On the band’s Sparrow Records debut, SAMESTATE takes each member’s disparate musical influences – be it a whole bunch of rock and pop, a touch of Americana, a smidge of country – and with the help of veteran producer Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Third Day, Matt Maher) merges them into a sound that’s infectious and approachable.
The bombast of the nominal title track “Realign” and follow-up “Sons and Daughters” counteracts, but doesn’t fight with the emotional, Avett Brothers-esque “Upside Down,” the jangly romp of “Love Remembers You” or the quiet, strings-driven ode “Symphonies.” Lead singer and chief songwriter, Dalton Diehl, used both the losses of close family members and the gains of his creative pursuits coming together to shape the message of the album as a whole.
The Alignment’s first Top 5 single, “Hurricane,” has a simple message of hope. The song reminds us that no matter if we do everything or even if we do nothing, God’s love will always find a way back to us.
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Align Yourself With Samestate| Posted March 19, 2012 Often times the beauty of a record is found in its simplicity, and speaking in relative terms, this debut effort from alternative rockers Samestate embodies that idea. Perfectly-penned tracks take flight right from the beginning of the record and carry their way through all the way to the finale. If Samestate was unknown to you before, it’s time for that to change.
Opening cut “Realign”--where striking parallels between the voices of lead singer Dalton Diehl and NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bear Rinehart are extremely noticeable--echoes around the theme of encouragement that “Everything that dies will eventually beautifully return,” and a chorus with an undeniably catchy hook.
In fact, the entire album seems to take that tone. Standout track “Shadows” proclaims the simple yet profound message that “there is a God who is big enough to save us,” while “Hurricane,” which is currently seeing some pretty impressive radio airplay in various markets across the country, reminds us of the power of God’s presence in our lives.
“King” is by far another standout from The Alignment, and perhaps could become an anthem for those who have slipped in their faith and lost their way. Diehl charges through a powerful chorus which proclaims, “Come broken, come desperate and alone” and reassures the listener that “tonight you’re heard by the King.”
The album’s acoustic closer, however, is really what makes The Alignment a true gem. Not only are the acoustically-sustained melodies on “Symphonies” spot-on, but the lyrics are some of the most heavy, passionate, and well-written of any song from a Christian artist that I’ve heard in quite some time. With lines like “we are the forest in the midst of the fire” and “in the midst of the timpanis, we’ll play the strings,” the beautiful and completely genius simplicity of this record truly comes to life.
Closing Thoughts: What Samestate has managed to do is successfully make worship relevant. In a generation of Christian bands that seems to have shifted their focus on making it big in the mainstream, Samestate--whose roots lie in Kansas City--has decidedly stayed true to the profound passion that they so evidently have for their faith. Not only has Samestate crafted a record that is highly impressive for a debut, but they also have put out arguably one of the best releases of the year.