The Afters File:
Reviewed by Cory Clubb
Never Going Back to OK by
"The Afters have kept their signature sound and passion for God intact, although here they have risen to a higher level of sound and quality."
Finally, after three years and squeezing as much success as they could from their first album, I Wish We All Could Win, Texas rockers, The Afters are back. And their sophomore effort entitled Never Going Back to OK, was worth quite the wait.
The band gained much success with their first album, which made it hard to top it, but with Never…, they’ve outdone themselves. When I first listened to the new record, I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until I kept getting the catchy tune of the title track, “Never Going Back to OK”, stuck in my head that I gave it a good listen. The Afters have kept their signature sound and passion for God intact, although here they have risen to a higher level of sound and quality.
Tracks like “Ocean Wide”, “Tonight”, and “Beautiful Words” will fancy fans of their first album. While on the title track and the song “Myspace Girl” the band turns up the beat creating foot tapping hits. It’s too bad that it couldn’t be warmer weather when this album released, it’s set to be a “roll the windows down” rocker. The songs “We Are the Sound” and “Forty- Two” have a Switchfoot rock type of feel, but then the band slows down on passionate tracks “Summer Again” and “One Moment Away”.
Singer Joshua Havens belts out clear, moving vocals that are accurately spiritual. On “Keeping Me Alive”, Havens describes a deeper love of Jesus, telling us to be ourselves through Christ. On the cut, “Falling Into Place”, the lyrics point out a rightness of belonging and how Christ fills our personal empty voids.
Even though it’s been a long time since we’ve heard from these guys, Never Going Back to Ok is such a remarkable album. The Afters have honestly put together some beautiful tracks and soulful recordings as well as having grown in maturity as a group. Musically, lyrically, and spiritually this album hits all the marks, creating a standard for all future artists and listeners. The Afters are set to sprout more success with this release as they ascend into a higher level of respect among their peers and fans.
Cory Clubb is author of the novel Saved by Grace and currently working on his first thriller. He holds a degree in Graphic Design and is always seeking to advance his talent as a writer. He is an avid reader, movie buff, and music enthusiast, tools he uses to infuse his imagination. He lives in central Illinois with his wife and three sons. You can find out more about his projects at his blog.