 years from their last release, no one can exepct them to release the same thing again. Obviously they had been influenced by different styles of music in the last years just like anyones taste changes through time. To the point, this albums rocks and i cant stop listening to it.! Passion is the song of the year!

31/08/05: Layla - layla_carty@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Reborn in my opinion ranks up there with THWTD. It is one of my favorite Stryper albums. Yeah there are no screams (except on IGWT) and there are not alot of guitar solos but so what? Not every song has to have a scream or solo to have a killer album. Well done guys...I cant wait for the next one!!

31/08/05: Jason - metfanjay22@aol.com
Rating: 100
Stryper-Reborn. Reborn, that's what Stryper has done. They have been reborn. They have created an album full of remarkable songs with depth and meaning. If you haven't had a chance to get this CD, just visit a music store and demand it. I have listened to it at least 10 times. It just keeps getting better everytime I listen to it. Michael Sweet probably is one of the 5 best vocalists in hard rock/metal. If you don't believe me check out Stryper in concert this fall. In an age where vocalists don't sing or have had their days, Michael Sweet can still hit every note. My favorite track on this CD is "Rain". If I were a program director for a rock radio station I would play this song. If it hit the radio stations I think it would be a huge hit. Check out the chorus!!!!
Stryper-Reborn combines everything that Stryper is, was and will be. A band with a mission. A mission to serve and honor Jesus Christ. He Is The Rock That Makes Us Roll!!!!!!!

31/08/05: Markizz - rockingmark@austin.rr.com
Rating: 95
Great all around comeback album! The album covers all aspects of the Stryper sound and updates it for today!! Tracks like "Reborn, Make you Mine, and Live Again" are superb additions to the Stryper catalog. Give the disc a few spins, you will be baptized once again!

31/08/05: scott - n/a
Rating: 80
I like the modern sound of this album. The songs are good but not as instantly likeable as their old material. They are also not as religious in nature. If Stryper alienated you with "Against the Law" you should listen to "Reborn" with caution. You won't hear anything resembling "Always there for you", "Calling on you", "Free" or "Honestly", etc. on this album, but you will get a lot of heavy duty, locomotive, aggressive rockers that relate more closely to Against the Law lyrically. I agree this is not a first listen album, but it will grow on you after a few rounds. Indeed much heavier than anything else in their catalog. I agree with Andrew's comparisons to Europe's "Start from the Dark" in terms of the band sounding heavier, modern and evolved. [however I disagree with his statement that Europe's comeback album "fell short". There are no "fillers" on that album and being a 20-year fan of both Europe and Stryper I have to say I like "Start from the Dark" much better than "Reborn"].

31/08/05: RockMan - purjfo98@msn.com
Rating: 95
Well, where do we start. I own everything Stryper and Michael Sweet and can say that this new disc is the EXACT expectation I had. I couldn't believe my ears. I new it would be the mix that Andrew mentions. The modern sound / arrangements with the 80's harmonies and layers. Couldn't ask for anything else from a Stryper disc in 2005. Thank you guys for taking the time to make sure every aspect from appropriate lyrics to multiple vocal layers were here. Michael Sweet, if you ever read this....Passion is the best harmony I've heard from any of your songs. Any Stryper fan will enjoy this.

31/08/05: Greg - extolthechrist@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Production: 90
The snap of the snare drum. The bite of the guitar. Michael Sweet's unaging voice. These are the sounds that will grab you when you listen to the new Stryper album.

As I listen to the new Stryper album, I can't help but compare it to the newest releases by 3 other "pop metal bands" of the 80's, TNT, Europe and Pretty Maids.

Reborn has a darker sound like Europe's latest, Start From The Dark, but unlike Europe, Stryper keeps their classic melodies and catchy choruses while experimenting with modern guitar and keyboard textures.

There are classic Stryper elements on Reborn just as TNT brought back their classic sound for My Religion, but Stryper doesn't go as far as TNT and the dual guitar leads and layered vocals of past Stryper albums aren't as prevelent on Reborn as on previous releases (but when they are, man are they sweet).

In my mind, Stryper goes with the same gameplan that Pretty Maids did on their 2002 release Planet Panic. The band has successfully merged the elements that define the Stryper sound with modern production techniques, making them relevent to the younger audience without totally alientating "mature" listeners. It's a fine line, but to my mind, Reborn is a return to a more raw Stryper sound found prior to In God We Trust and picks up where To Hell With The Devil left off. Fars of that era should be comfortable with what they find on Reborn.

I read that Michael used the latest Scorpions CD, Unbreakable, as a reference in the studio, and as I listen to soundclips of that CD, it sounds like the Scorps successfully merged classic with modern sounds as well.

Songs: 90
One thing that Stryper had going for them back in the 80's is that they had the songs to back up their image. Whether or not their choice of subject matter flips your switch, the songs had catchy vocal melodies and had plenty of guitar fireworks. While I don't think the tracklisting of Reborn is brilliant (the album stalls near the middle with too many mid-tempo songs back to back), Michael Sweet's songwriting on Reborn is plenty of catchy choruses, and giving them the Stryper treatment takes them to the next level with tasty guitar leads and layered vocals.

