Posted July 15, 2015
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Making their official appearance with 2013 debut record Dreamers, pop/rock outfit Shine Bright Baby splashed onto the Christian music scene with their colorful summer anthem "Beautiful Love."
Having endured multiple personal and professional challenges since that time, it's been an intense two years for the band following their initial success. Though times have proven to be far from easy, the group-- now made up entirely of husband/wife duo Emily Irene and Nathan Fertig-- is back with an all new name, an all new EP and an all new vision.
Now going under the moniker SHINEBRIGHT (to better reflect the group's mission to "be a light amidst the darkness"), the Only You EP emerges after much personal growth and anticipation.
Opening track "Closer To The Sun" gives us our first look at a much crisper, more grown up sounding SHINEBRIGHT. A far cry from their punk rock days of old, the duo presents a maturity about them that sounds both fresh and authentic, while still remaining true to who they are as musicians. It might not be an older fan's cup of tea, but just wait a few more songs and you'll soon discover that they have far from lost their edge.
"Limitless," featuring cameo vocals by tech-hop rocker Brad Dring of Rapture Ruckus, is a full throttle musical assault in the most aggressive manner. Blending a nearly perfect mashup of pop, rock, techo and too many other high energy elements to list, the earworm chorus sounds worthy of club playlists everywhere. Brad's punchy raps lend flawlessly to Emily's raspy vocals to create sheer melodic bliss.
Lead single "Reckless For Love" featuring Jonathan Thulin keeps the energy flowing equally with a song bent on encouraging others to live with the boldness of Christ: "There is always something more, change is waiting at the door / We're running faster than before, 'cause we're reckless for love, yeah, be reckless for love."
Harmonious title track "Only You" is a glimmering ballad filled with a worshipful poise, while "Spectacle Of Light" burns its way into your mind with an innocently haunting melody that points to the lyrical imagery the duo is masterfully capable of, with a chorus simple enough to still pack a powerful punch: "I wanna know how it feels to burn."
Though the EP runs only five cuts deep before the rest is filled with several standard remix tracks, SHINEBRIGHT makes those five songs count in a major way. Only You offers what are arguably some of the most diverse yet unifying songs to come out of the genre so far this year. Emily Irene's jagged vocals stand out in what is a pristine pool of female vocalists in the industry, and fill each track with a raw and emotive passion.
While Dreamers helped to establish SHINEBRIGHT's sophisticated sound, this EP demonstrates how they've perfected it. Let's hope this isn't the last we hear of one of CCM's most overlooked acts!
Song To Download Now:
"Spectacle Of Light" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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