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JFH Staff Review

Opposite Way

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 40 minutes, 30 seconds
Street Date: February 26, 2008

Leeland's critically lauded '06 debut Sound of Melodies was a very exciting first step in the career of one of the most talented new bands to come around in a long time. For a band as young as they were, it was genius. The music had contemporary Christian appeal, but drew in fans of more progressive rock bands. That is a hard bridge to gap, but they have continued their most unique conquest with their new record, Opposite Way. The sophomore release is more sonic, more energized, and more exciting. Even when the album slows down, it just feels more powerful.

Songs like "Brighter Days," "Falling for You," "Thief in the Night," and the album closer "May Our Praise" (which leads to a rousing conclusion), all exemplify this new level of emotional intensity wrapped in a quiet, peaceful shell. But it is not the only area in which Leeland has taken a step forward.

Opposite Way's opening track "Count Me In" feels a lot like a speeding locomotive. You feet are sure to be tapping to the chorus, and the energy projects itself throughout the rest of the record. Admittedly, a lot of Opposite Way is, in definition, mellow (Though sonically, it is anything but). But the tracks that do err on the side of "rock" are quite stellar in their own right. If anything, this album could have benefited from more of these kinds of songs. The aforementioned opening track, as well as "Wake Up" and "Don't Go Away" prove that Leeland has the ability to craft a song that is not only sonic, but quick and intense and exciting as well.

Lyrically, these Texas boys do not stray far from the beaten path, but that's not much of a bad thing at all. The eleven tracks present here are all worshipful in nature, and reflect an attitude that rejects the things of the world ("Running the opposite way") and acceptance of a new way of thinking about the way we think and operate ("Count Me In").

Selfishly, I would have preferred a few more songs that got my adrenaline pumping, but as the saying goes: better that they be asking for more, than that they be asking you to stop. Still, I think a little more energy is never a bad thing. But with that as my only complaint, it is safe to say that Leeland has crafted another excellent piece of work that is sure to be listened to long after 2008 comes to a close.

- PReview date: 1/27/08, Review date: 2/24/08, written by Josh Taylor of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Leeland caught the attention of many when their debut hit streets, offering a passionate, fresh exuberance for worship. Sound Of Melodies was unofficially a worship project but officially one of the best in that genre, and its follow-up, Opposite Way is even better. Although it's been less than two years since their first project, Opposite Way displays growth, and musically offers a more raw platform for the band's style of songwriting. The title track is the cornerstone for the record, encouraging believers to follow Christ's example of going against the flow of the world - a Biblical idea that has sadly been dulled over the years. The song bears lyrical beauty that is seldom matched and is worth the price of this record alone. If Sound Of Melodies wasn't your cup of tea, don't write Leeland off just yet. Opposite Way is one strong album and proof that their debut wasn't some kind of fluke. These guys are for real. - John DiBiase of



Buy This CD Online

. Record Label: Essential Records
. Album length: 11 tracks: 40 minutes, 30 seconds
. Street Date: February 26, 2008
. Buy It:

  1. Count Me In
  2. Let It Out Now
  3. Enter This Temple
  4. Opposite Way
  5. Wake Up
  6. Beginning And The End
  7. Brighter Days
  8. Falling For You
  9. Don't Go Away
  10. Thief In The Night
  11. May Our Praise
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