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Two August Sophomore Releases - Part 1 (DecembeRadio)

The words “sophomore release” can be a scary term in the music world.  Often the songs included in a debut album were written and refined over a long period of time which is frequently not the case for CD number two.  An act finally gets a record label deal and turns heads with the first release.  Will the second release have the same reaction?

This may be what fans and members of DecembeRadio and Family Force 5 are thinking.  Well, it is certainly what I was thinking before I heard each of their sophomore releases.  Family Force 5 released Dance or Die on August 19th, and DecembeRadio is gearing up for their next disc, Satisfied, this coming Tuesday August 26th.  

I put Satisfied into my computer several weeks ago at work.  The first guitar lick on “Better Man” put a huge smile on my face.  Maybe they will be able to continue that classic rock anthem sound I grew to love at their live shows.  I almost hit repeat after the first listen, but decided to move on.  “Satisfy Me” and “Believer” continues with that classic rock sound I was looking for, but perhaps with a twist of country.

Then came “For Your Glory.”  Not a bad song, but slower than the others.  I labeled this one the token worship song.  Did you know that in order to sell records in the Christian realm, you have to have at least one worship song on the album?  I also wondered if this might be one of those songs that makes it to radio, and some unsuspecting person buys the album, thinking it will be full of nice easy to listen to worship songs. And then listens to some of the rock anthems with a confused look on their face.

“Gasoline” and “Falling for You” came next and made me wish I could see these guys live again.  I guess I can see myself singing along (and losing my voice) to these songs.  “Look For Me” was my first skip song.  It’s another one of those pop songs that sells records.  Great vocals.  Good lyrics.  But give me that rock, please.  Add some kicking guitars.  Then maybe I’ll have another listen.  “Love Can” follows.  I first thought it was going to be another skip song, but the swaying gospel-like sound at the end actually caught my attention.

“Peace of Mind” brings back some of that feeling of wanting to see these guys live again.  I’ll call it my jump up and down song.  (Hard to do while sitting at my computer at work!)  “Be Alright” is a fairly simple and catchy song that might be fun live.  You know – one of those songs where the writer adds, “La la la” when they run out of lyrics.  The “oo oo oo’s” and other parts of “Powerful Thing” is reminiscent of some Third Day songs and made me wonder if there was an influence there from the tour together earlier this year.  

The record ends with the first radio release, “Find You Waiting.”  I don’t listen much to Christian radio any more, so I am not sure if this is overplayed.  But if that was the only song I had heard from DecembeRadio, I may not have had another listen.  Perhaps it was a good thing to have this song last.

Please stay tuned to inReview for a more in depth review of Satisfied and my first thoughts on Family Force 5’s Dance or Die.