Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 11!
Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 11!

JFH Music Review



Family Force 5
Dance Or Die



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 39 minutes, 59 seconds
Street Date: August 19, 2008


A couple years ago, music fans were introduced to the fun and funky sounds of Atlanta-based crunk rockers, Family Force 5 with their debut, Business Up Front, Party In The Back. Possessing a major in partying, a minor in spirituality and high achievement in providing one of the greatest (and craziest) live shows around, it wasn't too long before Family Force 5 started grabbing people's attention across the country. Their sophomore release, Dance Or Die, retains the heart of what it is fans have come to love about them, but with it the band trades in the "crunk rock" sound for a decidedly more dance club friendly approach.

When the long awaited Business Up Front, Party In The Back had finally released in early 2006, fans had already been familiar with many of the songs on the album, with a great deal of it having been recorded for a demo the year before. When Business... saw a re-release in 2007 the guys added three more songs that seemed to guide their sound more towards an edgier, slightly more serious direction (the humbling heart of "Facedown" especially hinted towards this). Now more than another year later, Family Force 5 is eager to get fans out on the dance floor, and Dance Or Die is fashioned to do just that. Their long awaited full-length follow-up introduces more synthesizers - often with an 80's synth pop flavor (as evidenced in the title track), stretching the boundaries of what listeners may expect from the band in the process. A listen through Dance Or Die proves that Family Force 5 can be as unpredictable in their songwriting as they are on stage. The record offers surprises at just about every turn.

Written somewhat as a concept album, Dance Or Die contains more to it than meets the eye. The songs carry a supposed theme about a galactic battle where a planet can only be saved from a robot attack with the use of killer dance moves. With that, Dance Or Die has moments where we're clearly not supposed to take it all too seriously, yet offers lyrical substance that Family Force leaves open to interpretation. In addition to the story that threads through the album's track listing, songs like the ridiculously catchy sacrificial rocker "D-I-E 4 Y-O-U" doubles as a love song from Christ to us, "Fever" (which is also sort of the new "Love Addict") raves of the infection of the Holy Spirit, "Wake The Dead" calls the complacent out of their proverbial coffins, and "Radiator" serves as a grand finale of sorts that reflects on the believer's spiritual ascension to Heaven. While the conceptual story isn't included in the album artwork and has not yet been released, the band has included enough references to some kind of intergalactic tussle to pique the listener's interest for more about the band's intended story.

Musically, Dance Or Die is anything but mundane or boring. While artists like Daft Punk and Justice are obvious influences on Family Force's latest venture, the band retains key elements from their previous record to keep the migration to the full-on dance scene from being too heavy a shock to the system. The guys even manage to slow things down for a change of pace, offering up a pair of ballads with "How in the World" and "Share it with Me" (the latter of which having been partially inspired by an actual devastating break-up), as well as the punk/pop-influenced electro fast-rock sounds of "The First Time." While the slower tracks do disrupt the raw energy and pulse-racing momentum produced from the rest of the album's nine tracks, the successful stylistic shifts prove the band's versatility, as well as their determination to keep things fresh and interesting - even if the ballads lose a bit of the "blast-it-with-the-car-windows-down" cool factor that the more upbeat tracks display.

When all is said and done, Dance Or Die is fun and funky, targeting the will of dance floor dwellers and party people across the nation. While some of the deeper, spiritual themes may take a bit more digging to find, Dance Or Die may still offer a bit more substance than you'd expect from projects of this genre... as well as from a concept album about taking on robotic enemies through the sheer power of dominating the dance-off. But from the delicious synth-heavy title track and the bold anti-wallflower anthem "Get Your Back off the Wall" to the delectable "Wake The Dead" and the triumphant Soft Cell-meets-Marilyn Manson finale of "Radiator," Dance Or Die is anything but a sophomore slump and proof that Family Force 5 has what it takes to engage our feet as well as our hearts, all the while giving listeners hope to dance about another day.

- PReview date: 8/3/08; Review date: 8/17/08, written by John DiBiase of Jesusfreakhideout.com

class="coversize" align=right> Early Thoughts...

