Kicking it off with “Forgive Me,” Gibbs tries to appease his sadness and guilt over hat was done for him. He sees the subject of the song as a “light in the dark,” who shines through his weaknesses. Still, he knows that his troubles are “part of me/Many chances that I take/to kill you again/it should’ve been me and everyone else.” My Christian background sees the light as the ‘word’ or ‘way’ described by Jesus in the gospels and embodies by his life—the fact that Jesus gave his life for others who do and don’t want his help seem echoed in this song.
Faktion’s sounds reflect light again in “Control,” as Gibbs claims to leave his life behind, driving down a one-way highway. “Liberation lifts the shell/that’s on me/in a newborn image/I’m the only one who sees/let the music take control,” Faktion cries out, considering new life in a new light. Anyone curious about a new life in Jesus should check out Nicodemus’s story, as a man seeking something he couldn’t find anywhere else. Faktion doesn’t make any out-and-out claims to Christianity here, and missteps will be documented later, but I have to wonder where their imagery comes from.
“Take It All Away” could be considered counterproductive to my argument but aren’t we all at different places about different issues? The band accuses someone of taking away what’s real, stealing from him, and he declares that he’ll take their pride away. “Six O’Clock” documents his regrets as he wasted his love (in an affair?) with another woman than the one he has a relationship with now. Now, as a traveling band member, Gibbs misses her but knows that the “Distance” is both good and bad.
Returning to deeper, metaphysical issues, “Answers” reflects on a long-gone childhood, in a search for meaning that Gibbs sings lies within himself. He believes the answers will find him, not vice versa, but complains that “It’s all too hard to force a change/We fret too much about this world/Just be your own and face each day/Answers will slowly come your way.” The process seems to be as important to the band as the actual answers, but the grinding of the asking and answering rubs against them. “I’m so full of purpose, but void of means” serves as one of my favorite images from the entire album: it’s flush with passion for the truth and the absolute frustration of not being able to grasp it completely.
And finally, while struggling with the tensions of searching for truth, Faktion ends on an upswing with “Better Today.” Gibbs sings of leaving his negativity behind and moving ahead as he says, “Today is a new day/I’m awake and expecting so much more/This pain can hurt no more/I washed it away.” Once again, I throw my Christianity-themed idea out there: baptism as a sign of sins washed away, Faktion leaves the mistakes made behind and moves forward with hope. I can’t wait for their encore album!