Needtobreathe is one of my all time favorite bands and one of the few bands I have to everything they do and in that search I came across this beauty. It is the E.P. called La Diferencia. It was only available on the DRIVE ALL NIGHT TOUR 2013. If you went to a show on that tour and you placed a pre-order for their upcoming album ‘Rivers of the Wasteland, you received a pre-order card AND got the BRAND NEW EP called La Diferencia on CD. I actually missed that tour so I didn’t have this and I do now. The EP contains four previously unreleased live tracks and the title is quite misleading because it would make you think their were some Hispanic language songs on here but there are not…which is fine as I don’t speak Spanish anyway. The cover art I am sure was done by band member Bo Rinehart as he has been the artistic brain behind most of their visual side of the band.
The opening track, “Difference Maker” might be the best song the band has ever written. There is such a sadness and longing in the song and lyrically, it is splendid. For me, it raises question as to why are we here in this world and what is our place in that world. Is God the answer? I think that is for each of us to decide as I find faith and religion to be a personal choice. This song helped me take a longer look at myself and I believed has helped a lot. The song is not quite a demo. They call it a “work tape” so at this point it was a work in process but damn, it is so good.
Musically, it is beautiful. The song is done with an acoustic guitar, a piano, a harmonica, an occasional (yet effective) drum beat and Bear Rinehart on vocals. The instruments are used so effectively in conveying emotion and Bear’s vocals are one of those instruments. It isn’t your typical song from the band and it really stretches the boundaries of the band and shows a maturity in the songwriting and playing. Beathtaking.
The second track is “More Time” from their sophomore album from 2007 called ‘The Heat’. It is another acoustic performance that has the guitar and a whole string section. It is airy and seems to float over you. The song is about needing more time to be what you need to be to everyone. Understanding your limits and striving to do better. Don’t let the journey interrupt the dream. Remember the people that rely and need you and do what you can to be supportive of them and them of you. At least that is what I get from it. “More Time” was recorded live in Knoxville, TN.
The next track is “White Fences” off the 2011 album ‘The Reckoning’. It is a sort of happy sounding song normally, but this one is slowed down a little but the lyrics aren’t necessarily so happy. What I get from it is that we all dream of getting that house with the white picket fences but when we get it, it isn’t enough or its broken. It isn’t everything we thought it would be and so who is going to fix that problem…who knows. It sounds like there is mandolin and some keyboards and it has a good beat. Like I said, it is sort of happy sounding. “White Fences” was recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The last track, “A Place Only You Can Go”, is also from ‘The Reckoning’. Another acoustic track and this time around it was recorded in Nashville, TN. I love the string arrangement on this one as there is such a melancholy feel to the song. Its somber tone is a reflection of the lyrics which talk about one of two things. From a Christianity point of view, this could be him speaking to God and saying that he has sinned and isn’t worthy, but that there is a place in his heart for God and that he loves Him even if he doesn’t always prove it. Or the other thought is he is singing to a woman and letting her know that he screwed up and that there is nothing he can do that will make it better or prove that he loves her, but he does and she will always have a place in his heart. Either way works as this song is beautiful from beginning to end.
And there you have it. Another fabulous find and four versions of songs that I did not have. I think I might have more live songs from them then I do studio tracks and that is fine by me as I love them all. I hope you enjoyed this trek through the E.P. If find one, don’t hesitate to grab it. Thanks for stopping by and see you again soon.