Needtobreathe – 60/50 OceanWay: The Live Room Sessions

needtobreathe- Ocean Way Live Room EP

Atlantic Records

Release Date: August 19th 2014

Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre

Needtobreathe60/50 OceanWay: The Live Room Sessions (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. State I’m In
  2. The Heart
  3. Wasteland
  4. Difference Maker
  5. Outsiders
  6. Devil’s Been Talking
  7. Something Beautiful

Needtobreathe, possibly one of the most unique, ingenious, emotive, poignant, lyrically impressive and artistic bands to ever be in both Christian and mainstream music since U2; have been able to use their platform in both Christian and mainstream music to deliver heartfelt melodies and songs that stir the soul. Releasing their powerful and chart-topping 2014 album Rivers in the Wasteland earlier in April, needtobreathe are back at it again, this time giving us the sounds of OceanWay Studios in their 7 song EP, titled 60/50 OceanWay: The Live Room Sessions. While it was not too long ago with the departure of long time drummer Joe Stillwell that the band thought about retiring; needtobreathe have nevertheless come through the other side, offering some of the most enjoyable, heartfelt and emotive songs of their whole career. With this 7 track EP offering some of their most enjoyed songs on their latest studio album, as well as standouts from The Outsiders and The Reckoning; this is an EP to be enjoyed and purchased (when it releases August 19th) by needtobreathe enthusiasts and lovers of great rock/alternative music alike.

To record in OceanWay Studios is considered to be an honour. Situated in Los Angeles, California, needtobreathe recorded in the same room as some of the greats- The Beach Boys, Tom Petty, Radiohead, Frank Sinatra and many more. With soul/CCM/pop vocalist Dara Maclean also recording in OceanWay studios in 2012, needtobreathe become the latest band/solo artist to create unique music in a studio that bands have dreamed of playing in. “State I’m In”, “The Heart”, “Difference Maker” and “Wasteland” were all standout tracks on their most recent album, and while I may have wanted them to record “Multiplied”, my favourite song from Rivers in the Wasteland, on the OceanWay record, these four aforementioned tracks still boast needtobreathe’s lyrical prowess and their ability to unite lovers of CCM and mainstream to listen to songs that have meanings applicable to people who enjoy both, or either, musical genre. With all the four songs virtually similar to their studio counterparts, it is the visual experience of the OceanWay videos that really capture the rawness and intensity that the band portray on the EP.

From themes like making a difference in the world that we live in (“Difference Maker”) and striving and figuring out what our heart wants and whether we’re chasing after the right things in this life (“The Heart”), to giving us hope in the journey with God on our side (“Wasteland”), and a moment of uncertainty, longing, hopefulness, and a slither of hope that we can be redeemed from the most unredeemable situations (“State I’m In”); needtobreathe’s lyrical quality is unlike any I’ve heard- since worship artists like Matt Redman and Delirious?, and pop sensations Newsboys (Peter Furler led), MercyMe and Nichole Nordeman. The 7 track EP then ends with standout songs like “Something Beautiful” (a plea to the Lord to create something beautiful out of the mess we often make), “The Outsiders”, the title track of their 2009 album, and one that brings to the fore the notion that we as Christians ought to be outsiders and set apart, and “Devil’s Been Talking”, a tongue-in-cheek melody reminding us not to fall and believe what the devil says about us; giving us a well-rounded collection of some of the band’s most celebrated and loved melodies from the last few years.

One of the most powerful and poignant bands currently in both CCM and mainstream music, needtobreathe have offered us a gem of an album in this 7 track EP, and one to be enjoyed by lovers of southern gospel or country music, with a rock and meaningful edge. With their popularity increasing ever since their popular crossover hit “Washed By The Water”, this southern-gospel rock band has given us songs with themes to think about as this band moves in the category of rock/southern/country bands that are some of my favourites, like Third Day, Rhett Walker Band, Crowder and Steve Grace. 60/50 OceanWay: The Live Room Sessions has a central theme of hope, encouragement and delving into the more important things in life, as Bo, Bear and Seth capture the rawness and realness of the songs and remind us why they are still one of Christian music’s top selling band currently!

3 songs to listen to: Difference Maker, Outsiders, The Heart

Score: 3.5/5

RIYL: Third Day, Switchfoot, Brooke Fraser, Rhett Walker Band, Lifehouse

6 thoughts on “Needtobreathe – 60/50 OceanWay: The Live Room Sessions”

  1. Absolutely love Needtobreathe. Rivers in the Wasteland is my top album of the year so far, but we’ll see what Sanctus Real and Citizens (now called Citizens and Saints) have to offer later on :)
    Multiplied is my favourite off Rivers as well, along with Wasteland, Difference Maker, the Heart, Where the Money is, Brother, and More Heart Less Attack. Yeah, that’s mostly all of them 😀 Anyway, I’ve been watching these videos as they’ve been released on youtube and they maybe even better than the studio versions! I’ll be reviewing Rivers in the Wasteland on my blog sometime this week as well. If you’re interested in reading my blog, it’s lucsnovelties.wordpress.com. I talk about music, writing (I’m a writer) and the Word.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the review, great job! God Bless.

    1. Thanks Luc. Glad we can connect both on here and over at IndieVisionMusic.com- not sure if you know this but I used to write for the site before my brother and I started this one in April 2014. You can check out some of my reviews here- http://www.indievisionmusic.com/reviews-by-author/?reviewauthor=10263 (let me warn you, I think I wrote 400 or so reviews when I contributed from 2012-2014).

      Yeah, needtobreathe is a good band, and yeah, just like you, ‘Multiplied’ is my favourite song.

      Hope you can continue to come here to this site and look around. Other than music reviews, we review some movies, tv shows and will also review books as well. We also do a blog series every day- check out what the blog series is about here- http://www.365daysofinspiringmedia.com/articles/new-blog-post-series-starting-this-week/ and a list of all the blogs here- http://www.365daysofinspiringmedia.com/category/features/

      Thanks for taking the time to check out the site. Hope to see you comment again in the future.

      1. Will do Johnathan, than thanks for the links. I’ve actually been reading Indievision for a about two years now, and I’ve read quite a lot of your reviews, though not near 400! I will get there though 😀
        Anyway, I will definitely be reading more.
        God Bless.

        1. No problem. Though I doubt you will have time to read all 400. My reviews when I was at IVM were pretty long. Now I’m actually consciously trying to reduce my review word count when I write for my new site.

          Feel free to take a look at the different blog series for the different days. Let us know which series you like, and you can comment on the relevant pages if you want.

          God bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>