Branded is the definitive Undercover record, the one in which happy-clappy Jesus songs ran headlong into the ins and outs of life. It’s the result of faith tested by fire, of life lived outside the vacuum of church culture where one is forced to make sense of how to live in the world while not being of it.
And it was a breath of fresh air in terms of honesty. Christian, yes, but I’m Just a Man seems to sum up the response that hey, we’re all sinners. Branded is not always an easy listen. There’s a stark fury and ragged honesty on Darkest Hour, an emotional, confessional plea, and the song that is the highlight of the record. Musically, the record flirts with new wave such as on the keyboard-driven The Fight for Love, but also plays it hard and heavy, no more so than on the pounding thrash beat of Tears in Your Eyes.
For sure, Branded is a verified Christian rock classic. It takes on emotional toll on the listener, who is taken to various heights and depths as the music rises and falls, all in the capable, talented hands of Undercover.
1. I’m Just A Man 2. The Fight For Love 3. Where Can I Go? 4. Tears In Your Eyes 5. Pilate 6. Build A Castle 7. Cry Myself To Sleep 8. Prelude (instrumental) 9. Darkest Hour 10. Interlude (instrumental) 11. Come Away With Me 12. If I Had A Dream