On His Shoulders


My #5 Album

in 2012


in 2012 on

Above All Records

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This review was written on March 16, 2014

This page was published on March 30, 2014

Audile is a Christian EDM group from Finland that focuses on progressive house and melodic trance music.   The group was formed in 2011.

   In 2011, I discovered the website, and through ordering some music on that site, I learned that the founder of the website lives near me.  He invited me to come to Detroit-area events.  The first event I went to was enTrance in December 2011.  The second one I went to was Future Sound Of Worship 4 in May 2012.  It was at FSOW4 that I became introduced to Audile: Tia Svart, the female lead singer of Audile, performed live there, and Audile’s debut CD, On His Shoulders, was for sale in the lobby.  Already by 2012, it had become nearly impossible to find Christian EDM on CD -- it was nearly all download-only already by that point -- so I was delighted to find some Christian EDM on CD...of course I bought the CD! 

    Besides the uncompressed sound of CDs (well, a lot of compression is done in the recording stage these days, but still, a CD [AIFF format] has more airyness than typical AAC or MP3 files do), another great thing about a well done CD package is the inclusion of lyrics to the songs, which this package has, as well as other information and photos.  The CD for On His Shoulders includes a 16-page booklet, some of which I have included on this web page.

    The overall sound of the album, at least to my trance-inclined ears, has a lot of trance elements. The melodies Tia sings are a little different than what you might typically expect from trance, though. Since my first encounter with these melodies was at Future Sound Of Worship 4, where the lyrics were presented on the screens such that we could sing along, I found the melodies difficult to follow.  Now that I’ve been listening to the CD for a couple years, I can follow them easily, and instead I associate their melodic direction as something more ethereal.  So, some may find the melodies wandering aimlessly, while others may find them delightfully ethereal.  I like Tia’s voice, so the songs or parts of songs that I like best on this album are where she is singing.  But then, I’m partial to female singers anyway!  (If you pay attention to the albums on my Annual Music Awards, you will notice that female singers clearly dominate the lists.)

    In terms of the sound of the instrumentation, the structure of the songs, and the quality of the recording, these are all solid and enjoyable.

    What made this album most difficult for me to get used to was a vocal device used by one of the male vocalists that I am not sure how to describe.  It’s kind of like rapping, but it doesn’t have a flowing rhythm like rapping does; it’s a very staccato, mechanical rhythm, often done at two-note intervals.  I’ve never heard anything like this in American music, so I’m not sure if this is something that is done in Europe, or just something Audile is unique in doing.  It’s not something I like, so at first I was so disappointed with this element of the songs that I had a hard time enjoying them (except for just a few songs where this was not done -- “Eternity,” “Universe,” and “No Fear”).  After many listens, though, I’ve gotten to where it doesn’t bother me anymore, though I would still rather the songs didn’t have this.

    One other quirk about the album is that even though all the songs are beat-mixed together, for some strange reason they decided to put a big one-second gap between the transitions of each song.  This doesn’t sound like the little drop-out that comes from a CD recorded from a system that can’t handle seamless track changes; this sounds intentional.  (Maybe their CD recording system was just worse?)  At any rate, this is an annoying aspect of this CD, taking what would be wonderful seamless transitions from one song to the next and interrupting them with a one-second gap.

    The reason I buy Christian albums is that I want songs that help me think about God, or for vertically-focused songs, lead me into communication with him, so an important part of how much I like a Christian album is the effect the lyrics have on me.  Unlike much of Christian dance music, where even the vocal songs have few lyrics, Audile’s songs are rich in an abundance of lyrics, something which helped this album make it to my top 5 albums of 2012.  Instead of just a few short words repeated over and over like so much of Christian dance music, many of Audile’s songs have several full verses of lyrics.  This is great!

    The title track speaks of how we can do far more with our Heavenly Father -- on his shoulders -- than we could ever do alone.  “Praise” mulls over hardships and struggles, but says despite that, “I will keep on praising, praising, ‘cause you’re so wonderful!”  In a similar vein, “Above The Rain And Fire” observes the decay in the world, but then recognizes the sovereignty of God: “Although right now it feels the entire world is in a free fall, suddenly I realize that You are higher, above the rain and fire.”

    “Guide Me Home,” a radio single in Finland, speaks of getting off course in life, “and now I’m running back to You...because you promised you would throw all my mistakes to the seafloor.”  A song with a similar theme is “No Fear,” which features the sung male vocals of Jukka K: “Although I’ve failed a thousand times, You still wait with open arms for me to come back after all.”

    By far, my favorite song on the album is “Universe,” which is an absolutely gorgeous trance piece, and Tia is the only one who does vocals in it. This song gives me tingles down my spine, particularly the electronic-led interlude. Lyrically, in her musing about all things of the universe, Tia concludes, “I just can’t believe that everything I see is coincidental.  Your handprint shows everywhere I go.”

    The album closes with “My All,” a piece that begins almost at a ballad tempo, but then picks up with some beautiful electronics.  The central lyrical line is, “I give You my all, from the inside out.”

    After this official close of the album, there are five remixes.  “Skyline” gets an adrenaline increase in the housey remix.  “Guide Me Home” gets a different musical take, but in my view not an improved one.  The music in the Maxem remix of “On His Shoulders” is beautiful, and a plus for this remix is that only Tia’s vocals are kept, but in the process, unfortunately most of the lyrics were ditched.  The two remixes of “Shine” are completely instrumental.

    I now attend a weekly Bible study with members of God’s DJs (this is the organization that puts on the annual Future Sound Of Worship events), and in 2012, often on my 30-mile drive home from the Bible study, I played this Audile album.  That frequent playing and over time increased enjoyment of the album brought it up to the spot of #5 of my favorite albums in 2012.

The lyric book notes that Above The Rain and Fire “has been made in memory of the victims and with a prayer for those who still suffer in the aftermath of March 11th 2011, when the destructive natural disasters and nuclear catastrophe took place in Japan.”  Risto lived in Japan as a child, so this event affected him deeply.

Band members are producer and DJ

Risto Poukka,


Tia Svart and Mikko Heltimoinen, plus

Timo-Pekka Huhtinen.

^ Click the play button above to hear “Universe,” my favorite song on the album.

^ Click the arrow to watch the music video for “Above The Rain And Fire”