Album review for “The Reckoning” by NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE may be the best band you’ve never heard of. Currently on tour with Taylor Swift, these Southern rockers draw comparisons to Kings of Leon. Yet, their
music has a far more positive message and their musicianship doesn’t suffer in any way because of it. In fact, their fourth studio album, “The Reckoning,” contains layers and layers of gritty rock, folk & country, and pop anthems that will leave you wondering why they aren’t as popular as their contemporaries.

Starting out the record with “Oohs and Ahhs,” the group launches into an edgy, satirical number about the ups and downs of success. A mandolin opens “White Fences,”
which features some of the anthem-like choruses that NEEDTOBREATHE is known for. This winning formula is also found in “Drive All Night,” “The Reckoning” and “Keep Your Eyes Open.” The band isn’t all about high energy though; they’re also very good at writing stripped down, softer tracks. “A Place Only You Can Go” sounds like a modern hymn, bagpipes and pulsing drums included, while vulnerability and Bear Rinehart’s strong, soulful voice carries “Able.”

Highlights of the album come in the form of the odd and quirky “Maybe They’re On To Us” and the sweet “Wanted Man.” On the latter, Bear sings, “You could be my Bonnie and I will be your Clyde. I know who I am my dear, I’m a wanted man. But the world I see looks good from here, right from where I stand. Together we could disappear, I’m a wanted man. So, come and get me.” More of that Southern roots fun is found in the catchy “The Devil’s Been Talkin’.” One of the strongest tracks on the record, “Angel At My Door,” features an emotional build up and powerful chorus. The emotion is carried over into the closer, “Learn to Love,” which concludes the album in a subtle, but moving way.

“The Reckoning” has already been welcomed with wide, open arms by fans. It debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and was #3 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases chart. Be sure to check out what all the hype is about!

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