By Tim Gibbons Pillar’s fifth album For the Love of the Gameshows an increase in spiritual maturity while maintaining the unique “rapcore” sound that has become associated with them. The band manages to go from hard rocking Christian fight anthems to intimate praise songs without losing any cohesive force between songs. The transitions don't make you think, “Oh, here comes the ballad” or ask “Where did this funk riff come from?” For the Love of the Game is predominantly an album meant to support Christians in their faith walk in and invigorate their spiritual lives. Songs like the title track “For the Love of the Game” as well as “Throwdown”, and “Get Back” are filled with fiery lyrics and adrenaline-pumping rock riffs. Other songs, like “State of Emergency”, “Smiling Down”, and “I Fade Away” deliver more personal messages about the endurance being a follower of Christ requires and the sometimes-painful struggles of being a Believer and being a human can cause.
“Turn It Up” is Pillar’s personal tribute to Christian music. All the lyrics in this tune, save two, are drawn from other Christian recording artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, DC Talk, Bleach, Relient K, Blindside, and tobyMac. Pillar frontman Rob Beckley says, “These are the bands that have influenced us and impacted us.”
Overall, For the Love of the Game is a solid hard rock album. The music was interesting and the lyrics moving. Unfortunately, once you’ve listened to the album more that a few times, it becomes repetitive. Yet this album is a must-have for Pillar fans and a good addition to your music library.