Canadian pop/rock band downhere truly does know how to keep an audience's attention. On top of five major studio albums, the band has also released an acoustic version of Wide Eyed and Mystified, a demo album featuring 15 unreleased songs, and an EP with six songs recorded live. And now, another intermediate album release: Two At A Time: Sneak Peaks and B-Sides. Available only at summer festivals and online, this latest release boasts two new songs and nine B-Sides, and will definitely suffice in holding fans over until the next full length release.
Two At A Time is a double disc project. Disc One features two songs that serve as a preview for the band's upcoming album. The first is the current single "You're Not Alone," which is already making its mark in the radio realm. Featuring another stunning duet by downhere's two contrasting lead vocalists, Marc Martel and Jason Germain, the second sneak peak, "The Song You Sing," will surely be a standout pop track.
Known for a softer pop sound, the first two tracks offered on Disc Two present instead a slightly aggressive light rock sound. Although nothing new is offered lyrically in these two songs, they can still be considered as musically advanced as any of downhere's previous efforts. Then it is back to the basics with "Break My Heart" and "Everything Will;" two more serious, heartfelt songs, although the former is slightly forgettable. Next is the rather unimpressive cover of "Excavate," originally produced for a Wes King tribute album. The slower and more intimate "Household Name" lyrically resonates Ending Is Beginning, and is an excellent display of Martel's vocal power. Germain is also given the chance to display his choral strength on the thoughtful, piano-driven ballad, "Stand With Me." Originally from their independent self-titled album, "Grown Man" continues with a slightly dreary sound. The final track, "Back To The Chorus," is another standout, providing a cheery way to end the album, leaving the listener with an upbeat feeling.
Two At A Time lacks the coherent touch that previous downhere albums have displayed, which is perfectly fine considering it's not meant to be a full length album. Although the "sneak peak" into their next release was slim, the other nine tracks surely make this yet another worthy downhere release that all fans will definitely appreciate.- Review date: 9/16/10, written by Sam Schaumberg of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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