Music Review: NEEDTOBREATHE, "The Heat"
Release Date: August 28, 2007
Label: Atlantic Records
by Alex Mason
Published: August 23, 2007
At first listen, you'd never guess that The Heat is the sophomore album of a South Carolina Christian rock band. NEEDTOBREATHE consists of brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart, with bassist Seth Bolt and drummer Joe Stillwell and in The Heat, they've produced a mature, provoking album that you will find yourself playing again and again.
After the success of their debut album Daylight last year, the band traveled to England to record The Heat,and it was the right move according to Bear. "There are moments in music – maybe it's a whole song, sometimes it's just a portion – that when you hear it, it just breaks you down," says singer/guitarist/pianist/songwriter Bear Rinehart. "We really wanted to get those kinds of moments on this record. We wanted this record to hit people in a really strong way."
Their first single, "Signature of Divine (Yahweh)" has already been released. According to the band, the lyrics of the single "speak of how so much great art has been inspired by God, but we are God's greatest masterpiece." You can catch a music video of the song at the band's website, or their MySpace page.
The title track is a melodic anthem that will quickly shuffle its way to the top of your permanent collection and this is where NEEDTOBREATHE truly shines. Their style is strong and distinctive, only at times spread thin as
the influences of other bands seep through a bit strong as in "Streets of Gold". It is in songs like "The Heat," "Looks Like Love," and "Washed By the Water," the nods and sounds of other bands are set aside and the foursome show who they really are. Bear's voice ranges from the slurry taunts of David Lee Roth to the subtle power of Bono, while the music provides a powerful sound reminiscent of Leeland and Coldplay. And it's not just the music; where the
band was criticized over the lyrics in Daylight, they've been stepped up as well as shown in The Heat:
We’re caught when our hands are off the wheel and our foot is on the gas
Like a moth to a flame, the fire moves us, we’re just waiting on the crash
And you know we will
Let the drumbeats wash you over! Let the songs come and take you under!
Push the life that brought you here away from you tonight
There’s a place where the pain can’t touch ya and there’s a fire where the heat won’t burn ya
It’s in the sound of your voice tonight singing in one song
The band's sound is clear and driving and The Heat studies that sound through different palettes. From the light opening appetizer “Spare the Time” to the main course bluesy “Washed By The Water,” be prepared for a fourteen course audio feast. If NEEDTOBREATHE can sail through the sophomore curse this easily, I can't wait to see what they do next.
NEEDTOBREATHE, "The Heat"
01. Spare The Time
05. We Could Run Away
06. Streets of Gold
07. More Time
08. Signature of Divine
09. Looks Like Love
10. The Heat
11. Nothing Left to Lose
12. Moving On
13. Washed by the Water
14. Second Chances