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JFH Staff Review



This Beautiful Republic
Even Heroes Need A Parachute



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 38 minutes, 33 seconds
Street Date: April 3, 2007


In 2002, a small band from Toledo, Ohio called Sanctus Real exploded onto the scene, and rapidly became as staple in Christian rock music. Five years later, another band hailing from Toledo has emerged, and appears poised for similar success with their release Even Heroes Need a Parachute. This Beautiful Republic may not have quite the same catchiness on their debut as did Sanctus Real, but they still display serious talent.

The band is careful to craft an album that will appeal to many different audiences; "Going Under" is turning heads on rock radio, while "Jesus to the World," despite its somewhat trite title and lyrics, is doing fairly well on Top 40 stations thanks to a likeable sound comparable to some of Starfield's work. Singer Ben Olin's powerful vocals sound edgy on heavier songs, yet polished on the softer ones. Another album highlight, "Black Box" has an eclectic mix of sounds that come together to create a fun rock song that should sound great live.

There are very few weak points musically on the album; every song can hold its own and I never found myself reaching for the skip button. Yet, perhaps only half of the songs stand out as truly excellent. The rest are all done well, but some feel slightly overproduced, and after a few listens, can grow redundant. The album starts out so well with "Casting Off" and the standout track "Going Under" that it sets a very high standard that isn't quite met by some of the other songs. Nevertheless, it's all great music that's a cut above the standard.

Lyrically, the album is a cry for help, as its title might suggest. Olin's words are creative at times, a bit cliché at others, but always honest, and the band's message is clear throughout, as in "Fears & Failures" ("Questions are not easy / when nothing can satisfy / and life is more than these fears and failures / fame is just a lie"). They offer the hope of Christ to everyone in need, from hobos to heathens to heroes.

Only a few years ago, ForeFront Records was home to many of the giants in Christian music including DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, and Bleach. ForeFront's decision to sign a band as skilled as This Beautiful Republic may be the first step toward recapturing their status as one of Christian music's top record labels. The band will be a top contender for New Artist of the Year, and deservedly so - they show signs of becoming a premier band in the very near future. Even Heroes Need a Parachute may develop a few small holes on the way down, but still manages to pull off an impressive landing.

- PReview date: 3/15/07; Review date: 3/31/07, written by Spencer Priest

 

CD

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. Record Label: Forefront Records
. Album length: 11 tracks: 38 minutes, 33 seconds
. Street Date: April 3, 2007
. Buy It: Amazon.com
  1. Casting Off
  2. Going Under
  3. Jesus To The World
  4. Right Now
  5. Black Box
  6. The Surface
  7. Let's Be Honest
  8. New Year
  9. Something To Deny
  10. Fears & Failures
  11. Cloud Cover
spacer Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics

 

 

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