247. X-Factor – Edin Adahl

X-FACTOR (1984)

Edin Adahl

It is really hard to express just how much I love this album. It was released at a great time in my life. It was released at a great time for Christian music. It sounded fresh, fun, legitimate and utterly perfect pure pop. Few artists ever captured the real art of crafting pure pop music like Edin Adahl.

The two sets of brothers (Bertil and Lasse Edin and Simon and Frank Adahl) released several good albums over the years but their first two albums were revelation. The debut will be discussed later and here we look at the sophomore release, X-Factor.

Rock, world music, new wave and commercially scintillating pop. Great harmonies, unforgettable hooks and stellar production created an album that still ranks amongst my all time favorites. The only really negative comment surround the simplistic and poorly translated lyrics. Much like Jerusalem this was a constant problem, but Edin Adahls overall songwriting quality and strong musicianship covered a multitude of lyrical sins. It is a shame this never made it onto CD given the high quality production.

The title track rocks in a mid-80’s new wave sound. Not punk, but heavier than the normal keyboard sounding new wave of the time. it’s actually not a whole lot different than something from Undercover, but with significant better pop sensibilities. “Like a Motion Picture” would also appear on Bertil Edin’s wonderful solo project (another album that just missed the countdown).

More mainstream sounding rock takes over with “I’m waiting For You.” Something akin to more pop side of Genesis with a monster hook chorus. “Closer and Closer” is a guilty pleasure with its horn section and 80’s dance groove that is all too reminiscent of Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” It is simply one of the “happiest” songs in CCM history.

Though the debut would be more artistically satisfying, X Factor is just too much fun and is an AYSO!

  1. Brian
    November 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Agreed on all points
    I once thought Like A Motion Picture was the best sounding production to come out of CCM
    It was very strong and I used to record it onto cassette for every mixtape I ever made in that time

    The title cut for me was almost as strong

    My guilty pleasure was Blind ( A New Day)

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 3:37 am

    You can download Alibi and X-Factor for very few ducats at his website

  3. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 3:38 am

    That should read “this” website.

  4. Shawn McLaughlin
    April 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Brian Quincy Newcomb, in his review for this album writes “When Edin Adahl released its 1983 album, Alibi, they single-handedly raised the standard for production values that we would expect from Christian artists” followed by this, less favorable sentence: “”Relying heavily on creedal stock-phrases and ‘Christianese’ Edin Adahl offers a naive triumphalism that merely restates sterile truths, without the human emotion and flesh that make such truth applicable to real life situations”.

    While I got a chuckle form this, it also saddened me to realize that the current market offers virtually ‘only’ this type of lyricism.

  5. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Simon Adahl’s comment on the “Alibi” review explains a lot. Glad to hear that they were also concerned about how their lyrics were perceived and did something about it.

  6. Robert Haake
    August 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I have to correct that this is not the second album of edin & ådahl. It is the third. Their first selftitled album was not released for the american market though. I just discovered that they added this wonderful synthpop tune Like a motion picture for the englishlanguage version of “Maktfaktor”. Here in Sweden it was released only on a compilation that I happen to miss out on earlier.Its on Spotify.

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