After a self-titled EP, the Say Amen EP, and appearances on two Gotee Records compilations, Finding Favour is finally ready to release their full-length label debut. It's hard to get excited for yet another pop-worship act, but Finding Favour holds their own in the crowded genre. Comprised of seven pop-praise anthems, three personal stories, and a reverent reprise of the worshipful "Say Amen," Reborn is a well-rounded project and a significant step up from their eponymous EP.
There is not a single weak song present, but there are not any prominent highlights either. Rather, each song has its own set of strengths and weaknesses (but more strengths). For example, the energetic "Til Your Kingdom Comes" features fast acoustic strumming, a fun hand-clap inspired drum loop, and an explosive chorus, but is hindered by lyrics that are all too familiar and minimal dynamics with the drum loop. Despite not having any standouts, Finding Favor keeps us engaged with plenty of tempo changes and sonic variety, such as the transition between the upbeat banjo driven "Feels Like The First Time" and the piano ballad "Be Like You." Also, each of the songs boast big hooks that make it nearly impossible not to sing along.
Introspective lyrical explorations are found throughout the album, whether it be in the worship song "I'll Find You" or the love song "Feels Like The First Time." Backed with the strong and soothing vocals of lead singer Blake Neesmith, these lyrics are communicated thoughtfully even if they are nowhere close to groundbreaking. The country flavored "Tiny Town" is a narrative song where Neesmith takes us through specific memories of growing up in his hometown in the verses. These flashbacks are threaded by a chorus that realizes how the people and decisions from his childhood shaped who he is today: "Moving forward looking back / I can't get more than what I had / These memories like roots in the ground."
In an industry where comparisons are inevitable and original thoughts are far and few, what counts most is authenticity and ambition. On Reborn, Finding Favour can sometimes sound too comfortable following in the tracks (now more like a paved superhighway) of their pop-worship contemporaries, but they have enough personality and distinctiveness to make this album an enjoyable Christ-focused listening experience.
- Review date: 6/22/15 written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com