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H A R D L O V E

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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.

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.

Erm

So far I've listened to the two newly released songs and I'm not so sure about this album. "Happiness" has some incredibly lazy lyrics and the beat itself is very radio friendly. Then "Money and Fame" is even worse. The horn section is poorly placed, the song seemed to be produced just to be on the radio, and the song itself is dull and lacks the passion that we've all seen NEEDTOBREATHE to be capable of. The love is hard so far and I hope that the rest of the album proves me wrong but I have my doubts. They seem to be headed in a more "sell out" sound. There is an undertone within that in "Rivers in the Wastelands" but they still had a sense of themselves. There was still something there that kept me listening, even through the incredibley dull perscussion and digital claps of "Brother", which happens to be one of my favorite songs by them. Just...not sure about how this album will come out and it's just not looking good.

H A R D L O V E, NEEDTOBREATHE
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