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The Outsiders

Needtobreathe's new CD, The Outsiders, came out yesterday (the following is my geek-out fanfest)! I pre-ordered and it came in the mail on Monday. It was fun to listen to while we did our manual labor at the house.

I burned an extra copy so Anthony and I could share and I've already begun the obsessive repeat listening in my car, which is where I think it sounds best (when I'm alone and can turn it up really loud and sing along). I could gush about the entire album, but here are the highlights:

I'm loving "Prisoner", which is a bluesy, rock love song. I hope they release it as a single, because it is really fun and catchy. And my favorite song from their live shows "Girl Named Tennessee" is finally on an album. It's better live, but I still rock out to it. "She's got the prettiest shoes/And I love the way she moves/I'll never dance like this again"

"Valley of Tomorrow" has got that epic, rock'n'dance-a-billy style that was so good on their previous albums (and is good for running and commutes) "I pulled a 38 out of my bleeding heart/I killed my selfishness for bringing me this far/This far away from you". "What You've Done to Me" makes me smile because it's about a "midwest sweetheart". And isn't that something you'd like to be thought of as?

"Stones Under Rushing Water" is a hauntingly heartfelt duet with Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins, who reminds me of Patty Griffin. "Why don't we dance anymore? I'm not OK with that." This is something different for them, I wonder if they plan to release it.

"These Hard Times" reminds me of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" with a good Needtobreathe spin. "Give me something vicious/Give me something I can be"

"Something Beautiful" stands out to me as a traditionally produced Christian song. Synth strings, less soulful (isn't it ironic) and commercial. Even the vocals at times sound like it could be Steven Curtis Chapman. I'm guessing they plan it for a Christian release. But honestly, it's still a great song too.

"Lay 'em Down" is currently 13 on the Christian charts Which is the kind of Christian music I like better than what they usually feature on Contemporary Christian Radio (video below). I can imagine youth groups using "Garden" during an altar call, with it's references to the night before crucifixion. Personally, if I was a youth leader, I'd use it during Holy week to illustrate the human-ness of Jesus and let kids make the decision about faith without the public scrutiny.

It's interesting how they straddle the Christian and secular music genres, some songs are more blatantly religious than others (but really only if you are looking for it) and some are straight up love songs. In past CDs I think they have blurred their messaging a bit more.

They'll be at the Varsity on October 29th!

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