The Reckoning is the follow-up to the band's acclaimed album The Outsiders, which debuted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Top 200. The Reckoning is a confident and fresh-sounding collection from a band coming into its own as a world class rock n' roll outfit. Inspired by the dynamics they had developed on the road, the band was determined to capture their on-stage energy and exhilarating live performances, along with their experimental recording ideas, on record.
With the arena-ready "Drive All Night," the swagger of "White Fences" and its epic title track, The Reckoning fulfills on the promise of the band's first three albums, offering a powerful and memorable sound that defines the band's ambitions clearly and makes NEEDTOBREATHE one of the most exciting bands to watch.
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#7 Album Of 2011| Posted December 26, 2011 I'm way late to this party.NEEDTOBREATHEis respected by many to be one of the best bands in our industry and I've been scratching my head, wondering what I've been missing as I've seen their past three albums make it to countless year end "Best Of" lists. I don't know what it is, but I just haven't been captivated.
Well, you're reading this now, because that has all changed with The Reckoning. This album had me with the first song, "Drive All Night," and didn't let go until 55 minutes later with the closing track, "Learn To Love."
I believe I know what the problem is. I tend to gravitate to more produced and polished fare. We all have our vices and mine is a song dripping with production. So artists that, at times, are more rough around the edges tend to escape my radar, for better or worse (many would argue worse, but it is what it is). But because of that, I'm appreciating my love for this album even more. It seems to be one of the few that has bridged my taste of a good hook with something of even more substance. I found myself absolutely engrossed by this album, and the more I unearthed, the more I discovered.
The passion in these songs is something very much akin to what has been driving me to Switchfoot as of late. This sounds like nothing guys could do sitting in the studio surrounded by empty space, wires, sound engineers and lava lamps. "Drive All Night, " "Oohs And Ahhs," "Slumber," "Devil's Been Talkin" and the title track should all be required listens for any upcoming artist on how to place emotion and heart into a vocal. I'm talking goose bumps, shivers and at moments, even tears. I'll be listening to this one for a long time to come.
NEEDTOBREATHE [The Reckoning]| Posted September 19, 2011 NEEDTOBREATHE had me at “Signature of Divine (Yahweh),” which was my favorite song of 2007. The music scene that year featured some impressive new albums by my favorite faith-based mainstream bands, Lifehouse and Collective Soul. I owned Daylight so I immediately purchased The Heat and NEEDTOBREATHE instantly became my favorite band. Rarely can a rock band give me goose bumps or tingle my spine when I listen to their songs, but this band has an uncanny ability to get deeper and more emotionally penetrating with each release. For sure, The Outsiders was the top album of 2009 and really put the band on the map with stand-out hit songs “Lay ‘Em Down” and “Something Beautiful,” landing them a major tour opening for Taylor Swift.
The Reckoninghas been my most anticipated album of 2011, and I’m pleased to say it exceeds my expectations as I couldn’t imagine they could outdo themselves. This incredible band has once again released their newest best album. They rock harder than ever in the stellar opening track, “Oohs and Aahs,” a fitting tribute to their energetic and awe-inspiring live shows. The song ends with a jam session which highlights their outstanding musicianship. I had been listening to “Slumber” and “Drive All Night” as singles that preceded the album release, and they are fitting examples of the excellence of this band. Something I noticed after heavy rotation of those songs and also the show-stopping “Devil’s Been Talkin’” is how brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart have continued the “outsider” theme with the clever use of the term “victim” in all three songs. It personifies the brothers’ challenge of standing up for what’s right in a dark world, which is the cohesive theme of The Reckoning with fourteen amazing songs.
