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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Even Heroes Need a Parachute

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Apr
Even Heroes Need a Parachute
Sounds like … melodic modern rock and power pop that evokes Foo Fighters, Sanctus Real, Jimmy Eat World, and The All American Rejects, with shades of Building 429 and Kutless during the ballads.At a glance … stronger, more distinctive songwriting will eventually help elevate This Beautiful Republic from the good band heard on this debut to the great band they're capable of becoming.Track Listing Casting Off
Going Under
Jesus to the World
Right Now
Black Box
The Surface
Let's Be Honest
New Year
Something to Deny
Fears & Failures
Cloud Cover

Back in the '90s, Forefront Records lived up to its name as the frontrunner for groundbreaking Christian artists. But aside from releases by tobyMac, Audio Adrenaline, and Rebecca St. James, the label has remained quiet the last five years ever since it was absorbed into EMI Christian Music Group. It's still active, however, only taking the time to discover the right act and hone its skills. They've decided upon This Beautiful Republic, a modern rock band from Toledo, Ohio making its debut with Even Heroes Need a Parachute.

Not far removed stylistically from friends and fellow Toledo-ans Sanctus Real, lead singer Ben Olin resembles Matt Morginsky (The Supertones) fronting the power pop of Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World. TBR has no weakness in performance, as if they've tightly rehearsed it for at least five years. Then again, this sound has been around for at least that long, though producer Allen Salmon assists in keeping it fresh.

This band is at its best when offering clear-cut expressions of faith without resorting to hackneyed expressions. The power pop of "Black Box" questions what legacy Christians will leave behind after their "plane crash," while "Something to Deny" uses faith as proof for the existence of God, and moody "Cloud Cover" effectively conveys faith during silent times from the Lord.

Less impressive are overly familiar tracks like "Right Now," "Let's Be Honest," and "New Year," all simply worded reminders that we're forgiven, never beyond the transforming power of Christ. And though "Jesus to the World" is a fair ballad affirming that we are Jesus' ambassadors to the world, it seems unfocused trying to squeeze in the "not home yet" theme.

This Beautiful Republic sounds less like it's on the forefront of innovative Christian rock, more like it's casually late to the power pop party. But make no mistake—they do belong at that party. This is still a solidly put together debut from a band capable of improving from good to great with growth in songwriting.

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