Album Review :
The Afters - I Wish We All Could Win

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Band: The Afters
Title: I Wish We All Could Win
Label: Epic/INO

Tracklisting:
1. Beautiful Love
2. Until The World
3. Someday
4. Love Leave Me On
5. All That I Am
6. The Way You Are
7. You
8. Love Will Make You Beautiful
9. Wait
10. Thank God I’m Not The One

Recently receiving the Dove award for “New Artist Of The Year” comes The Afters, with their debut “I Wish We All Could Win”. This album has already gained them widespread media attention and I believe that will only continue to grow. From powerful guitar, solid percussion, to stellar vocals this album is an rock album bringing beautifully, epic songs.

The hit “Beautiful Love” starts off this album which by the track titles seems to have a “lovely” theme. Ok, bad joke there but throughout the album these guys present an uplifting, joyful rock album. I’m sure you’ve now at least heard the single once and if not you’re missing out, so do yourself a favor and follow one of the links below to check it out.

Next up comes a similarly rocky tune “Until The World”. The chorus is the focus of the song yet again as the music breaks forth at that point. Both first tunes seem to point to the relationships in life.

I personally think that “Someday” should be the next single off this album. It yet again follows the same layout as the past but provides an even catchier chorus and some different vocal approaches and backups. The “la-la-la’s” don’t come off cheesy but fit as they’re perfectly woven in, while harmonizing with Josh’s lead vocals.

The album changes pace a bit in the fifth track and change up topic as well. “All That I Am” is an elegant, flowing praise track. The strings add so much to this track. This is probably the most accessible Christian radio single. It would be huge in that market. Obviously, I don’t see this being the mainstream radio single with lyrics like:

“I know that You hear me when I say my prayers/I know that You’re with me even when I’m all alone,
When I close my eyes, You’re calling me closer/ When I pull away, You’re pulling me closer”

The album then jumps back into the rock mentality with “The Way You Are”, “You”, and “Love Will Make You Beautiful”. The album rounds out with two slower tracks again moves back toward the praise side of the band.

Ratings:

Album Art/Design: The album art was a little lacking and a little too basic for me. Lyrics obviously mean a lot to me so that gained them some but other than that there isn’t much to look at.

Lyrics: I am a big fan of this album lyrically. Simple yet deep. They smoothly flow from this world to the next and show their love for both. More bands should be following their example.

Marketability: Obviously, you have a band that can be the best of both worlds. They will be able to conquer both markets simultaneously so long as the label promotes them. If the current trends are an inkling then this band should be around for quite some time. They also have toured both markets which should also only help but increase their popularity.

Production: This album was very well produced for a debut. Not surprising coming from a major label. Clearly those at the helm knew what they were doing and helped capture this band’s sound nearly perfectly.

Vocals/Instrumentation: The vocals are one of the stellar parts of this album. Josh doesn’t attempt to all kinds of theatrics with his vocals but sings straightforward and clearly from his heart. His vocals match the style perfectly. The harmonization is also dead on. Musically, I’m definitely a fan of the differences in styles between the tracks, but at any time you know you’re listening to the Afters.

Overall:This album is my idea of what a Christian group (however you term that) should be. They cover all aspects of life and that includes the spiritual. It’s an encouragement to see a band bring that forth. These guys are the next big act to stand the line between the sacred and secular. Thankfully this is right at the start of their career, as the album is a combined release between Epic Records and INO (In Not Of) Records. This album has already gained rotation and that will only be helped by the recent wave of publicity it is receiving through MTV’s show “8th & Ocean” as well as making waves in the Christian market as well. I see big things to come from them.

Standout Tracks:
“Beautiful Love”, “The Way You Are”, “Love Will Make You Beautiful”

Similar to: Switchfoot, Lifehouse, Sleeping At Last

http://www.theafters.com/
http://www.myspace.com/theafters
http://www.purevolume.com/theafters
http://www.inorecords.com

Buy:
Sony Music