“White Fences,” “Maybe They’re Onto Us” and “Keep Your Eyes Open” are also stand-out rockers and all focus on the concept of staying true to principals of self-discipline and humility despite the band’s sudden thrust into the limelight. These are some of the most grounded regular guys in a ridiculously gifted rock band. It seems to come from their family upbringing from Possum Creek, South Carolina as sons of an Assembly of God pastor who formed this stellar band with boyhood friends bassist Seth Bolt and drummer Joe Stillwell. They’ve never lost sight of their calling to focus on truth in their songs, which is especially found in some of their most heart-wrenching ballads to date, “A Place Only You Can Go,” “Able,” “Tyrant Kings” and gorgeous closing song “Learn To Love.” Some of my favorite lyrics on the album are in “Devil’s Been Talkin’” which is a banjo-led surefire concert favorite featuring Bear passionately belting out “The Truth will set you free.” The lyrics I can’t stop singing are in my all-time favorite song, “Drive All Night” which is the ultimate story of “outsiders.” The song has such a hooky melody and just like “Something Beautiful,” is another guaranteed hit song. The song builds to the incredible lyrics “Beg the Book to turn the page, ‘cause I get stuck where the villains get away. Somewhere in this wretched tale, there must be a line where the victim gets his way, just one time. Oh I’ll get mine.” When Bear sings that line, my heart beats faster and I get swept up in the emotional stirring of my soul, just like in “Signature Of Divine (Yahweh)” which melts me every time I hear “Take me, and pull me through. Cause I can't move without You. I won't leave you alone, You say, It will be okay.” Thank you Bear, Bo, Seth and Joe for continually serving those “gourmet” musical moments and for sure, “it will be okay.”
I am literally blown away. This is a ridiculously fantastic album on all levels. You can be sure this is a 5 star masterpiece that will propel NEEDTOBREATHE to major headliner status just like GRAMMY Award winning bands Train, Kings of Leon and Muse. All I can say is "ooh and aah" as I listen to each incredible song. The meteoric rise of this band from Daylight to The Reckoning is unprecedented and extremely well-deserved. If you've been waiting to jump on the NEEDTOBREATHE bandwagon, it's time to "wake on up from your slumber, baby open up your eyes." This is the best album I've ever heard. Bo Rinehart is a hit song-writing genius. Just like everyone else including Taylor Swift, "More Time," "Lay 'Em Down" and "Something Beautiful" captivated me. Every song is on this album is a guaranteed hit, especially "Oohs and Aahs," "White Fences," "Slumber," "Maybe They're Onto Us," "Keep Your Eyes Open," "Devil’s Been Talkin’" and my Song of the Year-"Drive All Night." This deserves the GRAMMY award for Album of the Year. It is time to make history. Just like The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, The Reckoning by NEEDTOBREATHE is the Album of the Year by THE Group of the Year.
NeedToBreathe Nail Another Album| Posted November 04, 2011
To say 2011 was a big year for Christian Southern Rock band NeedToBreathe would be an understatement, it's been HUGE. Last December, NeedToBreathe were asked by the superstar herself (aka Taylor Swift) to open up for her "Speak Now World Tour," which helped the band gain success outside of their massive sucess in the Christian music scene. That being said, it's no surprise that their latest effort, entitled The Reckoning has landed a spot in the Top 10 of the Billboard Music's Album Charts.
The albums opens with a rock number entitled "Oohs and Ahhs." Although starting like a country song, it soon builds up into a grand rocker. Admist it's rock enjoyableness, the message encourageous that as we have everything we need, we should give it back to other people. NeedToBreathe still show their old Southern groove with "White Fences." The song talks about a kid who lives in a broken home and asks the question "Who is gonna mend/ These white fences?" That person, of course, is Jesus, although the song does not seem to hint at redemption of the home. This happened to be my favorite track because of its stellar gang vocals backed up by Bear Rineheart's stellar voice. "Drive All Night" is a very Country Rock style track, and although the message to me is unclear, is a very great song. This song will sure be a hit in their future live shows.
"A Place Only You Can Go" slows down the album a bit. Although not one of their best slow songs, I liked the use of bagpipes in some of the instrumental breaks. Lead single "Slumber" is an energetic pop song encouraging us to recognize the beauty around us and not just "sleep" through it. "Wake on up from your slumber/ Baby, open up your eyes" the song cries. Although my mom gets this song stuck in her head (which can get very annoying), this does not detract "Slumber" from my top 3!
Title track "The Reckoning" is a poppy track that boasts a very good drum beat, similar to The Afters' hit singles "Light Up The Sky" and "Lift Me Up." "Able" is one of the most straightforward Christian songs on the album. The song admits that we are not able to carry our burdens on our own, and that God can help us. "Maybe They're On To Us" is a rocking track about the band's mission to stay humble despite their sudden rise in popularity. This song once again boasts a great drum beat.
"Wanted Man" is piano and drum based track, and is a highlight off the album thanks to Bear's stellar vocals. "Keep Your Eyes Open" also has a prominent piano track, and talks about how we can never truly see the beauty of the world unless we keep our eyes open and keep out of our comfort zone once in awhile. "Tyrant Kings" talks about how Bear and Bo Rineheart grew up in a small town and how, even though they have achieved success, they don't feel like that in their hometown.
