Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Reckoning

NEEDTOBREATHE''s new release, The Reckoning, came out yesterday. I normally buy the CD of my favorite bands, but I couldn't resist the price and simplicity of the digital download, so that's what I went with this time. Though I'm kind of sorry that I don't have the CD insert to hold in my hands and read through. I like the details. I'm going to look later and see if they posted it on their website to look at.

One thing about the album art. If you don't know the band, I think you would easily assume that this is a band called "The Reckoning. The band name is almost impossible to see in any online image you find. It's in the bottom right corner, saying "needtobreath no.4" because it's their fourth release. They seem to have done this on purpose, but it might not be a good idea in the long run.

Anyway. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the recording after only hearing it one time. Things change after listening to it a few times. You start to get it. But I was considering my first impression, and here's what I think.

It's very good. It has a more accomplished feel to it musically and the lyrics seem more complex, both in structure and in imagery. But at the same time, these same things make it less immediately accessible. It's not as hooky or radio ready as the last few releases. That can be good because you can listen to it more and it can stay with you longer. It can be bad because it might not grab you and make you want to keep listening.

Some of the best recordings, in my opinion, are a collection of some songs that work to draw you in quick, matched with some songs that draw you in deeper. This release has that immediate draw, I think, with songs like "Slumber" and "Able" and the opening song "Oohs and Ahhs" while other songs run a little deeper. So it's there. But it's not as bright as it might have been. So we'll see how I like it in a week or so.

On the very first listen, the song "Able" was the most intriguing to me. It made me want to stop and really listen and figure it out. But the recording as a whole is excellent, which is no surprise because this band is phenomenal. 

I suppose in the end it comes down to this: It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

© LW Publishing 2011


  1. The first song I didn't care for's a bit cheesy in my opinion. I liked Slumber the first time I heard it in the radio.

  2. Yeah, Slumber is easily the easiest on the ears, and it has a very thoughful through line on the lyric. The first song "ohh ahhs" is a bit anthem rock cheesy sounding, but the lyrics actually aren't. It seems to be about the kind of cultish activity you get around things people think are "impressive," and I think he might have churches in mind with this, though maybe not exclusively, being consumed with entertainment and pleasure, while there are still plenty of starving people in the world. Check out the words on line and let me know what you think.

  3. I actually heard the band do Slumber a long while back, at least a year ago, maybe more, when they played at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. They said it was a new song, and it hasn't really changed much from what they did live.

  4. Yeah, and they just did Drive All Night live on Jay Leno, I think it was the 14th. I went and found the episode and skipped forward to their bit at the end of the show. The mix was slightly off but it was still very good.


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