Dave's Beat of the Week - September 18, 2008

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 1:09 PM

If you're an avid, die-hard, XR listener (if not, get in the game) you might remember that the first interview I lined up after joining the show as a co-host almost two years ago was with a new band on Flicker Records called Nevertheless. I'd be really impressed if you recall that. Don't worry if you don't. It might actually be proof that you have a life! Still, if ever an XR version of Trivial Pursuit hits the market, you'll be one up on everyone else if you're reading this.

Back then I was listening quite heavily to Nevertheless' debut "Live Like You're Alive." It was a strong first effort with a ton of promise. Records like that lead to strong expectations for the sophomore release which usually goes either one of three ways: major letdown, more of the same, or big artistic jump that solidifies the band/artist as a player. I'm happy to report that Nevertheless falls into the third category with "In The Making...."

While the title may imply that this is a young band's effort to find out who they are, the record itself shows that they're already way ahead of the curve both lyrically and musically. There's a recurring theme of needing God's grace when what's happening on the inside doesn't match the face that we show to the world. Songs like "It's True," "When I'm Alone," and the brutatlly honest "Found My Way Back Again" show the poignant and poetic longings of the soul to be right with God in all facets of our lives. And while there are still the requisite,pop (not quite punk)/rock sounds ala early Relient K to be found here (check out "Long Shot" for proof), "In The Making...", builds on that sound with a wall of piano and acoustic guitar that give the songs a backbone lacking in their debut. Think Run Kid Run meets Jars of Clay and you're in the ballpark.

Other highlights include "Sleeping In" (currently playing on XR Light)with its warning against spiritual apathy, "Topics" which sounds as if it could be used in one of those "Parents, talk to your kids about drugs" commercials, and "I Needed This" which deals with the topic of how suffering can draw us closer to God. I often have to remind myself that this is a young band because it's hard to belive it when they're dropping lyrics like "You'll never hear me say I wanted it this way/It hurts me everytime I breathe/No matter what I'm told, I'm left out feeling cold/But I know I needed this all along." That's usually a lesson learned later on in life rather than the 22-25 years these guys have been around.

Nevertheless is the type of band that gives me hope that Christian music is relevant to our culture. This is a record for the jaded. It's savagely truthful about the human condition and what the heart is capable of yet relentlessly hopeful in that it points to the One who has overcome the world.

For more info on Nevertheless go to www.neverthelessmusic.com or www.myspace.com/nevertheless.

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