Monday, February 25, 2008

Music Review: The Afters Never Going Back To OK

Never Going Back To OKHere we are, again, with another installment in the Euphrony Music Review Extravaganza! I've been sitting on this one for about a month, because I've not had much time on my hands to do such things. But I finally get the chance to review for you the sophomore release from The Afters. Never Going Back To OK hits stores this Tuesday (February 26th). You can already download a few songs from iTunes, if you don't want to wait until Tuesday.

In short, the album is an improvement from their previous work, I Wish We All Could Win, and is in many ways a catchy and enjoyable 42 minutes of listening. The album leads off with the short song "The Secret Parade". Though only 98 seconds long, it is a great intro to the titular song and has the feel of something that The Beatles might have written. As "The Secret Parade" fades, the driving rhythms of "Never Going Back To OK" kick in, letting you know the basic rock nature of the album. It's anthemic cry is clear: there's no turning back. Once you give yourself to God, you are compelled to abide with Him. Nothing is the same, and the old life pales by comparison.

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Another memorable song from Never Going Back To OK is the guitar-driven "Tonight". Recalling the thoughts of putting the past behind and beginning anew, the simple chorus will stick with you.

Playing on the old theme of love and grace as deep as the ocean, "Ocean Wide" manages to stand on its own. Perhaps a bit too sentimental feeling, the comfort that is found in lyrics like "love is an ocean wide enough to forget / even when we think we can't" reaches into most people and touches on a time when that was true in one's own life.

Perhaps the most interesting song on the album is "MySpace Girl" (the video of which is below). It is either a touching song of the pursuit of the love of of your life or a creepy example of cyberstalking. The jury is still out on that count. In any case, it is the true story of how a friend of the band met a girl at a burger shop and tracked her down via MySpace, eventually marrying her. Chocked full of references to the cultural phenomenon that is MySpace, it is a song that you could come back and listen to in twenty years and have a good laugh at the nostalgia.

The AftersOther songs on the album are equally catchy. From start to finish, it is an easy listen. With melodies and lyrics that you will find popping into your head later, it's distinctiveness from others in the genre becomes clearer on reflection rather than at first hearing. Overall, I think you will find it well worth your time taking a listen to The Afters new release.

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Anonymous said...

The My space girl song was inspired by our friends, who played bass for them for awhile, who met his wife at an "in and out" and then again on my space and are now married.

The Afters are an awesome band...

Anonymous said...

Great review of a great new album. Clearly we love the same music (Shaun, Sara, The Afters). I totally agree with you.

Take care,
Kevin (shaunfan)

euphrony said...

Glad you liked the review, Kevin. Thanks for dropping by.

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