It’s been almost 3 years since southern-rock band Needtobreathe have released an album. For fans it has been a long wait but it’s finally here! Their 5th studio album “Rivers in the Wasteland” was released on Wednesday and it was certainly worth waiting for. It was evident when the band simultaneously released the first two singles from the album (The Heart & Difference Maker), back in January, that they were headed in the right direction.
Their previous record, The Reckoning, was an indisputable hit. It was the No. 1 Billboard Christian Album, and in the same week was No. 1 on Billboard Rock Albums. The Reckoning along with their previous albums were very much old-school southern rock. This album is no different. The group have a very distinct southern sound that definitely holds true on this record. However, it is interesting that they also explores a somewhat more modern acoustic sound, evident in tracks like “Multiplied” and their hit single “The Heart”, which the band recently preformed on The Ellen Show.
There’s 11 tracks in total on the record including the hit single “The Heart”. I have to say, it’s rare to find an album these days that you can listen to without skipping a track and by and large I really can’t say I had to skip very many of these. There certainly aren’t any “filler” tracks. Every song is well written and well produced, which is refreshing. The album is fluid and transitions smoothly from upbeat country-rock tracks to slower ballads. My personal favourites have to be “Rise Again”, “Difference Maker” and ”Brother “.
Often people have preconceived notions about bands or artists in the Christian genre but I suggest holding back any assumptions about Needtobreathe based on their genre before listening to “Rivers in the Wasteland”. This is an album for music lovers. Chances are if you’re into old school country rock like The Eagles or new school rockers like Kings of Leon, you are going to want to check out this album. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
In many ways it’s hard to believe this is the same band that released “Daylight” back in 2006. Their style hasn’t changed dramatically, they have just progressed massively and I, for one, love where this band is headed. It’s a huge thumbs up from me. Overall I’d give “Rivers in the Wasteland” a 9/10.
Check out the album on iTunes.