After releasing four albums with Tooth & Nail records, including their last release, Vagabonds, The Classic Crime continues with a surprisingly different approach with Phoenix. This project is filled with many thoughtprovoking lyrics which involve some pretty serious subject matter like suicide, pride, acceptance, and unconditional love. One of my personal favorite lines are from the song, "Young Again" which is dealing with the issue where one regrets that they haven't had a fulfilling life: "Every thought is a blessing / Every breath that you take / Everything outside of right now is illusory / It's not real / The past, the future, they don't exist / All you have is now / Is this enough for you?" One of TCC's most memorable and emotionally driven songs to date, "The Precipice," flows so well and has such an enjoyable resonance that it's destined to become an instant favorite as it deals with one's acceptance: "Whatever the cost / whether it works out or not / I'll follow you with my heart." "Dead Rose" signals a change that takes place when we depart from our old self and enter our new life with God: "Dead rose, I don't love you anymore / We'll look back on the day / when the dead rose from the grave / No more sorry and shame / The new body and name / Nothing perfect will die / No more tears in our eyes / No more worries and trials / We'll have faith like a child's / When I come through that open door." Phoenix is a welcome collection of songs that has been in the waiting since The Silver Cord was released four years ago, and it seems that the definition for the word "phoenix" is appropriate when describing this compilation: "A person or thing that has become renewed or restored." This album is proof that good things can come from Kickstarter funds. Some enthusiasts might object to Phoenix as a more toned down record when compared to previous efforts, however, it does have several songs with an edge like "Glass Houses," "Young Again," "You and Me Both" and "Painted Dreams." Phoenix is, for the most part, a release that is unforgettable both musically and lyrically, and it should please existing fans as well as inspiring new listeners.