Family Force 5 "Time Stands Still" by Andrew Funderburk (cmaddict.com) on 2014-08-15 11:27:55
Yes, there have been multiple remixes and EPs in the past three years, yet, there has been eager anticipation for new music from Family Force 5. Now, the family has returned with infectious, fun, yet, thought-provoking music with their fourth studio release, Time Stands Still. The freshness of this record is enhanced by the soulful, more pop-like vocals of former drummer, now lead singer, Jacob “Crouton” Olds. From the first beat to the very last track, there is no stopping the Force that’s returned.
The overarching themes that are driven home throughout the album are those of being authentic to oneself and the faithfulness of God. The reckless authenticity shines through tracks like the opener Sweep the Leg (You can’t stop me/You can’t drop me/You can’t block me/You can’t break me /You can’t shake me), or other songs like the more rock-geared Raised by Wolves (No cage/No chains/Untamed/Endangered/Endangered), the club-like Dance Like Nobody’s Watching (I’m gonna dance like nobody’s watching…So I’ll dance like I don’t even care/I’m gonna move like it’s not an option/I put my hands in the air/Keep ‘em here), and the album finale This is My Year (Ain’t never gonna miss a beat/Ain’t gonna be broken-hearted/Gonna leave my fear behind [Chorus] This is my year/I waited all day for it/Singing a new song/This is the chorus/I’m on my way).
The pointing towards God’s faithfulness can be found in tracks like Walk on Water, which features Melodie Wagner of Hillsong Young & Free, (I wanna walk on water/Take a leap/And step out knowing/You won’t let me sink/I wanna trust You deeper/Live life believin’/That You are/Everything You say You are), XRAY (You were there when I hit rock bottom/You were there when I left and wandered/You see inside of me…[Chorus] You see through me/You are my XRAY/My heart believes/You are my XRAY/Deeper than flesh and bone/You show me my soul), When Everything’s Changing, and Never Say Never (The impossible is possible/’Cause Your love is unstoppable/You’re holding onto me forever/Forever and ever).
Throughout the entire album, the Family has a beautiful way of presenting deep, thought-provoking moments in the middle of the synth and bass. These moments are found on songs like the title track Time Stands Still (Never gonna get stuck/Stuck on the past/Never lookin’ back/Let’s slow things down/Life’s moving too fast/Sand through the hourglass), Let It Be Love (I’ve never seen a soul set free through an argument/I’ve never seen a hurt get healed in a protest/But I’ve seen sinners turned to saints because of grace…It’s not about the stand we take/But the grace we give/It’s not about the name we make/But the life we live), and Never Say Never (Have You ever left me high and dry/For a moment ever left my side/Could You ever make a broken man/Whole again/Never say never),
In the middle of all of the above, there are breaks for just having fun with tracks like BZRK (feat. KB) (Hyped up on adrenaline/Feeling like a kid again/But the again/It’s a win, win, win again/So genuine, oh so genuine… [Chorus] BZRK going outta control/We on that FF5 going digital gold/), and the eery-space sounding song that alludes to Jet Pack Joy Ride, Jet Pack Kicks (Jet pack kicks/High in the sky/Walkin’ on air/I know how to fly/In my jet pack kicks/You can watch me hover in my jet pack kicks/All laced-up/Rockets on blast/Sonic boom/So so fast…I can see the world in my jet pack kicks).
Time Stands Still is a return to the band’s more “reckless” side. Despite the recklessness, this record displays a growth not only in musical abilities, but also a greater maturity in the way each track is presented. This album is a mastery of the artistry of music. FF5 brings to the table a perfectly blended mix of genres within the music they make, because they “realize the world’s playlist culture dictates that nobody listens to just one kind of music anymore.” And they have done the blending of their music and personal musical backgrounds excellently. The band offers up fun, light-hearted lyrics, but at the same time intermingles the songs with lyrical content that is thought-provoking and causes reflection on life. With every thumping bass beat, time may stand still, but those listening to the record definitely will not be.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Dance / Electronic / Pop
Label: Word Records
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes
Sweep the Leg (2:59)
Bzrk (Feat. Kb) (3:41)
Show Love (3:20)
Time Stands Still (3:39)
Walk On Water (feat. Melodie Wagner of Hillsong Young & Free) (3:11)
Glow In the Dark (2:52)
Raised By Wolves (3:06)
Jet Pack Kicks (3:32)
Let It Be Love (3:30)
Everybody Lose Your Mind (3:15)
Dance Like Nobody's Watching (2:51)
When Everything's Changing (3:37)
Never Say Never (2:51)
This Is My Year (2:49)