Andy Hunter:



My #5 Album

in 2011


in 2011

by the artist (download only)

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This page was first posted July 1, 2012

Every Andy Hunter album has made my Annual Music Awards list.  His debut "Exodus" was my #3 of 2002, his next album "Life" was my #4 of 2005.  Even his third album, Colour, which I found disappointing compared to his first two albums, made it to #8 in 2009, though I got that album in 2008, so it took a year for it to grow on me.

Well, after the disappointment of Colour, I was delighted to find that on Collide the old Andy Hunter is back!   Well, at least somewhat -- at least he's back musically.  There were two disappointments in Colour.  The biggest was the music -- the album was not all his signature dance music, but included a lot of slower chill tracks, and some other styles, such as a gospel-influenced almost-house kind of track (and I don't like either of those styles).  The second disappointment on Colour was the lyrics.  As I write often, the reason I want to listen to Christian musicians is because I want songs that help me either worship God or at least think about him and our life response to him.  There were some songs on Colour that did that, particularly "Fade," but many of the songs had lyrics that were really…um…indirect and limited, shall I say?  Or, the songs suffered from too much repetition of the same line over and over -- "Miracle" was the worst one for that. 

With Collide, Andy has redeemed himself to my ears with the music -- unlike with Colour, I love every song on Collide.  The music is back to Andy Hunter Perfection.  The lyrics, though, are even more disappointing than on Colour.  Of the 5 tracks on Collide, two do not have any lyrics at all, and of the remaining ones, there are very few words, and I wouldn't have even been able to figure out their Christian connection meaning without having read about them on the web.  The final song on the album has easily identifiable lyrics, but again, just one line.  I guess this is what we're going to get from him from now on.

Collide starts "Raining Sunshine," which begins with a pretty melancholy piano riff, then a strong dance beat and electronic bass riff kicks in.  However, the piano riff comes back with the dance beat under it, giving an interesting and beautiful juxtaposition of melancholy and foundation for dancing.  This is the kind of thing you might dance to in a room lit with blue lights, or blue and green and purple…a beat to keep you dancing yet a mood that is peaceful and reflective.  This is the most beautiful song on the album and probably one of the most beautiful he's ever done.

Track #2, "Automatic," kicks off with pure, steady drum beat for hard core dancing, and once the electronics come in, they confirm what the drum intro suggested: this is heavy beat dancing.  The electronics begin with a pulsating rhythm.  Soon the lyrics kick in: "I'm static, erratic, on automatic."  Those words make up the entire lyrical content of the song, and are done in a vocoder-electronic sound.  The pulsating sound continues throughout most of the song, but then halfway into the song breaks into a delightful electronic trance riff with a catchy melodic line.  This is where this song changes from one I like to one I love.

From the web -- I read these words from Andy Hunter himself somewhere but I can't find those now, though I can find other sources that confirm what I remember reading from him -- I learned that the song "Automatic" is about the way life can be lived on autopilot if we're not paying attention.  In the song that follows, "Annihilate," the words are, "Smash it, break it, shake it -- annihilate."  This song is about breaking away from the autopilot way of living (or, I would add, any other way that is contrary to God's design), smashing the bad and putting it behind you.  This song, like "Automatic," is uptempo overall, though is more variable in beat compared to the steady, solid, never-ending thumping of the beat in "Automatic."

The next song, "Dawn Vision," is instrumental, and picks up the tempo at a faster pace.  After the beat intro, a 3-note piano riff begins that with the beat gives the song a driven feel.  Then the beat stops momentarily and a chime-like 4-note piano riff plays for awhile.  The beat begins again and drives the song along.  Somewhat similar to "Raining Sunshine," this song juxtaposes a driving beat with pretty piano riffs, making this both driving for dancing but also a bit peaceful in mood, though this feels more driving while "Raining Sunshine" feels more contemplative.

The album closes with the title track, the only one on the album with an easily identifiable Christian message: "Heaven and earth collide, a beautiful alliance, together two worlds are tied, a powerful presence."  This one also starts with a driving beat, not only in the drum's steady pounding, but also in the even industrial rhythm of the electronics.  Midway through the song, the beat stops while the lyrics are spoken/sung, and following them is a beautiful electronic trance riff.  Ohhh, this is sooo my kind of music!  And with these words, it's a great way to end the album.

Andy Hunter is clearly the most talented dance music artist in Christian music.  He makes the best music and his recordings are richer and more detailed than those of other artists.  I'm so glad he's "back," so to speak, from his Colour experiment.  With the powerful driving beats on this album, I most often listened to it when I was driving to work, needing to get there quickly through heavy traffic, and this driving beat got my brain into high-focus mode that enabled driving in such circumstances with intense alertness.  Though this got ranked my #5 of 2011, it was in my CD player frequently.  Had it had more substantial lyrics, it definitely would have been higher on my list.


Andy Hunter’s Official Page:

Lyrics to their songs, concert listings, links to videos, downloads, and more!

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It currently has songs from Colour that you can listen to.

<<- Click the Play button  to hear “Collide,” the album’s closing track.


I was disappointed that Andy Hunter did not release this on CD.  He explained, though, that with the changes in the music industry, record labels are not willing to risk small artists like him.  On top of that, he said he's actually sold more copies of Collide, available only as a download, than he sold of his previous two albums, which were on record labels (Life was on Sparrow, Colour on Nettwerk).  It really bugs me that the only way we can get his music now is by download, because I do not like compressed music -- this is the main reason I buy CDs rather than download music.  Full-fidelity sound is more important to me in dance music than any other kind of music (ambient is a close second), making it the least acceptable of all for downloads.  But I guess I'm going to have to learn to live with that, because more and more, the only place Christian dance music is being released is from downloads. 

Andy Hunter is a dance music DJ from Britain who, like a number of other DJs today, also creates music of his own.  Songs from Andy Hunter’s albums have been used in movies, TV shows, video games, and advertisements.