4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Still producing the goods,
This review is from: Outsiders The Cd (Audio CD)Needtobreathes third album is generally a little less rock, a bit more country than its predecessors. Possibly there are fewer standout songs than on the first two outings but the vocals have found another gear, lifting otherwise fairly ordinary choruses (i.e. Through Smoke) to the extraordinary.
There are at least 2 fabulous songs though; the title track and, for me, Stones Under Rushing Water. The latter song is a first for the band; a collaboration (with Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek) and an out and out country ballad. Very simple but effective lyrics, beautiful vocals and a killer hook. There are a couple of swamp rockers in The Prisoner and Girl from Tennessee which I could have lived without, but all the rest are solid Needtobreathe. Anthemic, instantly accessible and superbly arranged. You won't be alarmed, troubled or challenged by this music, but you may be moved nonetheless.
It does seem criminal that this band is not huge in America, let alone in the UK, but I guess they are suffering from the Christian Rock label. Whilst being a Christian band (at least in the States) is no doubt a useful passport to (modest) success for many otherwise mediocre outfits, it is a major handicap for this band and unfortunately they may never escape the happy clappy ghetto. Lets face it, appearing in 'My Favourite Christian Rock Albums' on Amazon is not very rock'n'roll is it ? The irony here is that Needtobreathe really don't wear their religion on their sleeves, apart from a general lyrical tendency towards optimism and thanking God Almighty in the sleevenotes. And not swearing. They are really no more a Christian act than Madonna is a Kabbalah act.
Despite the pigeon holing, Needtobreathe have rapidly become my favourite band. Across the first two albums were sufficient songs to populate two Greatest Hits albums by any other band (6 star albums if such a thing were allowed) and this was truly their chance to screw up. They haven't.