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The Sound of A (Paranormal, 2017)

“The Sound of A” Lyrics:

The sound of A is in the air
The sound of A is everywhere
With the sound of a gun
And you run
Yeah, yeah, yeah

The sound of A is all around
The sound of A is underground
It will creep into your bone
When you’re alone
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys
Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys
Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys

The sound of A will keep you down
With that cruel, peculiar sound
It will shoot into your brain
And remain
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys
Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys
Meaningless noise is everybody’s toys

The Sound of A’ from the 2008 studio LP, Paranormal, is our next focus. A creepy song influenced heavily by the psychedelic movement in the late 60s – the story that accompanies its origin is pretty cool. Dennis Dunaway, the original Alice Cooper bass player, re-introduced the song for consideration on the Paranormal album. The song is reported to have been the very first song written by Alice, dating back to 1967 – a fact Alice had forgotten.

Many interpretations and suggestions have been made about the song – from the ‘A’ meaning Alice Cooper’s music to a more ambiguous meaning of whatever you want it to be – the sound of anything so to speak. However, after hearing it again some 50 years later, Cooper soon remembered his thought process behind the song.

We were talking about the idea of doing a sci-fi thing where the sound of A (the musical note) was piped into every house and kept everybody on a kind of even keel,” Alice states. “If they wanted to change your mood, they would change the tone. To A-minor. Or C. Or some augmented chord. And you were controlled by the sound.

What a concept. Straight out of ‘The Twilight Zone’ type of idea. However, think about where we are today. This song has a prophetic vibe attached to it when you think about where humanity resides at this moment in history. “Meaningless noise” radiates from our phones, computers, televisions, radios, etc. Tweets, text messages, alerts, newscasts, etc. seem to keep our phones and devices informing us of the events and need-to-know things transpiring in the world around us.

Noises which set the tone of our day (telling us how to feel, what to fear, and what to think). Beeps, chimes, and ringtones that link us (if only digitally) to one another. It’s odd, but technology has connected us with people halfway across the globe (shrinking the size of the world), yet it also seems to be affecting the quality time we spend with those around us.

You can almost hear the voice of Rod Serling narrating a state of fantasy describing the things mentioned above – yet now we are living out the reality between ‘light’ and ‘shadow’ – the ‘dimension of imagination.

What’s even odder!?!? Today’s reality seems to have also flip-flopped morally. Standards, principles, and etiquette that were once considered fundamental aspects of our culture are now rarities or oddities. There’s no need to make a list of ethical values and topics. Our consciences are still intact.

We are inherently programmed to know what’s right and wrong, what works and doesn’t work, where peace comes from (John 16:33). But we rarely use that discernment. We see debauchery all around us, yet instead of turning them off or deleting them from our lives – we decide, “eh, it could be worse,” and keep allowing our feeble minds to soak up the smut, the unrest, and the lies. Ultimately, we decide to drown out our moral compass.

This post isn’t some vitriolic rant about or against the world; instead, it’s a call for us to guard our hearts and minds against what we know is wrong (Psalms 119:1, Proverbs 4:23). Don’t be afraid to voice concerns about things that you are uncomfortable with, but do so amiably. Any act done with malice or hate attached to it is NOT from the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:9-17).

Defending our faith and what we believe should be achieved with Love and compassion towards all fellow men and women. Lifting up those you disagree with, showing them Love despite their wrongs (the same way Christ loves us, despite our sins) (Ephesians 4:29).

We have been called to be different (Romans 12:2). To do our best to cut out the ‘meaningless noise” and replace it with His meaning and purpose. With Faith. With Hope. With Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Stop and think about the thoughts and things we concentrate on during our time here on this earth. We spend a reasonable amount of time worrying about, wishing for, or wondering about things that may never even come to fruition.

We struggle with this notion that happiness can be found in possessions and status – a better car, a better house, a better spouse, better friends, a better family, a better job, etc. A wise pastor once said, “The grass is NOT greener elsewhere; It’s greener where you water it!” That applies to our walk with the Lord as well.

When God speaks, it’s often a whisper (Matthew 10:27, 1 Kings 19:12). And with the ‘Sound of A(nything)’ drowning out His voice, it’s often hard to hear or know what He’s saying. Our relationship with God closely resembles the relationship parents have with their children.

Our Heavenly Father wants us close to Him, and we need to be close to Him for us to “hear” what He is trying to tell us. He yearns for closeness and relationship, much like a parent wants to embrace and comfort their child(ren) as well.

The world is intentionally trying to get our attention by screaming at us as loud as possible (so loud and impersonal that you can hear the deafening clamor from across a room or building). It’s an intentional act keeping us distracted from Him and His voice.

