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Captivates My Spirit
Posted September 09, 2023
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need to Know
South Carolina's Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me 17 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 pop icon 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."

On their album HARD LOVE, my top album of 2016, the band subtly references the dance of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE."

During the quarantine period, NEEDTOBREATHE utilized their time to compose and record their eighth studio album, titled Into the Mystery. The album boasts exceptional tracks such as "I Wanna Remember," featuring Carrie Underwood, and "I Am Yours." The band has released three full-length studio albums since 2020, with Out of Body being the first, containing hit songs such as "Who Am I" and "Survival." They recently released CAVES, featuring recent singles "The Cave" and "Everknown."
What it Sounds Like
Exceptional songwriting and musical brilliance accompany every new NEEDTOBREATHE release. The tracks on this album are woven with lyrical connections that'll captivate your spirit. This latest studio album, released surprisingly quickly after the previous one, is no exception and continues to impress me.

CAVES features some remarkable recordings, including the crowd-pleasing anthems "The Cave," "Everknown," and "Dreams" featuring Judah & the Lion. It also includes emotionally powerful tracks, such as "When You Forgive Somebody" and "Fall on Me," featuring Carly Pearce.

The album's reflective tone is perfectly captured in "Hideaway," "How Wonderful We Are," and "Temporary Tears" featuring musician Foy Vance. The band's Southern rock sound and infectious enthusiasm have captivated me, and they continue to improve with each new album. I can’t get enough of the emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic, and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album, echoing HARD LOVE in both content and musical vibe.

Spiritual Highlights
We're fearfully, wonderfully, and perfectly made, which is expressed in the standout “Everknown”: “You never give in/you know who you are/you are the everknown/you shine on, you shimmer/We’ll follow you on to wherever you go/you live life, you’re livin’.” We know many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. If you're struggling with depression, please know with certainty the truth in the song’s life-giving words.

"Everknown" is a song that pays tribute to the people who have played a significant role in shaping our lives and personalities. These individuals, who often go unnoticed, deserve recognition for their positive impact on the world. This album's emotional vocals and inspiring lyrics have deeply moved me and left a lasting impression.

There are several standout songs I can’t wait to hear in concert, including "The Cave," "Dreams," "Wasting Time,” and “By and By." If you've always enjoyed NEEDTOBREATHE’s soulful anthems, you're in for a treat with this album. It has an outstanding balance of upbeat rockers and reflective ballads. These songs express my emo feelings and remind me of my detachment from this world. They are catchy and easy to sing along to.

Best Song
“Fall on Me” is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and lives. Only Jesus can give us our identity. What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us. The lyrics profoundly move me, “I am Yours now/You will always be, You will always be/The One that I can call the safest place to fall for me.” I'm engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, inspirational lyrics throughout the album.

“Hideaway” 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 flow throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, “The Cave,” "Dreams," "When You Forgive Someone," “Fall on Me,” "Hideaway" and “Reaching Out to Find You.”

You'll be hooked from the opening notes of "The Cave," which sets the tone for this album. Christians can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying: "There’s so much loneliness in everyone around you/I ran away to keep my head from getting cloudy/Oh I spent some time in a lonely place, but it’s only getting clearer/I need some time to be on my own in a world without a mirror.” That range of songwriting sets this album on the highest level for me, and is why they are my favorite band.

For Fans Of
SwitchfootDrew Holcomb & The NeighborsThird DayUnspoken

Final Word
NEEDTOBREATHE has quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands because they can move me with exceptional and spiritual lyrics that genuinely reflect how I feel as a Christian. The band consistently makes songs that remind us to reach where we're in humble submission to God. Please 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. If you like their past work, you'll love this new album. CAVES is one of the catchiest, most energetic, and emotionally engaging albums I've heard this year, and it is sure to be one of your top albums of the year.


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