Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Force 5: III Review


It’s easy to set a genre boundary on a band, but Family Force 5 does not fit under that category. They are a band that clearly thinks outside the box to bring new and innovative music to their impressive fan base. After three years and much anticipation, Family Force 5 (FF5) returns with their ten-track Tooth & Nail debut III.

Admittedly, the album doesn’t have much lyrical depth, but you can’t resist those catchy guitar hooks! The crunchy “Can You Feel It?” gets listeners into the punk rock mode of the album, as do Solomon's electrifying vocals. “Paycheck” is easily the highlight off III, a bit humorous, turning a low income into a playful track encouraging the listener to take heart even when they live “from paycheck to paycheck.” Hip-hop interjections at the end of the chorus could easily be the best part of the album as a whole!

“Wobble” takes on the traditional Family Force 5 sound, all around a fun track about dancing – or wobbling, as the band puts it. “You Got It” has an awesome pop twist with hand-clapping drumbeats that will easily have you bopping your head along. Honestly though, I didn’t appreciate the fact that the lyrics are totally directed to a girl, as are most of the tracks on this album. “Mamacita” does a fantastic job of sounding Jamaican, with guitar-picking and nice harmonies, and even has lyrics that perfectly compliment that sound.

“Tank Top” has a haunting, futuristic feel to it, making it one of the best tracks on the album musically. It speaks of people of every background coming together and living in unity, though honestly, the chorus was a little strange. “Not Alone,” already becoming a highlight, is a wonderful track encouraging the listener to hold on through the tough times. It added a nice touch of variation to III, going from the crunchy rock to a serene but strong, and emotional track.

“Dang Gurl” wasn’t that great of a track, especially musically. I probably would have had a much better impression of this track, had it not been for the ridiculous, flirting-like lyrics of the chorus. “Love Gone Wrong” keeps that message, but is ridiculously catchy musically, with a strong and steady guitar riff. My choice for second favorite off Family Force 5’s third full-length is “Get On Outta Here,” the closing track, a break-up song with very poetic lyrics that will have you singing along immediately. No doubt you’ll find the lyrics, “Get gone/ take yourself home” floating through your head in no time! And though it is a relationship track, it does have exceptional lyrics.

I had mixed feelings about Family Force 5’s III album. It was awesome hearing a comeback from FF5, and their debut Tooth & Nail project proved to be a great one! The guitar riffs and ingenuity was quite welcome. However, though FF5 is an outspokenly Christian band, it was very hard to tell. Granted, there are a handful of exceptional tracks, “Not Alone” being the best lyrically. There’s also “Get On Outta Here” and “Paycheck,” excellent tracks that are fun and a bit humorous. Overall, fans of Family Force 5 likely will be thrilled with the new project, but it isn’t one that Christian music fans concerned with lyrical content will want to pick up.

Rating: 3.5/5
Release date: October 18, 2011

Track listing:
1. Can You Feel It?
2. Paycheck
3. Wobble
4. You Got It
5. Mamacita
6. Tank Top
7. Not Alone
8. Dang Gurl
9. Love Gone Wrong
10. Get On Outta Here

5 comments:

  1. Great review Jay! I have to admit this really isn't their best effort, but I enjoyed your review!

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  2. I wasn't looking forward to the new Family Force 5 album. From hearing Not Alone and Get On Outta Here. They weren't good songs at all. I would say the songs on the first album like Luv Addict and Kountry Gentlemen along with many more were the best songs they did.

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  3. The only two songs I've ever liked from FF5 are Love Addict and Angels We Have Heard on High. Now I haven't heard much, but I've heard enough to know that they're unhealthily enamored by girls, and that's not what I look for in a good Christian band.

    Great review though, Jay!

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  4. Oooo, yah I'm concerned with lyrical content. I don't know a whole lot about FF5, but I heard among other things that the lead singer recommended books by Rob Bell and Brian McClaren, so that kinda made my skin crawl a bit.

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  5. Great review JaY! I thought it was good that you said that you can't realy tell by their lyrics on this album that they are a Christian band. I agree with but the album for the most part does have a good sound. Good job. :)

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