A few years ago, music fans were introduced to the fun and funky sounds of Atlanta-based Family Force 5 with their debut, Business Up Front, Party In The Back. With a major in partying, a minor in spirituality and high achievement in providing one of the greatest (and craziest) live shows around, it wasn't too long before Family Force 5 started grabbing people's attention across the country. Their sophomore release, Dance Or Die, is a concept album that retains the heart of what it is fans have come to love about them, but with it the band trades in the "crunk rock" sound for a decidedly more dance approach. Dance Or Die introduces more synthesizers - often with an 80's synth pop feel (as evidenced in the title track) - and stretches the boundaries of what listeners may expect from the band... to even include a pair of pop love song ballads ("How in the World" and "Share it with Me") that you'd be likely to hear on mainstream radio. But Dance Or Die can be considered anything but a retread of their debut and certainly not a sophomore slump. With deliciously delectable offerings like the anti-wallflower anthem "Get Your Back off the Wall," the call to spreading the Holy Spirit infection of "Fever," the anti-complacency of "Wake The Dead," the sacrificial rocker "D-I-E 4 Y-O-U," and the loud and proud spiritual illumination of "Radiator," Dance Or Die is one anticipated album that doesn't disappoint...

- PReview date: 8/3/08, written by John DiBiase --->



(JFH Sponsor Spot)

Check out the new EP from Darby Hughes!

 

JFH Staff's Second Opinion



The much-awaited sophomore release from Family Force 5 is here at last. Dance or Die contains all the elements that fans of the Family love, but some of the songs have an altogether different feel than what you would expect after having listened to Business Up Front, Party In The Back. For instance, "How In The World" and "Share It With Me" are actually ballads. Yes...ballads. And they're done very well, possessing a very R&B feel, but the vocals are still more on the rock end of the spectrum than R&B. But the boys still jam out the album. "Dance or Die" is a fun and upbeat (and almost boy-bandish in sound) dance tune, "D-I-E 4 Y-O-U" is like "I Love You To Death" part 2 (in a good way), and for some reason "Rip It Up" reminds me of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (but maybe that's just me). One noticeable downfall is the very annoying and purposely-sung-off-key vocals in "Get Your Back Off The Wall," but the catchiness and the chopped & screwed chorus make up for it. Dance or Die is a very solid release (if I dare say so, equal to or better than Business Up Front...). It's fun, dancey, sometimes lovey, and a lot of times '80s-y. Make sure to get your hands on a copy. - Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

CD

Buy This CD Online

. Record Label: Transparent Media Group
. Album length: 11 tracks: 39 minutes, 59 seconds
. Street Date: August 19, 2008
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Dance or Die
  2. Get Your Back Off the Wall
  3. Rip it Up
  4. How in the World
  5. Fever
  6. Party Foul
  7. D-I-E 4 Y-O-U
  8. Share it with Me
  9. The First Time
  10. Wake the Dead
  11. Radiator
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

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

              
Check out the new EP from Darby Hughes!

Search JFH




This Wednesday, October 5, 2022
ALBUMS
Naomi Raine Journey: Acoustic Sessions [Tribl]


This Friday, October 7, 2022
ALBUMS
1K Phew As I Am [Lula Street]
Ben Compton Storyteller [Lula Street]
Destiny Worship Music Just Jesus [Reach]
Elevation Worship LEO (Portuguese) [Elevation]
Elevation Worship LEN (Spanish) [Elevation]
Israel & New Breed Worship Anywhere [District 11]
John Marc Kohl Still [The Worship Initiative]
Tasha Cobbs Leonard HYMNS [Motown Gospel]
Jon McLaughlin Indiana 15 Year Anniversary Edition [UMe]
Mosaic MSC This Is How I Thank The Lord (Deluxe) [Capitol CMG]
Paul Wilbur Holy Fire (Deluxe Edition) [Integrity]
Zauntee Life I Chose - EP [BEC]

SINGLES
Bryan & Katie Torwalt Sound Mind - Single [Sparrow]
Crowder I've Heard About You - Single [Capitol CMG]
David Dunn Hurt Is - Single [BEC]
for KING + COUNTRY Love Me Like I Am (feat. Jordin Sparks) - Single [Curb/Word]
Leeland Still Mighty - Single [Integrity]
REVERE Caminho No Deserto/Way Maker - Single [Integrity]
TWICE + KingsPorch Yo Declaro a Christo (I Speak Jesus - Spanish) - Single [BEC]
Vineyard Worship Look To Him (I See The Light) - Single [Vineyard]
YADA Worship Gott der Wunder (God of Wonder) - Single [Integrity]


Next Friday, October 14, 2022
ALBUMS
Steven Curtis Chapman Still [Provident]
Jordan St. Cyr No Matter What - EP [BEC]
Justin McRoberts Sliver of Hope - EP (independent)
Selah At This Table: A Christmas Album [3Cre8tive]
Selah Greatest Hymns Vol. 3 [3Cre8tive]
For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the New Album By Before Flags!




Listen to the new album by Stephanie Haavik

Check out depositphotos for royalty free images