Posted February 19, 2014
By MaryNikkel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In a playing field increasingly influenced by electronic-styled music, fresh face to the game Loftland is reclaiming some ground by continuing to drive home Christian music's stake in the style. The pop-driven quartet, hailing from Wisconsin, is bringing their tunes to a wider audience with 2014's I Don't Want to Dance.
The album immediately demonstrates an impressive control of the electronic format for an act comprised of relatively young members, employing glimmering synthesized beats on songs like "Today is a New Day" and title track "I Don't Want to Dance." These pulsing rhythms sculpting out upbeat offerings about life and love are where the band shows the most mastery.
Moments where the band seeks more diversity shine as well, however. "Lie to Me" has a sharper, moodier tone, exploring a broken relationship with the concisely expressed sentiment "I can't take the truth / so won't you lie to me?" Closing offering "Let's Make it Loud" infuses an intentional crackling tone to the instrumentation, grounding the song as it proclaims unashamed joy.
This project's list of strong points doesn't stop at the surface level. "How You Love Me" showcases some of the most richly textured EDM-flavored instrumentation, but it also dives deep into an earnest look at the way God's love changes our hearts. "Runaway," also richly dynamic in its arrangement, explores the destructive nature of sin. Shimmering, almost trance-style electronic ballad "Hold On, Small On" speaks comfort and deep reassurance into the storms of life with the lyrics "The ship and I are going under, but I can hear a Voice that says / hold on small one, I'm right beside you / when the storms are coming and all your hope is gone."
The lyrical depth of tracks such as those mentioned above may indirectly cause a potential stumbling block for some listeners simply because it stands in seeming contrast to selections such as "Can't Get Enough" and "Lovesick," songs that explore the consuming, overpowering nature of love in language that could easily land them a home on mainstream radio waves. Although the songs are solid in their own right, they do seem a bit jarring placed in juxtaposition with some of the other themes threaded through the album.
Loftland brings some impressively compelling electronic pop rock songs with an infectious optimism and enthusiasm that easily draw the listener into their slick sonic landscape. Although there are moments of internal thematic discord, the band still shows that they have something to say-- and they're saying it brilliantly framed in a medium much more seasoned artists have struggled to employ effectively. This project definitely marks Loftland as a band to watch.
Song to Download Now:
"How You Love Me" (Get it on iTunes here.)
View All Music And Book Reviews By MaryNikkel_NRT | View MaryNikkel_NRT's Profile