Reviewed by Cory Clubb
"This debut release is full of energy and it works well..."
Formally know as Casting Pearls, the band Vota jumps out with their first self-titled release as a newly formed band. Guitarist, Bryan Olesen, from famed Christian band Newsboys, says the reason for making the name change was because of ultra popular group Casting Crowns’ similar moniker. They didn’t want any confusion between the two bands. Adding a new member to the trio, getting new management and signing with a new label, it seemed a good move to make.
Exploding out the gate with “Hard to Believe”, this track sets the standard for most of the album. The rate slows down and drips with emotion on “Honestly”, but picks right back up with “Not Finished”. Most other tracks are stacked with heavy guitar layers and fueled beats. A lot of the album is catchy, but the song “Give It to Me” sounds like a recycled medium of Vota’s own first track off the album.
The message Vota brings in their sound and music is completely direct and to the point. On the track “Be Mine” it simply pleads to Christ for us to be His for life. “Bye Bye” questions our hearts and the decisions we make in life. Redemption is the theme on track “Free To Fail” as the lead sings “You are the who’s giving me more than I could repay.” Other definitions of songs are love, hope, and rescue.
This debut release is full of energy and it works well, but gets kind of tired after a full listen. Songs begin to sound similar to one another and strung out. Vota sounds like a Christian version of Maroon 5, with a touch of Tree 63 and Sanctus Real mixed in. It’s a nice second step to the band’s earlier release as Casting Pearls, but nothing we haven’t heard before.
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.