A strong Country song "Devil's Been Talkin'" follows. I love this song, but the only downside is the fact that Bear Rineheart's vocals came too strong on the beginning of the song. "Angel At My Door" is another Country song that is a little more fast paced. "Learn To Love" slows down the album and works as a fitting closer, but I kind of wish the band closed the album with a bang like "Let Us Love" on their 2009 album The Outsiders. The song talks about staying with someone till they learn to love.
Overall, NeedToBreathe's The Reckoning was stellar! They have totally topped 2009's The Outsiders. I reccomend this to anyone who loves Country music with a postive message!
Top 3 Songs:
1. White Fences
2. Oohs and Ahhs
Feel free to comment on this review so I can make them the best they can be!
Needtobreathe gives us another amazing album!| Posted October 14, 2011
Needtobreathe has been one of my favorite bands since "Daylight" was released in 2006. In the past five years the guys have changed their sound to a more Southern Rock/Alternative/Country genre, won 6 Dove Awards and opened for Taylor Swift. The guys are back with their fourth album, "The Reckoning", and to be honest, I didn't really like it at first. However, now that I've had a chance to listen to it more, I find I really enjoy this more serious side of Needtobreathe.
"Oohs & Aahs" starts things of on a somber note unlike the fun, banjo picking opener on "The Outsiders". "Oohs & Aahs" has a strong Southern Rock flavor that brings gritty guitars and slightly distorted vocals that somehow create a smooth, solid song. Definitely one of the best songs on the album, it showcases great vocal and musical talent. "White Fences" is one of my favorites off the album, and is a bittersweet tale of a love gone wrong, and could even be taken as a Christian's spiritual struggle between sin and God.
Next on the album we have "Drive All Night" that showcases the country sound of Needtobreathe, and tells the story of a restless soul longing for adventure; something different. "A Place Only You Can Go" is a beautiful, sweet song and I love the addition of bagpipes on this song. Very creative! "Slumber" the first single to Christian Radio from "The Reckoning", pleads for Christians to awake from their "slumber", and tells us that we don't have to "stand in line for crumbs that fall from the table, just enough to get by" , we can chase our dreams and make them reality.
"The Reckoning" is a powerful tune about fighting to become who you know you need to be, and visits the sound Needtobreathe showcased on "Daylight". "Able" is one of the best songs lyrically on the album, acknowledging that we are not able to do anything on our own, that we need God's strength and guidance. Another top notch track! "Maybe They're On To Us" is the main "fun" song on "The Reckoning" with brassy trumpets and a fun guitar rhythm.
"Wanted Man" is a lovely song about a man who acknowledges he has done wrong, and the consequences he must now face, but still desires love. "Keep Your Eyes Open" sounds like it came straight off "Daylight", and listening to this track, I found myself missing that side of Needtobreathe. "Tyrant Kings" seems a little off to me, and I wish Needtobreathe had kept "Cops" (which sounded so awesome on the behind the scenes video) and left this song off. "The Devil's Been Talkin" has a fresh, unique intro, and is one of the catchiest songs off "The Reckoning". "Angel At My Door" keeps the alternative/country feel, and although I found it a little confusing at first, I find it a beautiful song of encouragement to a friend. "Learn To Love" closes the album, with a message of unconditional commitment.
"The Reckoning" is a very strong album from a band that went from sounding like Switchfoot to creating their own, unique style that captured the attention of listeners all over. Sure, it's darker than "The Heat" and "The Outsiders" but it has such strong emotion and some of the best musical and vocal talents you'll ever hear. "The Reckoning" definitely belongs in your library.
Already my new favorite album| Posted September 20, 2011
My last favorite album was NEEDTOBREATHE's The Outsiders. I was very excited about the release of The Reckoning, but after being let down by so many artists releasing new albums that sound just like their last one, I was cautious about my optimism. I wasn't sure how the variety and excellence of The Outsiders could be matched without repeating themselves.
Now that I have listened to The Reckoning, I know I had no reason to worry. Every song on this album sounds brand new, while still keeping NEEDTOBREATHE's unique and excellent sound. I will spin this entire album again and again until their next album. Just like I did with The Outsiders.