Essential Records

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Reviewed by Micah Garnett

RED – Release The Panic: Recalibrated (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Run and Escape
  2. Release The Panic (Recalibrated)
  3. Damage (Recalibrated)
  4. Hold Me Now (Recalibrated)
  5. So Far Away (Recalibrated)
  6. Glass House (Recalibrated)
  7. As You Go (Recalibrated)

It’s no secret that fans weren’t very receptive to RED’s last album Release The Panic. Opting to go with well-known producer Howard Benson (known for working with crossover heavyweights like Flyleaf, Skillet, and Relient K), RED returned with their weakest album to date. In a surprising move, RED decided to revisit that album in the form of Release The Panic: Recalibrated, hoping to fix their mistakes. The big question is, did the risk pay off?

Release The Panic: Recalibrated features six of the most popular songs of Release The Panic, along with an all new song. Kicking off the album, new song “Run and Escape” immediately signals a positive change. RED wastes no time reintroducing their signature strings along with moody songwriting. The song changes up midway, leading to one of the better songs RED has released in the past few years. “Run and Escape” sounds like something off the band’s first three albums; and that’s a good thing.

The title track from “Release The Panic” is next. RED fans will instantly be able to tell the differences between the original and the recalibrated version. The strings are a huge improvement, elevating it to something beyond the bland original. You can feel the panic oozing as the strings stream during the intro, chorus, and bridge.

Perhaps no song is improved upon as much as “Damage”. Like “Release The Panic”, the strings completely change “Damage” into something that could have been found on previous albums. It’s amazing how different a few tweaks can make a song. The result is a cinematic epic that was disguised behind mediocre production.

The changes are more subtle on the remaining songs. “As You Go” is the only song that is completely overhauled, turning it into a hopeful acoustic ballad compared to the dark original. “So Far Away” gets an energy boost. “Hold Me Now” and “Glass House” benefit from tiny changes, but nothing as interesting as the other songs.

Overall, RED took a risk with Release The Panic: Recalibrated and it paid off. It showed that RED is willing to listen to their fans and are willing to admit mistakes. It gives me hope that RED might return to their roots with their next album, which is being produced by fan-favorite producer Rob Graves. If Recalibrated is any sign, RED still has a bright future.

3 songs to listen to: Run and Escape, Release The Panic, Damage

Score: 4/5

RIYL: Skillet, Breaking Benjamin, Thousand Foot Krutch, Disciple


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