Understanding Joy by Experiencing Struggle: “The Consequence of Being Alive” by Gable Price & Friends

Gable Price and Friends Consequences of Being Alive album cover

There’s something endearing about the colorful fun of a pop-rock album that makes it incredibly accessible to a wide audience. Perhaps that’s because it seems the perfect vehicle for lyrical dissonance, or maybe because of the tongue-in-cheek ways of expression. But whatever it is, The Consequence of Being Alive from Gable Price and Friends holds it in spades. Full to the brim with clever metaphors, captivating melodies, gut-wrenching honesty, and uninhibited revelry, The Consequence of Being Alive is an album certain to entertain, sway, and evoke introspection.

Following tightly on the heels of 2020’s Fractured Heart, Gable Price and Friends shift their content slightly. With Fractured Heart, there was a great emphasis on reimaging what worship could be through the vehicle of engaging pop-rock. Here on their 2022 outing, the focus is more on the internal aspects of faith, including the difficulty life can bring, a critique of the glorification of mental health, feeling distant from God, and ultimately, the price of living. The themes of the album can be summed up in the three words the band uses: living, loving, and losing.

One song that captures the balance well is “Brother Jack,” a bouncy and energetic number that encourages listeners to keep their “Heads straight, hopes up, heart right.” The bridge puts the whole album into perspective: “But for every inch of dark there’s a mile of light.

With influences ranging from Relient K, House of Heroes, and (most notably) Switchfoot, it was a delightful surprise that Jon Foreman was featured in the track “How It Sets You Free,” a song that feels far too happy musically for its lyrics. It is one of the best examples of the lyrical dissonance on the record, but it makes the song that much more memorable. Exploring the way in which the truth sets a person free, Price and Foreman creatively weave a picture of the reality of that freedom: “They say the truth will set you free. Maybe, possibly. But not before it rips your chest out, and not before it puts your back against the wall… it’s gonna set fire to your house; it takes what you’ve been trusting, breaks it down to nothing at all.” It is a pure joy to listen to this song at full blast.

There are a handful of tracks that dive into what some may find to be potentially uncomfortable territory. “Treason” is a very laid-back, chill track that is atmospheric and calming. However, the lyrics are some of the most thought-provoking on the album: “Is it really heroic to be broken on purpose? Is there some kind of honor to keep living in the dark?… Or is it treason to your heart?

In a culture that can glority mental health issues and tends to perceive it as a badge of honor to refuse help, this song is a gentle challenge to put in the work to get better. “You’re not too far, you’re not too gone, you’re not too bad to get better. I know it’s hard, I know it hurts, but things are gonna get better.

Another to note is “Jesus Christ (Hold Me Steady),” a modern lament. In the nearly acoustic track, Gable uses some of his cleverest metaphors to describe what it is to wander away from faith. He holds the tension that, despite the disparity, Jesus is still “My beacon in the clouds when the sky ain’t clear.”

Finally, the penultimate song “Easy To Love You” is another exploration of the disconnect between faith in Jesus and the distance so often experienced between us and him. Ultimately, the stresses living can cause are amplified in seasons of this distance. Through the rhythm-driven track, Price and Friends perfectly summarize this discomfort: “I find it easy to love you, but not so easy to trust you.

Each song on The Consequence of Being Alive brings something new to the table. Lyrically, Gable Price and Friends cleverly handle walking through the stress life brings, detailing the love felt in life while honestly grappling with the loss that is inevitable. By making their music so accessible, this group has ensured their message is heard loud and clear: “Yeah, you live and love and lose, and that’s the consequence of being alive.

To properly understand love, we must understand loss; to understand light, we must understand dark; to understand joy, we must know struggle. This album is a thoroughly enjoyable listen with infectious rhythms, melodies that will stick in your brain for days on end, and lyrics that will stop you in your tracks.

Do yourself a favor and listen to this album on either Spotify or Apple Music.

If you enjoy Switchfoot, House of Heroes, Relient K, and Amongst Wolves, then you will enjoy Gable Price and Friends.

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