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Artist: Needtobreathe 
Label: Atlantic/Lava/Sparrow
Length: 11/39:43

Here is a band to make the AOR reps start counting money: young, good-looking, multi-talented musicians who are able to duplicate several different sounds of what is currently popular on the radio.   Not only that, but it turns out they can actually play a little as well.

Brothers Bear and Bryant Rinehart front the band, trading vocals and guitar work.  Both are former actors and football players: Bear holds several records at Furman University, while Bryant appeared in the movie Radio.   Their charisma on screen translates well to the record and their live performances.

"Don't Wait for Daylight" opens the disc, featuring a Dave Matthews/John Mayer/Jack Johnson vibe, while "Quit" employs an Edge-like guitar track.   "Shine On" is a Third Day meets John Mayer style of song, and "Haley" bears some resemblance to older Peter Gabriel.

My prediction is that "Knew" will be the hit among mainstream youth.  It is a pop punk song that differs from most of its counterparts: the vocals are solid, never taking on the whiny, snotty, obnoxious persona common to many songs in this genre.   "Lost" feels like the CCM crossover single, with lyrics more obviously about God than some of the others.

Needtobreathe has been well known in underground circles for awhile, appearing on stage with Collective Soul, Switchfoot, Will Hoge, Edwin McCain, and many others.  Daylight is their national debut, and one I foresee a pretty good response to nationally.  It will be interesting to see how they bridge the common industry problem of "are these guys a Christian band or not?"   If they follow the plan laid forth by bands like U2 and Switchfoot, Daylight should place them on solid ground.

Brian A. Smith
18 February 2006



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