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Building 429 Purposely Scales Back on "Rise"

  • David McCreary CCM Magazine
  • 2006 6 Mar
Building 429 Purposely Scales Back on "Rise"

Artist:  Building 429
Title:  "Rise"
Label:  Word Records

Unless you’ve been holed up in a cave somewhere lately, you’re probably familiar with the breakout success of post-grunge pop/rock outfit Building 429 and its ubiquitous hit single “Glory Defined.” Still reaping the benefits of steady radio airplay, stellar album sales and a 2005 GMA “New Artist of the Year” Award, the band returns with "Rise," its second full-length studio album.  

It doesn’t take long to determine that, this time around, Building 429 purposely scales back the overproduced glossiness of its previous material and delivers a more raw-edge offering. Produced by Monroe Jones (Chris Rice, Third Day), the result comes off sounding reasonably close to live performance. In some respects, it’s a risky move, as many of the tracks on "Rise" don’t fit into the band’s typical radio-friendly formula. But more likely than not, Building’s core fans will find that this release resonates with sonic authenticity.

While the band’s sound shares company with the likes of Nickelback and 3 Doors Down (with an additional nod to Jeremy Camp), Building 429 differentiates itself with the soulful intensity of front man Jason Roy. Whether resolutely belting out the chorus of “Fearless” or delivering an emotion-laden avowal on standout closer “Alive,” Roy proves he has the goods to go the long haul. Most of the album’s 11 cuts are anchored on Roy’s commanding vocals and substantive lyrical message, backed by the requisite supply of sweeping choruses, guitar-driven melodies and pulsating percussion.

Thematically, Building 429 weighs in on topics such as teen suicide (“Home”), the destructive power of the tongue (“Fighting to Survive”) and God’s unconditional love (“Because You’re Mine”). The disc’s title track addresses the importance of viewing others through God’s eyes, while “Empty,” which features Michael Tait (dc talk, Tait) on background vocals, speaks of every believer’s sufficiency in Christ.

If any constructive criticism should be given, it’s that Building 429 seems to be holding out on us. At times during the set, the band emotes a sense of urgency bigger than its music (witness the sublime yet insubstantial foundation of mid-tempo cut “I Believe”). Then there are cases like “Now That It’s Over,” where it appears the guys are ready to cut loose only to stop short, leaving the listener somewhat denied. But underneath it all, "Rise" still represents a step in the right direction for a band with great potential. It’s refreshing to see a group that’s not afraid to throw off the chains of market dictates and push its music toward the brink.

© 2006 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to subscribe.