Captivates My Spirit Posted July 29, 2021 By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need to Know South Carolina's Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me 15 years ago with their major-label debut Daylight, which featured the single "Shine On." My takeaway review comments were "Great album. Even better group." Since then, the band has managed to improve their craft with each album, garner an opening slot for Taylor Swift, play on late-night television, and collaborate with Gavin DeGraw on one of their biggest hits to date, "Brother," from my Top Album of 2014, Rivers in the Wasteland. That album earned a Grammy nomination for "Multiplied" and features the standout song "Difference Maker."
In their album H A R D L O V E—my Top Album of 2016—the band subtly includes the reference to the dance of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE."
During quarantine, NEEDTOBREATHE created—composed and recorded—their eighth studio album, Into the Mystery, which includes standouts "I Wanna Remember," featuring country superstar Carrie Underwood, and the successful title track. This is the second studio full-length album the band has released in less than a year. In 2020, the band released Out of Body, which includes hit songs "Who Am I" and "Survival."
What it Sounds Like What I take immense joy in discovering with each new NEEDTOBREATHE release is the incredible songwriting and musical excellence with nuggets of lyrical connection weaving their way throughout the tracks. This surprisingly quick follow-up new studio album captivates my spirit. The album includes standout recordings like the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthems "Carry Me," feat. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, "Sunshine," "I Am Yours," and "I Wanna Remember," featuring Carrie Underwood, along with the reflective vibe of "What I’m Here For," "Into the Mystery," "Innocence" and "Chances." I have long been hooked by their enthusiastic songs, layered with a southern rock musical vibe. I've felt the band has improved with each new album. I can’t get enough of the emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic, and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album, which has echoes of Out of Body both in content and musical vibe as the band has undergone a transformation to a trio-Bear Rinehart [vocals, guitar], Seth Bolt [bass, vocals], and Josh Lovelace [keys, vocals].
Spiritual Highlights We're fearfully, wonderfully and perfectly made, which is expressed in the standout “I Am Yours”: “’Cause I am yours/And you will always be mine/It seems like madness I’m invited to the table by your side/Cause I am yours/And you will always be mine/I'm a man whose one ambition is to dance with my divine.” An artistic answer to their previous song "Who Am I," "I Am Yours" is a soaring work about God’s undying love for us. It's clear that the themes of relying on God's grace and mercy and seeking and speaking truth flows throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, "What I’m Here For," "Into the Mystery," "Sunshine," "Carry Me," "Innocence" and "Chances." You'll be hooked right from the opening notes of "What I’m Here For," which really sets the tone for this album. As Christians, we can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying out: "I feel like we could find it/If we knocked on heaven's door/I'd say God, I'm only human/You'd say that's what I'm here for!”
Best Song on the Record "I Am Yours" is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and our lives. Our thoughts are constantly under attack by the enemy. We're aware of many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. If you're struggling with depression, especially with this past year of social distancing due to COVID-19, please know with certainty the truth in the song’s life-giving words. Allow the Holy Spirit to cast the light of life into your body. I am really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, inspirational lyrics throughout the album. There are several standout songs I can’t wait to hear in concert including "Into the Mystery," "Carry Me," "I Am Yours" and "Sunshine." If you've always enjoyed NEEDTOBREATHE’s soulful anthems, you're in for a treat with this album. It has a great balance of upbeat rockers and reflective songs. Many of these songs express my emo feelings, and yet remind me that I wasn't made for this world. These songs will have you singing along in one listen. "Into the Mystery" connects deeply with the lyrics, “We are sons and daughters/We are flesh and dust/We are pulled from the wreckage/We are not alone/We are lovers broken/We are vicarious dreams/We are tumbling/In space out of control/Into the mystery.”
Final Word NEEDTOBREATHE consistently makes songs that remind us to get to that place where we're in humble submission to God. Don't play it safe. Ask for God to be real in your life. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God. This is one of my top albums of the year from both the Christian and mainstream music markets. They have long been my favorite band. I truly enjoy their entire catalog and especially their stand-out hit songs "Happiness," "Hang On" and "Who Am I." If you like those songs, you'll love this new album. Into the Mystery is one of the catchiest, most energetic, and emotionally engaging albums I've heard this year and it is sure to be one of my top albums of the year.