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The Afters [Never Going Back To Okay]
Posted September 24, 2008
By christianmusicreview,

[Main Review]

The Afters: Never going back to Ok
By Liz Zelinski

The theme is transformation and Life. The words are poetic and elegant. In “Never going back to OK,” The Afters run the gamut of topics, singing their hearts out about life, God, love, choices, and… MySpace?

I have to say that at first I thought “MySpace girl” was a nice try at being lighthearted, but they didn’t pull it off. It sounded more like a song from Relient K than The Afters. Then I went on their web site and saw the music video, and was completely won over. It was so funny that I watched it twice, and then e-mailed the link to my friends.
Although their sound sometimes is reminiscent of a late ‘90s boy band, there is nothing predictable about where these guys are going. The album starts out with a fun little ditty called “Secret Parade” that grabs the listener’s attention and draws them in for more. The title song, “Never going back to ok,” sets the tone of life and leaving a legacy for the rest of the album. Starting with track 3 the lyrics become more romantic and focused on love. However, in most of the songs it is difficult to discern when they are talking about love of God versus love of girls. The words can be interpreted both ways and still be enjoyable and applicable. “If love is an ocean wide, we swim in the tears we cry, they’ll see us through to the other side. We’re gonna make it tonight. When love is a raging sea, you can hold on to me. We’ll find a way tonight. Love is an ocean wide.” God love or girl love? Hard to tell, but very pretty.

Obscure lyrics often add an appeal of their own to music. If it’s less specific, more people can relate their different situations to it, and feel more connected to what he artists are saying. But in this case, there is definitely a place for more substance. “We are the sound” becomes more dynamic, proclaiming who they are and what they’re doing, and that you need to fight and not back down from making your mark on the world.

Although the theme of “Never going back to ok” is life and feeling alive, is seems more like they are just repeating themselves instead of driving the message home. “Never going back to ok” Kicks off this overly-consistent theme with the line “I feel alive and it hurts for a change, and looking back, it’s hard to believe that I was cool with the days that I wasted…” In the song “Forty-two,” the band sings “Will You show me what this life is all about … Cuz I want to feel alive,” which is almost identical to the earlier song “Tonight,” when they sing, “When tomorrow comes, we’re gonna feel alive.”

This contemporary pop group has some funny spots and highlights, and despite the over emphasized themes, the music could be just right for a thoughtful mood. It is definitely worth a listen. Pop on to and check these guys out for yourself.

Rating: 8.1 out of 10 (81%, B-)

Review written by: Liz Zelinski

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