Album Review :
Children 18:3 - On The Run

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Artist: Children 18:3
Title: On The Run
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: 06/19/2012
Reviewer: Sara Walz

Tracklisting:

  1. Moment To Momen
  2. Bandits
  3. We’ll Never Say Goodbye
  4. What About Justice
  5. Jenny
  6. Always On The Run
  7. I Tried To Do The Right Thing
  8. Holding On
  9. Why Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  10. Nowhere to Run
  11. All in Your Head
  12. Drifter

For their third release on Tooth & Nail, Children 18:3 take a slightly different approach with On The Run. Teaming up with producer, Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Disciple, Pillar), the trio of siblings releases their most diverse album to date drawing from different genres to release an album that goes from rock to pop to ballad and back again. Drummer, Seth, says, “Prior to recording the project, we were just like, ‘man, let’s switch it all up and take a new approach.’” That fresh approach is unmistakable throughout the 12 tracks.

On The Run is a more polished and poppier version of the Children 18:3 we have come to know and love. There are still the heavy guitars and driving drums on songs like “What About Justice” and “Moment To Moment” that harken back to the early sound of Children 18:3 while “We’ll Never Say Goodbye” and “Why Are You Afraid of the Dark” take us in a direction that are new waters musically for the band. The beginning of “All In Your Head” is a little Family Force 5-esque with distorted vocals and drums, fitting for a song that is all about rock ‘n roll and live shows. It’s fun and loud and destined to be a show opener.

If you have seen the band perform live within the last year, you have probably heard them perform the now beloved, “Bandits” reminding us all that we are not meant to do life alone. “I Tried To Do the Right Thing” showcases the harmonies between David and Lee Marie on a solid portion of the song creating that sound that only siblings can seem to achieve as they sing “every winter melts into a spring, and every break would mend if you’d just use the proper sling.” The most surprising track on the album is “Always On The Run” where the release gets its title. This slow, ballad-like track features Lee Marie’s vocals, not the scratchy-how-does-she-scream-like-that vocals but a soft, singing voice that caught me by surprise. The distinct change in sound makes you lean in and listen to the song as it advises, “until you arrive somewhere you’ll be running.”

While the music may take a bit of a different form, the message of the band has remained strong with On The Run, “Being Christians is really our identity and it’s who we are,” asserts Seth. “Bottom line, that’s what’s important and we want to do the best we can with the platform we’ve been given to inspire people and bring them to the Lord. At the same time though, there are different levels to our lyrics, and while some songs are about faith, there are also songs about how we struggle just like anyone else, what’s going on in our lives and stories that don’t have anything specific to do with the Lord at all. The whole point is to take from it what you can, like when we’ve had people say a song helped them through a difficult season even though it may have been inspired by something completely different for us.”

Overall: On The Run took a couple of spins to grow on me but is quickly becoming a favorite of 2012. At first, I missed the “old Children 18:3” without realizing that it’s still there, it’s just shinier. They spread their proverbial wings for this release and created an album that is as unique as they are.

RIYL: Blood and Water, Icon for Hire, I Am Empire

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