Sanctus Real made waves in 2002 with their rocking Sparrow Records national debut Say It Loud. Produced by former Grammatrain frontman Pete Stewart, the Ohio quartet offered up hooky guitar riffs and deliciously catchy song conveniently packaged into one fantastic debut. With expectations high and a new producer, it's been a wonder how Sanctus can top themselves the second time around.
Fight The Tide is a more modest effort, taking a more laid back and artistic approach to their rock sound. The matured songwriting has some Cold Play moments while still managing to hold that Sanctus Real feel. The song's themes are even more focused on relationships with tracks like "The Fight Song," "Alone," and the golden highlight "Change Me."
People looking for a Say It Loud II will be sorely disappointed. Fight The Tide dares to take the band in another musical direction. The rock quartet clearly refuses to be boxed into a genre and more alternative tracks like the retro rock "The Show" and "Closer" are strong efforts that steer the band toward a new identity. It's a bold move for the guys to not continue on in a safe place with an established sound that works for them. While other artists can get by album after album maintaining the same sound, it's nice to see Sanctus stick their necks out here. And while I may miss the driving guitars on tracks like "Nothing To Lose" or "All I Want," Fight The Tide still has plenty of gems to boot. The album even closes out with yet another strong finale in the beautiful and tender ballad "Say Goodbye."
Perhaps it's not as powerful or catchy a record as their debut, but Sanctus Real's Fight The Tide is the bold sophomore effort few artists dare to have. It's another sure-fire Summer hit release!- Review date: 06/15/04, written by John DiBiase
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