Check them out on Spotify and let's start hearing this thing.
And as an extra get-prepped and get-to-know-the-band treat, here's the extended EPK released by the band for this album!
So the second track is "Strength to Survive."My biggest issue in this genre is when songs all sound the same, and I'm afraid we're about to fall into that same trap here. The backbeat is about the exact same tempo, even if the vocals are layered for a little bit of a different sound. The horns are still the primary use between verses, then we loose them during the singing.
"Don't Worry"has an entirely mellow mood to it, but in that understanding, take-it-as-you-go way. It's easy and willing to be what you need to it be. Is that weird? Eh, okay, the song's a little weird. Not in a bad way. It just faded into the background for be personally, making it hard to really write up and anything viable here.
Unfortunately, we're back to the drag beat again that's becoming to familiar. At least "Tell Me"has a different lyrical theme, and the chorus shows off a different rhythm. Actually, okay, it because really enjoyable as the song goes farther in. It's nice to hear a little love song amongst the political or world messages. Yeah, I'm being a girl here, but even he is admitting this is not a usual M.O. for his songwriting and calls for us to sing along (ah, already planning for that live performance).
"It's Not Too Late" sings like a ska band more than any reggae group I've ever heard, at least for the intro. It's another one about the world, claiming we're all here for a reason, and there's no use in fighting with each other about it. Working for the earth is the major theme - great song for a green festival, so Bonnaroo's in for a perfect little theme throughout.
"Let You Go" is interesting if for nothing else than the big band feel this group as taken on for a minute in the intro. The vocals come in with more echo than I'll ever deem appropriate for the rest of the feel of the album. It's a cute relationship song in the end, missing someone you did let go and you miss. I guess that's some sort of reason for the reminiscent echo, but I still don't love it. Even if the song is good all around otherwise. Sigh - sacrifices will have to be made.
Again though, the band brings in that electric guitar that makes some of these songs sing so differently, and perfectly. Such is the case for "Not Done Yet." The lead actually does have quite a pop feel to this one, which is unexpected, but somehow works. Anddd I'm lost at the scratching on the voice in the chorus. It's appropriate from time to time, but this one just jaunts you out of the entire mood of the song. It's unnecessary and pretty damn annoying.
"Slow Down"is another that manages to fade into the background for me. It's not that I don't care, but the song's got the same sound as so much of the rest of the album. There's a lack of originality, which is fine for alive show where you're meant to just kick back and enjoy the groove. In this case, it makes for a difficult album listen.
"When We Were Younger" is a pretty cool little breakdown. It's lighter than the rest, literally, because so many instruments are stripped away. This actually seems to bring a message home, literally, a little but more because the words are so prominent. It's beautiful. The entire album could have been like this and been 10x more enjoyable. However, this does give a nice enough little treat to appreciate the work relaxed just at the end.
"Gone Today - Acoustic 2010" is a sped up acoustic number, and I can't place if it sounded better the first way or like this. It's cute like this, as in it could work for a radio interview extra video. For a rare occurrence, I think the original worked better because of the work input for it to deliver what he wanted to say. This doesn't feel like anything as special as that first encounter was.
Our last number with SOJA today is "Prison Blues - Acoustic 2011."It's a weak ending to my ears. His voice sounds given out and annoyingly sad. There's also the buzzing from something that is not acoustic throughout, and it's just plain annoying. It doesn't let up. And there. That's the weak ending to an otherwise not awful album.
Added To My Playlist:
- "Everything Changes"
- "Tell Me"
- "Gone Today"
- "Let You Go"
- "Be With Me Now"
- "When We Were Younger"