Negatives
I would have liked to hear more metal and less hard rock. While there are some metal moments ("Open Your Eyes," "Reborn," "Live Again," "IGWT"), the middle of the album is full of mid-tempo rock songs that, while good songs, just don't have the edge I like from Stryper. Also, while there are some nice choruses and dual guitar solos, it would have been nice if a couple of songs had those elements a little more prominently featured.

31/08/05: Steve Farrar - farrarsm@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
I really liked the album a lot - it sounds a lot like Stryper, especially with the trademark harmonies. My major complaint is the album length - if the band is going to do a reunion album, why couldn't they have recorded more than 40 minutes of music? It just seems like they could have gotten more material on there (and not have to bother with re-working an old song at that). 85 out of 100 (good music, just not enough of it).

31/08/05: Jayson Wyatt - jayrw69@aol.com
Rating: 75
This is a good album, but I don't think it's great one. It was originally going to be a Michael Sweet solo album and that's pretty much what it sounds like. It's not too far removed from what he did on his last album, Truth. It lacks a lot of the harmonies and dual guitar solos that Stryper used to do in the past. It sounds more modern and is not a whole lot of fun to listen to. It's sort of dark and moody. Maybe Stryper will stay together and can do an actual band album next time where they all work together to create something. I understand why they did this, though. Michael had material ready that he had been working on, yet he still wanted to keep the band together and in front of the public after the successful tour they did a couple of years ago. So he used what he had and Stryper-ized it as much as possible. Well, it wasn't quite enough. Regardless, it's still worth checking out.

31/08/05: Serge Gamache - eyedude69@hotmail.com
Rating: 96
I have been a big stryper fan for a long time. The best was the time I met them before a gig in Toronto.

I went to find the place before the gig to not be lost and there was the band coming off the band. Really nice guys. Fabulous Show.

Anyhow, on with the review. This album I was excited and a little nervous about. We seem to have a strong revival of old bands getting back together and making new tunes. Some of them turn out fabulous (Tesla, Billy Idol) and other not so good. I found this CD contained most of what made Stryper so well know, but in the vein of "Against The Law" there were a few new elements thrown in here.

Man, does that Robert Sweet really bash a drum like that? Impressive, but that has always been. Michael Sweet is such a fabulous vocalist that with every song he captivates you. Oz Fox has really put a strong presence in his guitar playing. I am just learning to play the guitar and I really impressed. He was always good, but this is awesome. Has the addition of Tracy Ferrie been a contributing factor to the new sound we hear here?

If yes, we can only say Welcome. This CD represents strength in all facets of music. Playing, Lyrics, Songwritting and especially Melodies. My favorite tune is "When Did I See You Cry" The harmonies just before the guitar are as gripping as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"

The future seems to be stripped Yellow and Black. Yahoo!!!

30/08/05: IAN - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 90
A very apt title from Stryper , for they are truly Reborn . If you loved the band of old then this modern approach may be a little to much for you , but give it time and the quality of the tracks shine through . Plus the fact that both Michael Sweet and Oz Fox are on fantastic form , maybe a try before you buy album , though when you do i'm sure you will love it .

30/08/05: Tracey - tfobia@comcast.net
Rating: 91
In the evergrowing christian market Stryper has reclaimed their throne. This is just as good as anything that is being put out by Pillar or Disciple. This is definately not the Stryper from the 80's. There are some cool harmonies but if you are a fan of melodic hard music than this is for you, with a good message. Check out the tracks reborn, 10000 years, new version of in god we trust labeled IGWT, totally rocking, there are some campy ballads but who doesnt., open your eyes really kicks everything off....definately buy this one. It's rare in todays market where you can buy a cd that has at least 6 good songs on a cd.

30/08/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddk100@hotmail.com
Rating: 30
Very disappointing comeback from the christian rockers.
Like so many others before them, they also jumped on the modern/alternative bandwagon.
I have NO RESPECT at all for that !
It's dark, doomy with downtuned guitars.
Where is the melody ?
And not even 40 minutes music on this one ! A SHAME !
That cost 'em another 10 points extra !
BORING and BAD !, these are the words that spring to mind.
How some can like this, is beyond me.
No quality and no quantity. A pity !
AVOID !!!!!

30/08/05: Steve A - ROCKINBLUEZ@AOL.COM
Rating: 60
This CD didn't blow me away and is no way a 92. I really like Stryper but this sounds nothing like classic Stryper. There are no guitar solo's which would of picked this right up. The CD is very modern which I don't have a problem with...it's just too short (39 min) and dosen't have enough good songs. On top of being short they throw in a new version of I.G.W.T. This CD was a big let down for me.

30/08/05: Carl - kidego71@insightbb.com
Rating: 100
WOW...what can be said about this disc? Stryper of "back in the day"?? Not quite, but STILL Stryper. Guitars, drums, killer vocals and trademark harmonies make up this gem of a CD. RUN dont walk to your nearest music outlet and buy this one!

30/08/05: Jay - melofrenzy@freechal.com
Rating: 85
Very different from their previous releases (even quite a departure from "Against the Law"), but somehow the band manages to come up with 'better than average' materials. Although miles away from being a classic, the album offers a number magnificent tunes, such as "Open Your Eyes," "Make You Mine," and an awesome cover of "In God We Trust." As Andrew noted, the whole album is truly a grower. You need a few spins to sink yourself into the music. A fine effort for a mcuh anticipated come back, nonetheless.


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