Artist: Needtobreathe

Title: The Reckoning

Label: Atlantic

When you come from a small, rural town in South Carolina called Possum Kingdom, you are named after a college, football coach, your dad is an Assembly of God preacher who runs a Christian camp, you will grow up with one of two psyches.

Either you will accept your life's humble, given venue or you will grow up with a chip on your shoulder that pushes you to make the whole world take notice of your voice. NEEDTOBREATHE's Bear and Bo Rinehart are living the life of the later and the world is beginning to listen.

Commercial success is happening for the band in both Christian music circles and with mainstream and alternative rock/pop charts. Their new album, The Reckoning, reached #6 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and has two hits currently playing in the Christian radio markets.

On their website Bear describes the energy and focus for this album, "We wanted to make an important record in the way that people used to make records. Bands rarely have the time that allows them to create a game-changing album like Born to Run, Rumours, or Damn The Torpedoes. So we said, ‘Let's set ourselves up to do that. Let's believe in the songs enough that we're willing to take the time they need and really push ourselves. It may sound naïve, but we still have a dream that we're going to make a record that's going to change everything for us."

The Reckoning opens with "Oohs and Ahhs," a booming rock song that announces that though the band has achieved "everything a man could need," from success and their fans' cheering that they "still got a mountain full of mouths to feed." And so they launch into thirteen additional tracks, all which point back lyrically to the title and theme of reckoning. Dissecting the lyrics, which are clearly distinguished with Bear's raw, Bob Segar-like voice, is a reflective journey worth listening to and pondering again and again.

Musically the album is flawless. While the band is known for its fan-pleasing, live shows, the group's growth in the studio is very noticeable. The Reckoning is another step up for NEEDTOBREATE and will gather more attention, awards and fans across the music genres. 

*This review first published 2/21/2012

**Listen to this album on Spotify