In mid-2001, the JfH heard of a promising independent group out of Ohio called Sanctus Real. They had put out two independent records before the release of the sadly overlooked Nothing to Lose. Apparently, someone important heard it, and Sparrow Records quickly picked them up. Now, with the help of musical Renaissance man, Pete Stewart, they have revamped some of their old classics and introduced some new treats. Say It Loud is the record that Sanctus Real and rock fans have been looking for.
Leading off is "Sink or Swim," a perfect hit for any rock radio station while "Captain's Chair," the unofficial favorite off of Nothing to Lose continues in the radio indulgence. "Say It Loud" once again delivers magical rock licks as "Hey Wait," a new acquisition and the new favorite, slows the pace with an early 90's rock ballad and perfect orchestral interludes. "Inspiration" comes in with a great base line while "Audience of One" is remade in quicker and better form. "The Way I Feel," comes along in Matchbox 20 mode and breaks as the new highlight of Sanctus's career adding a little falsetto. "I Love You" brings only vocals and acoustic guitar where "All I Want" and "Nothing to Lose" as well, spiff up their older versions with Stewart's production work truly preceding itself while "Won't Walk Away" ascends to grand musical heights but not without the curse of the demo; more on that later. "After Today" ends with another remake that doesn't steer too far from its past.
The curse of the demo is a fickle mistress. When the ear grows accustomed to listening to a beautiful song, many times a remake just doesn't fit well when the first time seemed just fine. When it ain't broke, don't fix it. But Sanctus fixed it, and amazingly the curse barely happens. And also, most fans have not had the chance of hearing that great indie record anyway, so no curse has been bestowed upon them. Sanctus has done their part, testing the limits and creating an astonishing rock album that any musical fan will quickly enjoy. Sanctus Real is saying it loud, so turn up the volume, and just listen.- Review date: 12/8/02, written by Blake Garris
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