Review: Spoken – “Breathe Again”

In a career that began in 1997, Spoken has released seven albums (three on Tooth & Nail Records) that have seen them crossing the bridge between Christian and mainstream markets, touching on nu-metal, hard rock, and displaying a true diversity of sound.

Their latest record Breathe Again dropped on Dec. 11th and is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign which involved almost 600 backers pledging over $25,000. Breathe Again is their first venture on Artery Recordings after their recent signing to the label.

Spoken’s Kickstarter page says, “Although not every Spoken song is about Jesus, or anything specifically “Christian” related for that matter. The band’s mission is still the same today as it was when the band started 19 years ago. That is to use our music as a way to meet people and share the love and grace of Jesus with the world. Our music combined with your support and Artery’s help is going to help Spoken do that in a way that we’ve never done before.”

Spoken band photo

This seasoned group has gone through several style variations in previous records. For Breathe Again, they land somewhere in the territory of  The Used, Chiodos, or Red.

“Walking in My Dreams” is shiny, radio ready hard rock; an explosive first track complete with guitar solo and a killer rough edge to Baird’s vocals. Baird’s experienced voice is a continual high point on Breathe Again. Old fans will be in their glory to hear that he is a the top of his game, and newcomers will be left in awe of his abilities.

We get some great guitar work and tasty riffage on “Beyond The Stars” and “Surrender,” which is a blazing track from its outset. Early on you know that “Surrender” is going to be something great with a killer intro loaded with a drum barrage.

“Breathe Again” is like that 12 Stones, Breaking Benjamin type rock; it’s got melody, some softs spots, and rocks hard in a clean way. This track leans a bit more towards metal than the others if you check that guitar. Matty Mullins (Memphis May Fire) guests on this track and his voice is a great complement to Baird’s and to Spoken’s brand of music. It’s no wonder this one started climbing the charts as soon as it was released.

“All I Wanted” is a great slow rocker, and make sure to wait for the solo in “Hollow and Untrue.”

The solid drum work and the huge guitars and atmosphere on”Falling Apart” are unforgettable. “Hold On” opens as a real crusher. That song and “Poison In The Air” have some killer guitar work and a real modern sound with a deep intensity.

“Take My Breath Away” slows things down and carries a more serious tone. The pace of the song, the lyrics, and the overall ambiance make thing track the most captivating of the album.

With new label backing, a deal with United Talent Agency booking, and the release of Breathe Again, Spoken is about to blow up. You’re about to hear a lot more from this band.

Spoken has reached new heights with Breathe Again. This record is at once a career high and a leap into a new chapter for these renewed and refreshed heavy rockers.

Breathe Again is an accessible, intense, and thoughtful album packed with slick guitar work and soaring vocals. This record straight up rocks.

4/5

spoken album cover

Keep up with Spoken:
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