- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Sep
- Nobody Knows
- The Real Me
- Because You Are
- Better Day
- Taken Back
- Only One
- Human Behavior
- New Day
A ski town like Vail, Colorado isn't exactly known for its music scene, but that could soon change if The Ride has anything to say about it. Back in 2004, the band took second place honors at the annual Seminar in the Rockies competition. They've also shared the stage with fellow rockers Kutless and was featured at several prominent events during the annual Gospel Music Week festivities in Nashville. Now with their debut New Day, which has singles currently in rotation at several Christian radio stations, The Ride hopes to make an even bigger splash with its brand of worshipful pop/rock.
Featuring Joseph Schiegel (lead vocals, guitar), Stephen Couch (bass), Jon Melot (guitars, background vocals) and Jason Alligood (drums), it's quickly apparent the band has musical chemistry aplenty on New Day. The songs are tight and radio-friendly, and there isn't a bad one in the bunch, thanks to thoughtful songwriting and even better musicianship. For those saving their precious iPod space, the best of the mix are "Nobody Knows" with its catchy and relatable strains, the bright congregationally minded "Because You Are," and the moodier, contemplative "Echoes," which wouldn't have been out of place on Jeremy Camp's latest disc.
But therein lies the project's biggest weakness. Even as enjoyable and compelling as these songs are, I get the feeling they could've been sung by any of the artists mentioned the "sounds like" above. Schiegel's voice could easily pass for Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) or Jon-Micah Sumrall (Kutless), and the band's sound easily falls within the camp of Third Day, newsboys, and Three Doors Down.
Yes, it's been said there's "nothing new under the sun" in music, and it's typical for a band to be influenced by various artists. The Ride just doesn't have a solid enough identity to distinguish itself from the rest of the pop/rock pack. But despite this, they definitely have some crucial elements working in their favor, namely a knack for writing a great hook and plenty of charisma. With a little guidance from a solid producer or proven A&R exec, The Ride could be well on its way.
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