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Adam R. Holz
Bob Smithouser

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Isolated lines reject designer drugs and note that lies are seductive. “The Killing Lights” may be warning fans to avoid an empty, destructive party lifestyle.

Objectionable Content

Half of the songs on this album imply that suicide is a lovely path to freedom and release. Most others talk about killing or death. The Depeche Mode-meets-Marilyn Manson hit “Miss Murder” (performed at this year’s MTV Movie Awards) asks, “Can I make beauty stay if I take my life?” Sensuality and violence mingle on “Love Like Winter.” A disturbed couple plans to end it all in a blaze of glory (“Kiss and Control”), while “Endlessly, She Said” finds a man burning down his house, then intending to kill the woman who jilted him. “Affliction” says grimly, “All my friends and I toast health and suicide … Were you holding my hands when my wrists bled? … The future’s bright without me.” Dark and twisted.

Summary Advisory

Led by the intentionally androgynous Davey Havok, AFI (A Fire Inside) fans the flames of passion in its long-standing romance with gothic imagery and death. In the words of Spin music critic Brian Raftery, “Every song is about death, suicide, or the unhealthy combination of the two.” Hopeless, disenfranchised teens gorging on this could decide that suicide is the answer to their problems.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

Bob Smithouser
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