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iTunes Review

A decade after their debut, NEEDTOBREATHE sing about love, loss, and redemption. “I promise I won’t let you down, honey it’s so clear now,” Bear Rinehart pleas on “Clear,” a heartfelt song about repairing broken trust. With a little heartache and a lot of earnestness, H A R D L O V E is musical chicken soup for the soul.

Customer Reviews

Same band, different sounds

I'm so happy to have new Needtobreathe! Happiness doesn't have the rock edge from Rivers, but it's got a great, steady beat and the backing choir adds a nice touch. Money and Fame has a nice horn section, which is new for them, but it works. Bear still has the southern rock vocal stylings. I can't wait to hear the rest of this and their live spin on these new songs.

Getting away from what they do best.

First off...I am a die-hard Needtobreathe fan. Everything since The Heat has been amazing...except for maybe a song or two on Rivers. I've listened to the new tracks and so far, I'm disappointed. Happiness is okay, but the new electronic sound seems like a bit step in the wrong direction for them. I love the intimate acoustic stuff and the rocking songs from "The Outsiders" and "The Reckoning". I'll wait to give my final verdict on the entire album, but I fear I won't like it if the first couple songs are an indication of what's to come.

It’s different, but it’s good

This album deserves a review that’s based on all its contents, not just the first few singles.

“Rivers in the Wasteland” is one of my favorite albums ever, by anyone, and this is different in a lot of ways. The sound is generally more synth-heavy and in places feels almost cinematic, particularly in “Hard Love,” but the album covers a pretty large range of sounds, and that’s part of what’s made NTB a great band. They haven’t lost touch with their more acoustic side, and “No Excuses” “Let’s Stay Home Tonight” “Testify” and “Clear” all bring that out. “Don’t Bring That Trouble” rocks, classic NTB. You can listen to it next to “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” or even something as old as “Quit” and hear the connection.

Lyrically, I do think it’s a little weaker than some of their other work, in part because most of “Rivers” is so good. NTB has always had a somewhat odd niche as a band of Christians who sometimes sing about God but more often sing about other things. It’s part of what I’ve appreciated about them. I think you can still hear their faith informing what they write. I suspect that “Testify” isn’t going to be enough to satisfy the fans who were hoping to get an album that had explicitly Christian songs, and even that one isn’t particularly explicit, but I respect it. It’s good.

Don’t judge the album by the singles- for good or for ill- the released by far the most pop/radio friendly songs as singles and of the five singles: “Hard Love” “Money & Fame” “No Excuses” “Happiness” and “Great Night”, four of them are very much of one sound and the album is much more split than that.

I absolutely think that this album is worth getting.

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Customer Ratings