Reviewed by Christa A.
Even Heroes Need A Parachute
This Beautiful Republic
"...a promising introduction to a band you'll certainly be hearing more about in the coming year."
Apparently, there’s something in the water in Toledo. Or at least something that sparks a particular brand of creativity, as this Ohio city is not only the home of successful pop rockers Sanctus Real, but ForeFront Records’ latest act This Beautiful Republic. And much like Sanctus Real, who’s been around for more than five years now, good things are bound to be in store for TBR, if its debut disc serves as any indication.
Like Sanctus Real, Starfield or the soon-to-be-defunct Audio Adrenaline, TBR’s music has that diverse, span-the-genres sound that’ll attract a variety of fans. Polished enough to be a surefire hit on Christian radio, songs like the spunky opener “Casting Off” and the catchy, hook-laden “Going Under” also have that mainstream flair that should sound pretty sweet live, thanks to memorable lyrics and high-quality production.
But after getting off to such a strong start, the disc lags a little in the middle with more clichéd fare like “Jesus to the World” and “Right Now.” While the messages conveyed are certainly timely, it’s so predictable both lyrically and sonically that it makes it difficult to distinguish TBP from a slew of its peers.
With “Black Box,” though, things pick right back up as the band kicks it up a notch, providing one of the most rockin’ moments of the disc. It’s here where the audience finally hears frontman Ben Olin really flex his vocal muscles to surprising effect. And while he handles slower tracks with aplomb, too, it’s clear that he does better with rock, which is what I’d like to hear TBR do more of next time around. But that minor gripe aside, Even Heroes Need a Parachute is a promising introduction to a band you’ll certainly be hearing more about in the coming year.
Christa A. Banister is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in music, movies and book-related reviews and interviews. She's also the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers (NavPress). Based in St. Paul, Minn., where she lives with her hubby Will, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog. For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.