To hear His whispers, you must be seeking a relationship with Him. Which bears the question, “how do we get close to Him?” “How do we hear His whispers and find comfort in His presence?”

The blueprints for such a relationship are written within God’s Word. We find various instructions about closeness with God. A few of which include 1) communicating with Him through prayer (Philippians 4:6-7), 2) loving others (1 John 4:7-8, 19-20), 3) renewing our minds (Romans 12:1-3), and 4) trusting in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It takes time, practice, and patience – it’s a process. Yet there’s always something new to learn. There’s no right or wrong way – it’s the progression that works and strengthens you. But what is inevitably true is that he is not far from ANY of us (Acts 17:27). We just tend to keep Him at arm’s length instead of allowing Him to wrap His arms around us.

Now imagine another episode of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ This story, like other episodes, has a religious slant attached to the theme. Keep in mind that a usual story like this often shows people following a leader, a cult, or some false prophet, but imagine in this episode that there is no leader. No, David Koresh. No, Bob Jones. No, Charles Manson. Just the Word of God.

In this episode, no one is altering God’s Holy Word. No one is pulling it out of context. No one is using it as a bloody pulpit. The characters in this episode follow the greatest commandments of Christ: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart & soul (Matthew 22:37-38), and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). By following these two guidelines, the people in this episode are willing to set aside their differences.

By doing so, they find a way to walk with each other in peace and harmony – respecting, loving, and helping one another. It’s philosophical, but isn’t this what we expect to see one day in the Kingdom of Heaven? Should we not be willing to set aside the things that ail and hinder us – the principles and ideas that separate us? Should we not be focused more on Love and unity? It’s a shame to think that the very thought of harmony is more likely to be a concept instead of a reality, or an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ instead of a certainty in our daily life.

Wrapping this up, this song brings up an interesting concept – an idea echoed throughout God’s Word and the life of Christ. A simple plea for us to Love EVERYONE. It seems impossible. How on earth are we all supposed to get along on this floating sphere we call home? With so much ‘meaningless noise’ streaming into the air, how are we supposed to live in harmony?

These are thought-provoking questions, but we must also ask ourselves one more question. During our day to day interactions, both positive and negative, are we genuinely approaching others with Love? If or when you have shown genuine Love, how were you treated in return? Positively? Negatively? It’s time that we start searching a little deeper for sincere, honest compassion – compassion that was purposely placed into our spiritual DNA by our loving Creator.

It almost seems as if we’ve lost the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others. Society no longer knows how to “agree to disagree” respectfully. It’s as if there can be no amiable way to see things differently, yet we are all yearning for the same thing – to be Loved. Respected. Admired. And not just surface-based approval, but something more real, more profound.

During our time here (in this life), ask yourself what matters most. Theories? Talking points? Ideology? It seems everyone has a different viewpoint or narrative to offer, but how many people are more concerned about being loved. Taking a LOVING stand for what you hold dear and believe is so much more useful than using animosity and hatred. Cling to the truth found in His Word but apply those principles utilizing His Love.

Alice once said, “It might sound absolutely insane coming from me, but what the world needs is a good shot of morality.” He’s right. May the Lord ’shoot’ that into our ’brains and let it remain.

But in the meantime, maybe we should learn to tune into the Sound of ‘L.’ The sound of nails being driven into wood. The sound of compassion being poured out for humanity. The sound that has the power to heal and forgive. The Sound of Love. Morality applied with Love is a rare but contagious thing. Allow His Love to transform hearts and minds – not with ideas and concepts – but instead, with His Love (the Love given to you and showed to you on the cross) being shared with others (John 13:35).

Side Note: As we walk through our daily lives this week, use common sense. Know that the current ‘meaningless noise’ is driving the world insane. ‘The Sound of F(ear)’ is ringing out loud and clear. This isn’t some psychobabble rant about the way COVID-19 is being handled, this is a call for us all to USE COMMON SENSE (wash your hands and don’t pick your nose), BUT DON’T SUCCUMB TO FEAR. Stand on His Word (Ephesians 6;11) and place your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). Trust in the Lord and Lean NOT on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) This too shall pass. Amen.

In conclusion, Paranormal has all the elements of any great Alice Cooper record. It pulls all the stops – a paranoid personality, a love story, some dark humor, a look at saving grace, a touch of insanity, and more. Well-written (by Alice and various writers) and masterfully produced (by Ezrin with the help of Tommy Henriksen and Tommy Denander), Paranormal, like many of Alice’s albums, is a tad bit overlooked due to such an immense catalog filled with classics. BUT this LP is just as good, if not better, than many of its predecessors. If you haven’t listened to it cover to cover, you should. Then listen to it again and again.

Be well (wash your hands and don’t pick your nose), and we’ll catch you next week!

Keep walkin’ in Faith and rockin’ with Alice!

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