13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Music and message fuse seamlessly on the Afters’ Never Going Back to OK. The boisterous Christian foursome scored a career-launching hit with 2005’s “Beautiful Love,” and their sophomore album is a worthy follow-up, matching substantial talent with youthful brashness and optimism. The tracks grab the listener immediately thanks to high-gloss production (courtesy of Dan Muckala) and exciting melodies. Tunes like “The Secret Parade,” “Tonight,” “We Are the Sound” and “Forty-Two” gush with geyser-like force, driven by Matt Fuqua’s quick-chopping guitar and Mark Dodd’s clattering drums. Lead singer Josh Havens matches the high-flying mood of his bandmates, infusing such blazing rockers as “Keeping Me Alive” and the title track with unbridled idealism. Piano-centered ballads such as “Ocean Wide” catch the band’s more reflective side. The Afters take some interesting detours, offering some gorgeous Beatles-esque vocal harmonies on “The Secret Parade” and exploring thoughtful Paul Simon-style poetics on “Summer Again.” While most of the songs examine God’s role in the lives of believers, the band gets playful with modern love in “Myspace Girl.” Buoyant in sound and positive in content, Never Going Back to OK finds the Afters clearly headed in the right direction.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Music and message fuse seamlessly on the Afters’ Never Going Back to OK. The boisterous Christian foursome scored a career-launching hit with 2005’s “Beautiful Love,” and their sophomore album is a worthy follow-up, matching substantial talent with youthful brashness and optimism. The tracks grab the listener immediately thanks to high-gloss production (courtesy of Dan Muckala) and exciting melodies. Tunes like “The Secret Parade,” “Tonight,” “We Are the Sound” and “Forty-Two” gush with geyser-like force, driven by Matt Fuqua’s quick-chopping guitar and Mark Dodd’s clattering drums. Lead singer Josh Havens matches the high-flying mood of his bandmates, infusing such blazing rockers as “Keeping Me Alive” and the title track with unbridled idealism. Piano-centered ballads such as “Ocean Wide” catch the band’s more reflective side. The Afters take some interesting detours, offering some gorgeous Beatles-esque vocal harmonies on “The Secret Parade” and exploring thoughtful Paul Simon-style poetics on “Summer Again.” While most of the songs examine God’s role in the lives of believers, the band gets playful with modern love in “Myspace Girl.” Buoyant in sound and positive in content, Never Going Back to OK finds the Afters clearly headed in the right direction.

TITLE TIME
1:38
2:35
3:55
3:25
4:24
3:04
3:03
3:28
3:24
4:00
4:42
4:13
4:04

About The Afters

Formed in 2000 by four Starbucks employees in Mesquite, TX, the Afters are an alternative CCM rock outfit originally known as Blisse. Under their original moniker, members Marc Dodd (drums), Matt Fuqua (guitar and vocals), Josh Havens (vocals and guitar), and Brad Wigg (bass and vocals) released an EP and an album (2001's When the World Is Wonderful) before finding out that there was another Blisse out there, and subsequently changed their name to the Afters. After making a name for themselves in the Dallas music scene, the Afters scored a deal with Epic and released their major-label debut in 2005, entitled I Wish We All Could Win. The album was a hit on the Christian charts, making it to the Top 25. In 2006, the band went back into the studio to record its follow-up, Never Going Back to OK, which was slated for release in February of 2008. ~ Chris True

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