Mike Mains and the Branches – Home

By sara.walz on July-24-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , | Share

Mike Mains and the Branches – Home
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
5.0 (4 votes)

Artist: Mike Mains and the Branches
Title: Home
Release Date: 07/2012
Reviewer: Sara Walz

Tracklisting:

  1. Matches
  2. Drifter
  3. Miracle
  4. Love
  5. Stop the Car
  6. Emma Ruth
  7. Beneath the Water
  8. Rush You
  9. Lady Love
  10. Stero

Home is a beautifully crafted work of art. It is more than just an album; it is one part music, one part lyrics, one part soul. Mains and Co. utilize the keys on many songs rounding out the typical guitar/bass/drums combo to bring a sound that isn’t uncharted territory but still creates it’s own waves. There is also the strong presence of “ooh’s” and “woah’s” and tambourine, creating a sound that should be cheesy yet is simply charming. Keyboardist, Shannon, offers up harmonies that you can’t imagine not being there while Mike’s vocals are unique and unforgettable. The songs move seamlessly from one to the next with each song maintaining its own sound and story, each song has its own heartbeat.

While the music on Home is one of the best examples of “indie” (for lack of a better term) music I have heard come out of the Christian music scene it is the lyrics that really drive this album home, no pun intended. “Miracle” begs the listener to realize that they were made for more, “Don’t you know that we were made miracles?/Don’t you know that we were made to keep our hands clean and our shoulders back?” While “Drifter” cries out, “My God/my God/my past haunts me.” The theme of redepmtion isn’t far behind, on “Beneath the Water” the imagery of baptism is undeniable, “Hold me/underneath the water til the old me dies/and slips out of this body/rip him out of my body/and make me new again.”

The whole album is enchanting and gripping but it was “Stereo” that solidified Mike Mains in the Branches, in my mind, as a band who raise the bar for the artistry of the craft. It is nothing crazy, but it is good, really good. Driven by the drums, it starts with some gang vocals and moves into a song about Love and how nothing else can give us what we really need. “I’ve got a crucifix above my bed/ So I forget not to pray when I go to bed/ But that can’t save me/ No, that can’t save me/ It’s not the wood that saves, it’s the man who came and wore it/ It’s not the cross that saves, but the man who came and wore it/ And he wore it well, he wore it well.”

Overall: Home is that album that you can’t stop listening to because everytime you give it another spin you peel back the layers to the record and hear something you didn’t hear before, either a guitar part you didn’t realize was there or a lyric that cuts to the core of who you are. Job well done to Mike Mains and the Branches on releasing an album that raises the bar for other bands and is giving voice to the diaries of the broken but hopeful.

 

Mike Mains and the Branches - Home, 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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About the author sara.walz

sara is a mid-twentysomethings dreamer from minneapolis, mn. she has a giant crush on jon foreman and just wants to live on a tour bus. she tweets approximately once a day: @storiesofagirl View all posts by sara.walz

23 Responses to 'Mike Mains and the Branches – Home'

  1. JahWarriah says:

    Other than the swapped tracklisting, is there any difference between this and the original “Home”? Or this just a re-release?

  2. Blah says:

    I’m sure that most of you don’t care about this these days, as Christianity is at its worst right now, but for those of us who DO care, I heard the word “shit” in the first song I listened to on Facebook. :-/

    • TylerS says:

      I do believe he says “ship” – “Life’s not some ship you sail only when you’re feeling passionate” from Stereo. I do admit though, I have a hard time hearing anything other than “shit” when “ship” is sang by anyone.

    • Luke says:

      The singer says “ship”

    • Jordan says:

      hahahahaha if it was “shit” that would be the stupidest lyric ever. Were you even listening to the rest of the lyrics or did you just hear what you thought was a naughty word so you ran here to tell on them?

    • Daniel H. says:

      Actually, it kind of makes sense. The first time I heard the song, I thought the lyrics were “Love’s not some sh** you say…” which, at least to me, sounds like it could be a legitimate lyric.

    • JahWarriah says:

      THIS again, LOL. And he DOES say “ship”, I know this for sure.

    • fusse says:

      Very typical of these days: judge and take action before checking the facts. Oh well, not so much these days. People have always been good at it.

  3. Nolan Giesbrecht says:

    “I’m sure that most of you don’t care about this these days, as Christianity is at its worst right now, but for those of us who DO care, I heard the word “shit” in the first song I listened to on Facebook. :-/”

    I love this. Christianity is at its worst and the proof is….Christians being ambivalent to curse words? Shouldn’t events like the Spanish Inquisition, the massacres during the Crusades, or slavery be more proof of dark days of the faith?

    The argument can be made that Christianity is weaker now than at other times [and the opposite argument could also easily be made], but swearing doesn’t come close to entering into that argument.

  4. Nolan Giesbrecht says:

    Jordan: yeah, I realize that. I was just responding to the sentiment that swearing is proof of Christianity’s downfall.

  5. hey guys, remember, this a review for a piece of music, not an analysis of Christianity! :D

    I need to give these guys a listen though, it’s been too long

  6. Otto G. says:

    The funniest thing is that the song being questioned does not swear at all.

  7. C says:

    I think Mike Mains is an incredible band. Been in love since purple door last year. Money in the bank musically and lyrically and even in their dress code–pretty snappy and super kind in person. Can’t wait for the next album :) God bless em!!

  8. Nolan Giesbrecht says:

    Anyone know if I can stream this album anywhere online? I tried googling, but found nothing.

  9. Ryann K says:

    personal buds of mine, love this album! could have been a tad more…creative with it but it’s legit :)

  10. BigBillSmash says:

    Emma Ruth is a great song. Good stuff.

  11. bloodwater says:

    man, I love this album

Comments closed.

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