Four-time Grammy Award winner, and member of the Christian powerhouse group dcTalk, Kevin Max is set to release his second solo title, The Imposter. The project bows from Northern Records on Oct. 11, 2005 and features 12 songs plus a bonus track. The first single, “Sanctuary,” is currently going for adds on radio stations nationwide.
“The idea of ‘the imposter’ comes from Brennan Manning’s books, The Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba’s Child,” Max says. “dcTalk did weekend retreats with Brennan, and we’d get to talk. He’d explain that ‘the imposter’ is in all of us-it’s that fleshly part that isn’t willing to give up the ghost, that part that wants to take over the spirit in us. That’s what this album is about-the fight between the flesh and the spirit.”
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His newfound home of Los Angeles also provided inspiration for songs. Max employs his keen powers of observation and uncommon openness to people with all sorts of philosophies, beliefs, and ideas to present an album that is incisive, artistic, and uncompromising.
Often known as the enigmatic member of dcTalk, Max, the author of two poetry books – At the Foot of Heaven (Star Publishing Group) and Detritus of Dorian Grey (Blind Thief Publishing) – admits The Imposter was a “labor of love.” The writing process for the album took about six months in total, but it was during the last month that the songs that are found on the CD actually came into being. Max notes, “the songs for The Imposter came about in a very small amount of time. It was a very energetic month.” It then took about a month to record the project.
“Sanctuary,”-the first single off of the CD-is a pulsating, careening tune full of chiming rock guitar, courtesy of former Prayer Chain guitarist Andy Prickett, and Max’s instantly recognizable tenor. The song is a metaphor for Max’s recent sense of homelessness-and his ultimate hope for a heavenly home. “It’s about Jerusalem being rebuilt,” comments Max. “Heaven’s going to be here on earth-not somewhere out in space.”
Another track that finds its origins among the spiritual pilgrims Max has befriended in the City of Angels is “Your Beautiful Mind,” a stick-in-your-brain, atmospheric, piano-based ballad. “I wrote this for a friend of mine who’s an atheist,” Max reveals. “She’s a university student, and she constantly debates me on Creation, Christ -everything to do with who God is. The song is a conversation of sorts between us, and in the opera of my mind, she is a believer at the end.”
Admittedly, despite all the inspiring new songs on The Imposter, Max’s favorite track by far is his vocally blazing, gospel-tinged cover of Bob Dylan’s “When He Returns” (from Slow Train Coming). “To me it brings it all together,” says Max of the piano-and-vocal track, the sparest song on the release. “I kept the same lyrics, of course, but I changed a few things-it’s a little more gospel. It’s a great moment.”
The Imposter is the long-awaited follow-up to Max’s first solo album, Stereotype Be (Forefront/EMI CMG) and comes on the heels of the Between the Fence and the Universe EP that was recently made available independently. As a member of dcTalk, Max enjoyed more than 8 million records sold worldwide and the Top 40 pop hit, “Just Between You and Me,” (Virgin), which received significant airplay on VH1 and MTV.
Kevin Max’s The Imposter will be available on Northern Records. Along with Max, Northern Records-founded in 1999 in Yorba Linda, Calif.-is home to Luxury, The Billions, newcomer Kelly Ruppe, All Things Bright and Beautiful and Holly Nelson. Additional information about Kevin Max is available by visiting his website at http://www.kevinmax.com or the Northern Records website at http://www.NorthernRecords.com.
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