The Afters "Live On Forever" by Andrew Funderburk (cmaddict.com) on 2016-09-28 10:14:41
Throughout their career, The Afters have morphed musically, and somewhat lyrically, over their career beginning in 2001. Beginning with a rock fueled sound that moved into a peppy pop/electro sound that eventually led to their last few records being more geared toward the radio friendly CCM sound. With their sixth album, Live On Forever, there is the feel of the edginess that they started off with; however, that feel is more weak than strong.
The thing that people remember about a song is usually the chorus. While this album’s choruses are easy to get ingrained in one’s mind, it’s mainly due to the repetition of the words. This is found on almost every song of this ten track record. In that though, the themes of the tracks promote hope in troubled times and continuing to press on. In that aspect, the album is very consistent. The musical composition is a little different.
The album begins with “Shadows,” which musically and lyrically is the best piece on the record. It holds many different elements of a synth-rock sound, carrying some connotations of Imagine Dragons. “Live On Forever” continues with pop-driven, upbeat songs “Battles,” “Sunrise,” and “Time of My Life,” which are somewhat interesting as follow-ups to the first track, as they feel more like a band transitioning from a teen pop sound to a more mature adult sound. The last half of the album levels out somewhat musically and then ramps up to the edgy “Legends,” but then drops sharply to the lightest song on the album, “When You’re With Me,” which is only a guitar and some strings.
If the album could be said to have a focus, it would be that of hope. Throughout the project, each track is uplifting and encourages the listener towards the hope the band sings of - Jesus. Beyond that, the album feels like The Afters are trying to musically transition into yet a new sound. Some elements bring in their original feel blended with their newer sounds, yet “Live On Forever” still largely falls into the mediocre, CCM sound lyrically and musically. Maybe the next project will prove to be stepping into whatever it might be that’s next.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Fair Trade Services
Release Date: September 9, 2016
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes
Time of My Life (3:25)
Wake Up My Heart (3:46)
Live On Forever (4:19)
Eyes of a Believer (3:26)
When You're With Me (3:35)