‘Out of Body’ album review

Image courtesy of Facebook.com/NEEDTOBREATHE

album: Out of Body
artist: NEEDTOBREATHE
genre: folk rock
release date: August 28, 2020
star rating: three out of five

review by Jacob Friesen

Well, I think it is important to preface this review by saying that I am no professional critic of music. I still enjoy 3 Doors Down and have listened to “Winged Hussars” by Sabaton on repeat for significant periods of time … you have been warned.

NEEDTOBREATHE has been one of my favorite bands ever since I spent a summer in Colorado with their Outsiders album. Southern rock resonates with me – add in a banjo and folky vibes, and I was hooked. Every time I put in that album, I swear I can smell pine trees. After this, I swallowed up Rivers in the Wasteland, Daylight, The Reckoning and The Heat. Admittedly, I was slightly turned away from HARD LOVE because of the change in sound, but I still really enjoyed some songs on the tracklist.

This leads me to NEEDTOBREATHE’s newest album, Out of Body. Stylistically, this album has followed their new direction, leaning slightly away from their southern rock and folk roots. Some of the new sounds they are trying are great, though. They pull off the mix of synth beats and rock really well in “Hang On” and “Alive.” Other songs, like “Child Again,” “Out of Body,” “Who am I,” and “Bottom of a Heartbreak,” did not do a ton for me. The songs’ themes were great, but they bordered on repetitive. “Mercy’s Shore,” “Riding High,” and “Survival” found that energy and heart that makes you feel like you were teleported to a garage a few states south – and I absolutely loved them.

Thematically, this album makes two words come to mind, help and hope in God. Having struggled with discouragement and burnout in my life recently, this album has been one of the most meaningful to me. A line from “Mercy’s Shore” goes, “We’re a child in the car, asleep in the driveway at night. Our mother’s gonna slowly sneak our body inside. We can rest in the arms of trust. There’s no way that we can say we’ve earned our way into light; all we have to do to is stay.” I have found in following Jesus that I get caught up with trying to control all the circumstances and earn God’s approval. He is teaching me that it is not my strength that sustains me but His arms that are holding me. The best I can do is surrender and trust in Him. This album hammers our dependence on God; we are all a hot mess, and nobody is OK. We discover a power and wonder in life when we trust our Father as His kids.

Overall, I give this album three out of five stars. Some songs nailed it – even with the new style – and some were just OK, but the themes were incredible. I would recommend giving it a listen!

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