Album review for “The Outsiders” by NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE is a quartet based out of South Carolina. If you’re into bands with a bit of country flair, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with NEEDTOBREATHE’s newest album, “The Outsiders.” The record opens with a lone banjo pickin’ away and Bear Rinehart’s powerful vocals belting out the title track. From there, you have anthem after anthem with rich harmonies, deep lyrics, and mandolins and more banjos layered upon piano and electric guitar. The first single from the album, “Lay ‘Em Down,” is a throwback to an old gospel tune, complete with hand clapping and foot stomping. I think other listeners will agree with me, these slower, soulful songs are close to unmatched. The same can be said about the heartbreaking and beautiful “Stones Under Rushing Water” which is a highlight on the record, for me. “Hurricane” is probably the most complex and stunning of the tracks on this album. It’s a real rocker and everyone, no matter what your taste in music, should check it out. “Prisoner” is another highlight. The tempo is set with a piano and drums and a slide guitar accompanies Bear’s distorted vocals singing about a girl who has him “locked up” in her heart. This song also includes a great little guitar solo in the vein of Robert Randolph. “Won’t Turn Back” is a beautiful tune about sticking by your partner even if distance separates you or tough times try and break the relationship apart. Things pick back up again with “Girl Named Tennessee” and the boys get spiritual with “Something Beautiful” and “Garden.” The closing track, “Let Us Love,” sums up the record and the band nicely. After listening to this album, you’ll wonder (like me), why NEEDTOBREATHE isn’t as popular or critically acclaimed as they should be.

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