Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chasen: That Was Then, This is Now Review

Chasen's sophomore project That Was Then, This is Now is receiving much acclaim. With several radio singles and endorsements from the Christian music industry, Chasen's rocker album is a solid project sure to become a favorite of the listener.

The radio single "Castaway" gets things rocking with an awesome piano/rock mix, that was an immediate sensation for me. "Castaway" shares how Jesus came and "gave us a second chance" and rescued us from being a runaway. It is no wonder that this track is receiving high acclaim -- it was easily one of the highlights from this Chasen project. "Love In Your Name" begins with a short drum solo that walks into the same atmosphere of its preceeder. Speaking of the love that we find in Jesus, this track definitely seemed to accentuate Chasen Callahan's wide-range vocals, showing off his high and low vocals throughout the song.

Chasen's first single from That Was Then, This Is Now, "On and On" takes its place well on the album's set up, slowing down to more of a contemporary, acoustic-guitar based track. Sounding similar to Romans 8, the message of this song is very deep and connects with the reader instantaneously. Originally being the track that won me over to Chasen, I very much enjoyed the Biblical lyrics from the chorus: "Some say we need a miracle/ some say there's no hope at all but I know that Your love is strong/ it goes on and one/ we'll rise up when it gets us down/ we'll be the voice in a blaring crowd cause we know Your love will lead us home/ it goes on and on." Hands down, "On and On" was the best track on Chasen's second project.

The strong point of the track "Leave You Alone" was the piano instrumental that began both verses and was predominant throughout the song. "Leave You Alone" speaks to the heart of someone trying to do things their own way, encouraging them to look to God for help  ("You'll never have to do this alone/ walking the tightrope and bracing the fall..."). Besides boasting on behalf of Chasen's creative lyrics, I very much enjoyed the fill-ins that make this track extremely catchy. "Airplanes" was a bit average, in my opinion, although I enjoyed the fast-paced vocals and the booming drums, as Chasen reminds the listener that those who we have lost on this earth will be seen again one day in Heaven, and that they will "be waiting for you."

"One in A Million" is Chasen's third radio single from this album, which is no surprise after first listen. Mixed with the booming drums and strong electric guitars, this track from That Was Then, This Is Now speaks of taking one step at a time, and is a prayer to God to remove us from the chains of doubt in our life. "Bullet" sounds comparable to Stellar Kart, at first making Chasen's voice sound electronic, an effect which I found very enjoyable. Speaking of celebrating our freedom in Christ, I enjoyed the upbeat lyrics of the chorus: "My voice rings out rings out/ louder and louder now/ victorious you'll be/ 'cause we are free we are free/ together let's sing out/ like an anthem in this crowd/ we are free we are free/ louder now we are free!"

"Eyes of A Rescue" begins on the slower side of things as a nice contemporary track with a hint of a sad tone to it, but progesses to a track about as upbeat as the rest of the tracks on this album, and speaks to someone going through a hard time: "So I'm looking up but you're burning out/ my heart can't stand how we turned out/ no I can't help but look at you through the eyes of a rescue." "Slow Down" ironically doesn't slow things down, but does contain a highly enjoyable string intro that appeared through the track, and speaks from God to the listener, reminding them to cast their burdens to God: "Slow down take a breath in this moment/ leave all the worries you're carrying/ be still in the midst of the madness/ let go of all that you fear 'cause/ I've already set your heart free/ so leave all the changing to me..." "There Is Love" disappointed me slightly, being the slowest track on the record, beginning with little more than acoustic guitar. Sounding like a campfire track, this track retains the lyrical content of the preceeding track, speaking of the love we can find in God's arm. The track does progress with a steady drum beat, but it didn't seem to fit along with the other  upbeat, catchy tracks. Nevertheless, the track was beautiful and will no doubt be a favorite of some Chasen fans.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chasen's That Was Then, This is Now album. I was actually quite a bit surprised by how it was an immediate sensation, as the lyrics are deeply rooted in encouraging Biblical messages and the high-energy rock was very catchy. Chasen's That Was Then, This is Now album is likely one that fans of Kutless, The Afters, or Sixteen Cities will enjoy for both style and vocals. You will enjoy this upbeat, catchy album from Chasen from start to finish!

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: March 9, 2010

Track listing:
1. Castaway
2. Love In Your Name
3. On and On
4. Leave You Alone
5. Airplanes
6. One In A Million
7. Bullet
8. Eyes of A Rescue
9. Slow Down
10. There Is Love


  1. Great review! Chasen is a great band.

  2. Awesome album from Chasen. I love it. Good review too.


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