NEEDTOBREATHE has been hard at it for more than a decade and they’ve had their ups and downs. Throughout all of the music they’ve released though, they’ve managed to evolve and change into different iterations. With their new album, H A R D L O V E the band adds a few new things to their typical recipe for new music and for the most part, it works and it should keep fans of the band happy yet again.
With any NEEDTOBREATHE album, it’s important to note that Bear Reinhardt is going to be a strong focus. His distinct voice is perfect for the band’s gospel rock sound. Every song is Reinhardt’s show and he does a good job of driving all of them. The elements of any NEEDTOBREATHE album is the percussion. They’ve used big drums, claps, and anything else they can use to create rhythms and they allow them to breathe. They let the melody of Reinhardt’s vocal to drive songs, but somehow manage to let those drums still be a big part of what they do. Here, that’s being done just like they’ve done in the past but they’re also using synths and computer-generated sounds far more than they’ve ever done. It makes this a unique NEEDTOBREATHE album, and for the most part that works. All of these songs will rank high in fans’ ratings, but the album typically loses some momentum in its final four songs.
NEEDTOBREATHE’s H A R D L O V E is another solid entry into the band’s catalog. They’re still doing what they love and they’re doing it as passionately now as they did when they were just getting started. Fans should be fans and casual listeners of the band should be with this one.