Chapters serves as Forever Changed's premature swan song. After finding a sizeable audience through their debut, The Need to Feel Alive, the guys from Tallahassee, Florida announced earlier this year that they were calling it quits, but not before releases a sophomore effort.
Forever Changed plays emotional rock mixed with hints of mainstream pop/punk acts, and a little piano to boot. But this time around, there's a little Muse-style atmosphere surrounding the record. Everything about The Need to Feel Alive is upped a notch on Chapters. Debatably better, but definitely seeming bigger on the whole, and a little more epic. Dan Cole's vocals have matured… almost sadly, considering this might be the last we hear of them. Cole has always sounded comfortable with his voice, but his potential for continued growth is still there (Not very much unlike Matt Thiessen of Relient K).
Lyrically, the album is a lot less spiritual than The Need to Feel Alive was, and a lot more relational. Yes, Chapters speaks of spiritual matters, but it's in smaller doses than on their debut. The album begins with "Never Look Down," which is actually lyrically reminiscent of The Need to Feel Alive, as it is a sort of rallying call to press forward. The next track, "Starting to Sink," however, deals with an alcoholic father. It's a fairly bleak sounding song, but it ends on a somewhat hopeful note. The rest of the album alternates from stories of relationships with the opposite sex, and our relationship with God. Chapters seems the least bit more cryptic and open ended than The Need to Feel Alive. Still, the writing is solid and flows with the emotion conveyed through the instrumentals.
Forever Changed goes out with a bang. Fans of the band will feel right at home with Chapters and shouldn't be the least bit disappointed with the boys' final piece of work before disbanding. If the first record didn't catch your interest, there's a good chance this one won't be to your fancy either. But I think I speak for a good portion of those reading this when I say: "Thank you, and you will be missed."- Review date: 7/13/06, written by Josh Taylor
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