A couple months back, Needtobreathe sent out emails to their fans and told us some news about a new album, ‘Out of Body’. However, at the same time they discussed the heartbreaking news that Bo Rinehart, lead guitar and founding member, was leaving the band. This caused great pause to me as Bo is the creative mind behind the band. He did a lot of the art, the video concepts, he was a songwriter as well and a hell of a musician. He was one of the many reasons, I love this band. I now had worries about the new album and how the band was going to sound.
This only left 3 members of the band…
- Bear Rinehart, lead singer, guitar
- Josh Lovelace – hammond organ and piano
- Seth Bolt – bass and drums (not at the same time)
I still ordered the album the day it went available for pre-order and I even ordered the Vinyl and CD bundle because why not. Artistically, the cover of the album was amazing, the color of the vinyl was stunning and everything about the concept was beautiful and some of the best the band has done. And you can see below, everything looks great…
Now, how does the album sound and what is the album about? Needtobreathe stated “The album is arranged to take you on a journey of healing and wonderment. Sometimes, it takes a complete change of perspective to see the beauty around us and this album is the music for your spaceship. Close your eyes, let your mind wander… This is Out of Body.” I have to say that description is pretty damn accurate as you do feel like you have a been on a journey that has taken you through so many emotions and feelings. It takes you up, it brings you down and in the end you are completely and utterly satisfied.
Bo isn’t completely devoid of this album as he does have several writing credits so he did contribute a little, but it was left to the others to record and produce the sound that is so recognizable as Needtobreathe. The album sees them keep their sound in tact while at the same time explore new areas of their sound and push it to limits they have never reached before and all with great success.
The album open’s with “Mercy’s Shore” which is a folk song with a foot-stomping beat that waxes poetic about our human struggles and how we can’t do things alone. Sometimes we have to reach out to a higher power for the help we so desperately need. Then the energy is taken up with the song “Alive”. Its frantic pace and line that says they are “running down hill” is exactly what the song feels like. The drum sound is immense and the band rocks out a little on this one.
Now we get to one of the best songs on the album which I shouldn’t say because there are a number of those. “Hang On” is a song that reminds us to hang on to those little moments, hang on to that innocence that we once had, hang on to the excitement you feel on doing something for the first time. It is an upbeat track with some angelic backing vocals and chorus that grabs hold and engulfs you with the excitement of life.
Another amazing song is “Survival” featuring Drew and Ellie Holcomb is a full on gospel revival. I felt like I was in church with this one. Such powerful music, vocals and message and it filled my heart. The song is about how overwhelmed we can get with all life has thrown at us and right now it is throwing everything including that proverbial kitchen sink. When we struggle and need saving and we know that that rescue is coming to us from the one above is what keeps us moving forward. The 3 vocalists on this one adds to the beauty of this gem of a song.
“Child Again” is another example of what I love about the band. It isn’t necessarily always the music, but the message is just as important. When you build up those walls around you and stop letting people in and stop letting life in, that sometimes you need to break those walls down and enjoy life like when we were a child. That innocence and excitement we miss out on as we get older. The song is more of a ballad and has an angelic, otherworldly feel to it. When Bear goes to that higher pitch in the chorus, it sounds so effortlessly and wonderful. A gorgeous song.
The title track, “Out of Body” kicks off side 2 on the Vinyl and is another powerful song. With Covid, we are more alone and by ourselves, but we were made to be around people and experience life. This song is pushing us to step out of our normal selves and be who we were made to be. The song is mid-tempo almost dance beat with the drums and full of life and energy that will keep you humming this song long after it is over. Bear is killing it vocally as he always does and he is able to convey all the emotions needed to get the point across. I don’t know if they have ever done a song like this before and I see why it is the title track.
Another ballad type song called “Who Am I” is the most emotional and powerful of all the songs’ messages. It is about not feeling worthy enough to be loved and pushing people away, but they love you regardless. It is a journey to help you understand that you are worthy and no matter your faults you will be loved, supported and cherished. We all need to have those feelings. It is a song that must be heard to grasp the real power of the song as I can’t find the words to describe it.
“Banks” is a love song to the band members wives. A thank you for their continuous support through their band madness. They wanted to let them know they are deeply loved. The “banks” are the banks of a river that supports the water on its journey. It is another well-crafted and beautiful song and the song-writing on this album has been nothing short of amazing and is why I love these guys so much. I can connect to the songs, they have meaning to me and when I hear them, I think they wrote the songs for me.
“Riding High” is a straight-up southern rock song and back to the roots of the band. It is a fun song and nice to have an upbeat rocker to lift us up again but after this journey I don’t know if it fits with the rest of the album. I won’t delete it as on its own its still a great song with some great guitar picking and it is the heaviest song on the album and I like it heavy, only a little out of place.
The next track, “Bottom of a Heartbreak” is another ballad about being at rock bottom and reaching out to someone for help guide you out of your pit of despair. It is really a sad song and a lot darker than everything else on the album. Bear almost sounds like he is crying at times as he pours his heart in to the song. The chorus sounding background vocals at the end and the power of the music picking up as the song reaches it crescendo takes me back to a church feel and I am okay with that.
The album ends with “Seasons” and is the perfect way to the album. The song talks about how life takes through many ups and downs as the seasons do and lately life has thrown us more downs than ups. If we are around the people we love and those that support us, we can do anything and accomplish anything and right now the world needs to feel that. A perfect song for the times. A slower tempo song that methodically pushes through the verses and that constant drum beat. The chorus is so full of harmonies and an almost angelic feel like the heaven’s are singing down to us.
They have given us an album that is not the end of an era but the start of a new chapter in the band’s evolution and now 7 albums in they feel revived, refreshed and reborn. A new direction that made me uncomfortable when I heard Bo’s leaving, now I feel relieved that this is still the Needtobreathe I love, but with a different energy that keeps things fresh and alive and completely excited about what is still left to explore. They don’t deliver the same old, same old…they keep striving to do better than the last and keep pushing themselves to explore deeper in to their hearts and minds to bring us not an album, but an experience and that is reflective of what is going on in the world and that feels like it is lifting us up instead of tearing us down. It is the perfect album at the perfect time. I will score it a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars as this is already one of my favorite albums of the year after only a couple short weeks. If you want something positive in your life, give it a try. If you want good music, give it a try…basically…give it a try!
10 thoughts on “Needtobreathe – ‘Out of Body’ – Album Review”
I was waiting on this from you. I have a friend who loves them. I’ll start listening to them more. Sound like winners to me! Nice write up.
Maybe the brother will still be involved down the road as in cowriting and such. As long as they don’t become Liam and Noel towards each other.
Great write up. As long as the voice stays the same NEEDTOBREATHE will keep evolving. I had to listen to it a few times. I like it.
Out of Body, Banks, Riding High and Seasons are my favorites. And I really like the lyrics in Riding High and Seasons.
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Glad you like it. Agreed that as long as Bear is there, it will still be Needtobreathe.
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Persuasive closing line, John – as a fan of music that is both positive & good, sold!
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