A quartet from the Down Under, Revive made waves early last year with their major label debut, Chorus Of The Saints; while not a perfect record by any means, it majored on a raw pop rock sound and some clever experimentation that stood out somewhat in their field. With this acceptable debut in tow, plus a replacement of guitarists (Nevertheless's AJ Cheek filling in the position), we are introduced to their sophomore effort on Essential Records, Blink.
Blink has the unfortunate problem with having too many good things to say and not enough exciting tracks to contain them. Indeed, the lyrical content in Blink is nothing but admirable; examples include "Something Glorious," which pleads for God's majesty and refuses to settle for mediocrity, while "We Were Meant To Be" makes a charge for Christians to arise to their higher calling. The listener would be much more receptive to these messages, however, if the music accompanying them was more interesting. "All Of This For You," "Hold On Love," "We Were Meant To Be," and "Love Rule Today" all have the mutual problem of having nothing musically for on which the listener can hang their hat. With a monotonous and sometimes even boring flow to the whole record, it's hard to stay involved in what's coming around the bend because of the album's predictability. And sometimes when Revive tries something different, it still doesn't improve the album's experience; "Welcome To Eternity" closes out the record on a contemplative note, and while being acoustically driven effectively contrasts it from the rest of the album, its execution is dull at best.
To the album's credit, Blink does make a grand first impression, starting out with what is possibly the band's most accomplished song to date, "Almost Missed This Moment." With a mastered guitar section and fast-paced drums, it takes everything Revive was good at from their first release and pairs it with polished production to achieve a solid track. Another potential standout is "Love Found Me." With atmospheric guitars and a driving beat, the song successfully becomes an experience without compromising the message. Aside from these particular tracks, however, Blink has very little that grabs attention to itself. If the whole album was modeled with this level of distinctiveness throughout, the record would have been far more rewarding of a listen.
Compared to Revive's debut record, Blink doesn't feel like the progression or improvement it should have been. While their sound does feel a bit more refined with cleaner production and sleeker songwriting, the raw flavor that made Chorus Of The Saints unique is no longer present, and the album feels forgettable upon its conclusion. There are indeed some aforementioned tracks that effectively stand out from the pack; as a whole, however, Blink feels only like an average, destined-for-radio CCM release that could have been much more.- PReview date: 5/13/10; Review date: 6/20/10, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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