|Take Some Advice: Check These Guys Out | Posted March 12, 2013
It's uncommon to hear of a group such as The Advice who has such a lengthy history behind them. Sure, they're still a fairly new face to the Christian music market, having signed with label InPop Records back in 2011, but believe it or not, 2013 marks the ten year anniversary for this traveling pop/soul ensemble hailing from Greenville, S.C. A celebratory rarity for even the most widely acclaimed acts of our day.
I've been following The Advice since early 2011 after discovering and eating up their introductory three song EP, featuring the single "Your Love Sets Me Free." Since then, I've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of their debut release. Nearly two years of traveling, writing, recording and yes, waiting later, that day has finally come.
The self-titled LP starts with "You Give Me," which impeccably blends the band's style of upbeat pop with a flamboyant flare of blue-eyed soul.
Following an alluring opening track, "Love Like That" follows suit stylistically, again showcasing their signature groove. The carefree song tells the inspiring story of what it looks like to live a simple life built on faith: "Wherever I roam, I'm never alone / This world ain't my home, I won't be here long / I'll wake up someday and dance on streets of gold, and only Jesus could love me like that."
"Your Light Shines," one of the songs featured on their aforementioned EP, blends an ear-catching combo of horns along with lead vocalist Matt Houston's gruff, soulful vocals. It being my favorite track on the EP, it becomes one of the strongest cuts on this record.
"Holding On To You," tilting towards a more radio friendly pop/rock vibe, becomes a powerful song of clinging to God amidst some of life's roughest curveballs. Toying with a faint Southern twang, "All a Raindrop Knows" becomes an anthem of God's saving power.
The group's first single "Your Love Sets Me Free" makes a welcomed appearance, followed by the mellow "The Sun Is Gonna Shine," sending the encouraging message of staying strong and waiting for the moment life sees us smiling again: "Stay in this race, my friend / If you just don't quit, you're bound to win / You can't back down and you can't give in / The sun is gonna shine again."
The pop-infused "Forever Changed" and "His Name Is Jesus" serve as joyful, feel-good tunes, the latter of the two sounding like a modern day nod to '70s CCM pioneers, The Imperials. It displays the band's fun side in a positive light, while still managing to keep the focus on the uplifting message.
"Collide" slows things down and serves more transparent lyrically than the rest of the project. Pointing out our flawed human condition, it comes as a cry for God to crash into our lives and wrecks us for His glory's sake: "Break me all the way down until only You are found / There's no weakness when I'm with You."
"Make Me" ends the project on a praiseworthy moment of prayer, using the chorus to ask God to makes us, like David, a people after His own heart.
If singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham were to join forces with the likes of soulful pop/rockers NEWWORLDSON, The Advice's self-titled debut would be a spot on example of what the end result might look like. Mixing everything from 70's funk to southern soul to trendy rock, this group is a melting pot of musical creativity mixed with heart-happy and encouraging lyrics any believer can cheerfully gravitate to.
The album possesses strong points, some more than others, but paints a great overall picture of The Advice's passionate heart and unique mission for the music they create. This is definitely a band you'll want to keep your eye on in the future.
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