Album Review :
The Somewhat - All Things New

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Artist: The Somewhat

Album: All Things New

Label: None

Release Date: April 19, 2011

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson


  1. If We Really Knew
  2. Depths
  3. This Is the Way
  4. Abort! Abort!
  5. Sound of the Broken
  6. Convict Us
  7. Dry
  8. Alone
  9. All Things New
  10. Capo

People who say that Christian music is terrible haven’t looked very hard. As a reviewer at IVM, I get to hear album after album of unknown artists just dripping with raw talent and creativity. The next in this long line of impressive artists is The Somewhat. With a little distortion and a lot of feeling, the songs on All Things New cry out over the sin and brokenness in this world, pointing to the grace and healing found in Christ, and challenging Christians to live with the freedom, love, and holiness that we have all been called to.

After my first listen through this record, I told someone it was a rip-off of As Cities Burn’s second album, Come Now Sleep, but that I didn’t mind because I love that sound and if ACB won’t do it anymore, why not let The Somewhat take it on? But after repeated and closer listens, there is obviously more to it than that. As you play through this record, you’ll hear elements of mewithoutYou, Blenderhead, Emery, and Brand New. James Diffenderfer, the man behind the music, wrote and played every instrument on the record, and while the melodies can be a little rough around the edges at times, it’s hardly noticeable within the decidedly raw and unpolished feel intended for All Things New.

Overall: With powerfully spiritual lyrics and edgy, raw alternative rock, The Somewhat enters the scene with honesty, sincerity, and passion. His songs are both challenging and thought-provoking. Take “Dry” for example, which slowly sings, “I’ve tried so many times to earn my salvation, but let me tell you that all my attempts turned up dry, ‘cause it’s the sinners he’s come to take home. Jesus is calling us home.” If the message of All Things New could be summed up in one word, it would be “grace.” And it’s not a cheap grace either. It’s a full, heavy, powerful grace that doesn’t hesitate to address our sin head on. It’s a message we all need to hear a little more often, and even if the music does sound a whole lot like As Cities Burn, would anyone say that’s a bad thing?