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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Band’s new sound supports identity

The breakout of punk/rock/crunk band Family Force 5‘s new album, Dance or Die, drew me to the dance floor despite my previous objections. Though the band has changed their initial sound since their first album, Dance or Die continues to excite the fanbase of this unconventional quintet.

Voted as CCM’s ?Top Artist of 2007? and ?Most Likely to be Breakout Artist of 2008,? the expectations for the group soared. Once the band’s new single “Fever” appeared on their MySpace, excitement began to build for the album’s full release.

As I began listening to my fresh-from-the-oven Family Force 5 CD, I realized with both excitement and disappointment that Dance or Die is not Business Up Front, Party in the Back, the band?s freshman album.

The unique crunk/rock sound Business Up Front, Party in the Back provided hides quietly in the shadows of Dance or Die. Though I miss this edge the band previously showcased, the new dance music Family Force 5 brought out still impresses me with its own uniqueness and well-composed songs.

Lead singer Solomon Olds (known as Soul Glow Activator) sings in “Fever,” ?Fever, I’m turning flush/fever, I’m burning up/fever’s got me sweating and you know I’m burning up.” The techno flair of the single creates dance hype, highlighting electronic vocal gymnastics and sweet guitar wails.

Regrettably, the low point of the album is the title track, “Dance or Die.” A song with such an epic name leaves much to be desired; I expected a much more power-packed song. To my disappointment, the four-minute track seems to drift along mindlessly like floating astronauts waiting to land on the moon.

Fortunately, the track?s shortcoming does not reflect the rest of the CD.

Track two, “Get Your Back Off the Wall,” pulls the listener in and refuses to let go until they put their dancing shoes on. It showcases killer voice manipulation, gut-punching electric guitars and hyper, screechy lyrics.

“Party Foul” amused me more than all the other tracks. The lyrics tell the listener what happens to the loathed party-crasher.

?At my house/You got to know how to move/And if you can’t dance/Get yourself out of my room/You’re talkin’ trash to my girlfriend/Hey man that’s not allowed/You’ve been infecting my household/That’s your final party foul.?

Family Force 5 continues to shamelessly proclaim their identity through their lyrics. In “D-I-E 4 Y-O-U,” the band cries out their commitment to Christ and their will to die for Him. In response to some of the judgment the band has received because of their unorthodox ways, the band wrote the power-packed anthem “Wake the Dead.”

?You always want the same thing done the same old way/Don’t dance like that anymore/Don’t wear those clothes anymore/Don’t take that stance anymore/Turn it down, do what you’re told/If it’s too loud, well then you must be too old!?

The CD tones the beat down on the daydreamy ballad “How in the World,” in which Soul Glow describes a love relationship. The song plays like a soundtrack of a couple gazing at the wonders of the universe as they fly through space. Dance or Die features a few other slower songs, but none of them seem out of place. In fact, the whole album possesses a certain flow not many CDs have; each song blends with the others like a story.

With a unique sound and creative lyrics, there is no sophomore slump for Family Force 5. The fans attending the band’s fall Dance Rawr Dance 2 Tour will have plenty to groove to.

For more music reviews, visit Tyler Combs’ Sept. 9 article, Coldpay captures vibrancy, emotional depth.

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    Laura CasugaApr 21, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Way to go Nick! I wish I could have been there to see it. David said it went well and you got some good feedback. Keep up the good work jazz band!