Building 429 took the Christian music scene by storm with their award-winning smash hit single, "Glory Defined," in 2004. After releasing an EP by the same title, and their much anticipated debut Space In Between Us, they took home the coveted Dove for Best New Artist at last year's GMA Awards. The album did very well, and in 2005, the band re-released it with selections from the EP and a new song to try and hold fans over until they finished their next album. So does Rise stand up to the immense popularity of their debut?
Rise immediately showcases Building 429's maturity at all levels throughout the entire album. Jason Roy's vocals compliment the band's solid rock sound, and his songwriting has improved. One problem I had seen in some of the harder rock songs on Space In Between Us was that he would try a high note when it wasn't really needed. This is almost completely gone on Rise, only present on the opening track, "Searching For A Savior," a solid intro to the disc, and "Now That It's Over." Roy still works the high notes in on the rock/ballad songs smoothly, like on "I Belong To You." B429 also shows how they can turn a ballad into a great rock song, with "I Believe," a song they played on their leg of the Casting Crowns Lifesong Tour.
A real highlight, and possibly my favorite track on the album, is "Empty," in which B429 has their first collaboration, with Michael Tait of dc talk and Tait. "Empty" is probably the hardest song on the album, but you can barely hear Michael's voice at times singing with Roy. The only time you really ever hear him is towards the end of the song. Regardless, it still makes for a great collaboration, and a great addition to the album. Another highlight would be the first single, "Fearless," which teaches us to be fearless for Christ and His message of salvation and redemption.
Sophomore records are always hard to make, especially when the band has such a big splash with its debut. This album almost sounds like the debut that should have been for Building 429. It seems that they're trying ever so hard for an edgier sound, and on this record, they get considerably closer. Overall, it's an album that is a solid and mature effort, and we'll just have to wait and see where this band takes us next.- Review date: 2/15/06, written by Justin Mabee
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