It’s a cry that is as enthralling as it is unsettling. As a Christian, there’s joy in seeing God’s justice against wickedness. But in this case, it’s not an opposing nation that defies God—it’s the one I’m in.
This is a sentiment that is easily lost on many people in general, though arguably particularly detrimental for followers of Jesus. Or, as Attalus once put, “We’ve grown to love the exile.” And on the eve of the election, we’re finding quickly where our hope lies. It’s not wrong to care for many of the issues that have created such a distinct polemic; in fact, these are issues that will ultimately affect people. But regardless of who we vote for, we are not ushering in the Kingdom of God. No, Jesus reminds us it has already come.
All this said, Kings Kaleidoscope (along with a Propaganda guest feature) provide a base for this reality. “We cannot be defeated,” Chad Gardner reminds us on the musical collage of “Power Perfect.” Lyrically, it reads like somewhat of a conventional worship track; musically, it’s trademark Kings K with a little bit of funk, soul, and even a fair bit of rock mixed in.
“W.D.Y.K.A.G?” is certainly the highlight track here. Immediately, it’s darker and moodier, with Propaganda taking lead for the most part. It’s a track that wrestles with much of the cognitive, and dare I say spiritual, dissonance of Christians in this age. And while it’s easy to feel like the problem is “out there,” if I’m honest, I know that I’m not blameless on this front. When Babylon falls, I’ll lose some comfort and familiarity. As culture continues to contort truth is increasingly-Orwellian fashion and distances itself from formalized religion, we’ll need to be prepared to carry the Gospel forward nonetheless. And when it costs us, that’s when it’s worth the most.
Chamber pop meets math rock on the final track of the EP. “The Other Side” is probably my least favorite track of the three, but that’s not to say it’s bad by any measure. “Nobody lives in love alone,” Gardner quips. It’s a comforting and challenging reminder—love involves sacrifice.
Ultimately, Power Perfect. is a release that feels remiss. It feels like it doesn’t say nearly enough. That’s how it feels. But it’s easy to bring in my own presuppositions and biases. How could you release this so close to the election and say so little? But what Gardner and friends do say is substantial—vaster than the scope of this moment, this country, or even this world. The Kingdom has already come. May we remember our true home.