Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Afters: Light Up The Sky Review

The Afters are finally back with their third studio project titled Light Up the Sky.  The band makes a wise turn to a more contemporary/rock sound making it available to more Christian music fans. With the release of the title track radio hit, The Afters boast creativity in this album.

“Light Up the Sky,” the opening track, is a reminder that God will never leave us or forsake us, even in times when we can’t see Him. And just as lead singer Josh Havens shared, just as sure as the sun rises every morning, God is always there to guide us through our hard times. The album starts off on this slower contemporary, but truly encouraging track. “Lift Me Up” follows on the same note, proving that the updated sound of the band works. It reminds us that:: “When I hit the ground/ You lift me up when I am weak/ Your arms wrap around me/ Your love catches me so/ I'm letting go.”

“Start Over” starts off with a bit of strings, and builds by the arrival of the chorus. This song was a chance for the lead singer to show off his wide range of vocals, through overlapping his voice with both very high and low melodies. The lyrics of the chorus seemed a bit repetitive, so I didn’t care too much about this track. “Runaway” begins like a ballad, featuring gorgeous piano music. But just when you think it’s a slower song, it builds up by the second half of the verse. It is written to someone who is running away, reminding them that “It's not too late to look back/ Hey hey hey/ you don’t have to runaway.”

“I Am Yours,” almost sounds like a Sixteen Cities track, and is a song of thanks to God for rescuing us and allowing us to be His: “You gave Your life for mine/ To have me by Your side/ I won’t look back anymore/ I am Yours.” “Life Is Sweeter” is, perhaps, the highlight of The Afters’ music – contemporary rock mixed with beautiful keyboard music. This song seems to be directed toward someone who is now in Heaven: “Life is sweeter on the other side/ I will see you on the other side/ I'll fight the stars to let me through/ I'll find a way to get to you/ Life is sweeter on the other side of here.”

“Say It Now” almost features a bit of a futuristic feel, and leans on the slower, piano side of things. The chorus features a cool harmony, as it speaks of making amends with someone who is holding secrets in their heart. The highlight of this track proved to be the very short bridge: “I hope we leave it all behind/ No more getting lost between the lines.” Things then build up again with the rocky “We Won’t Give Up.” Also featuring a booming drumbeat, this song comes in “revolution style,” with a call to keep up because “it’s not over yet.” This was the best song on Light Up the Sky in my opinion, and will, no doubt, become a fan favorite.

“Saving Grace” is a bit more contemporary, and again features the beautiful keyboard music. The Afters share how God’s saving grace rescued us from being “somewhere out in the middle.” (“Falling into you is safe and sound/ You opened up my eyes I see it now/ You’re my saving grace.) “For The First Time” has a clap-sounding drumbeat, and seems a bit futuristic, building up on the second verse.  It has a “different” type of sound that reminded me of “A Beautiful Exchange” song from Hillsong. In itself a beautiful song, it does not sound typical to The Afters’ style, and may take fans a little time to grow used to. Nevertheless, it’s peaceful sound was the perfect ending for this 10-track album. As with the entire album, I particularly enjoyed the “oh’s” that were injected in the background.

Light Up The Sky is definitely a very well thought out endeavor, featuring both ballads and rock anthems. Josh’s awesome voice blended in very well with the awesome music and inspiring lyrics. I very much enjoyed getting the chance to hear this album.

Rating 4.5/5
Release date: September 14, 2010

Track listing:
1. Light Up the Sky
2. Lift Me Up
3. Start Over
4. Runaway
5. I Am Yours
6. Life is Sweeter
7. Say It Now
8. We Won’t Give Up
9. Saving Grace
10. For the First Time

2 comments:

  1. lol, now I want it! lol :)

    thanks for sharing.
    Love,
    Bleah Briann

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've heard a couple songs from them. I want to hear more now that I've read your review! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! All comments are moderated and may take time to process.