RATING: (4 out of 10) RELEASE DATE: October 18th, 2011 LABEL: Tooth & Nail Records REVIEWED ON: November 5th, 2011 REVIEWED BY: Joshua ClarkREVIEW
Family Force 5 has shot up in popularity for the few years they have been a band. Having a good amount of both Christian and mainstream fans, this band now has many people who have fallen in love with their unique, energetic music from their two great albums. As a fan of the band’s past music I had been eagerly waiting new music, and I’m sure FF5’s many other fans were as well. The solution to that is the band’s third album, III.
Lyrically these guys kind of lost it for me. I have never listened to this band for their lyrical quality to begin with, but sadly the lyrics have just become worse. For those who are looking for spiritually uplifting lyrics, those are pretty much non-existent. “Not Alone” and “Paycheck” are probably the best in that regard. I don’t think every album by a Christian band has to be only "worship" songs, but the quality of FF5’s songwriting has gone downhill.
The music is rather catchy and fun as you would expect from FF5, but none of these songs grab me like some songs on their first two albums. Sadly most of the songs on here just aren’t too impactful. There are some great tunes, some just alright ones, and some that are rather bland. The band is all over the place musically, with a mix of rock, pop, hip-hop, and dance tunes.
“Can You Feel It” is a really fun start-off track; it has several almost screams and is a faint reminder of their older material. This track shows the Family Force 5 I remember and love, but it would have been great to have more tracks in this vein. “Paycheck” I thought was one of the better tracks on the album in terms of music and lyrics. “You Got It” has an extremely catchy beat and chorus. This is something really different for the band since they go down a different track and this song is a full-blown acoustic love song. “Not Alone” is something different for the band as well, as they have never tackled anything as laidback as this. They pulled it off nicely, though, and delivered a great track. This is a very encouraging track to remind you that you are never alone and that there is always hope through tough times.
“Mamacita,” “Tank Top,” and “Love Gone Wrong” bring the album down for me, and some other tracks don’t fair much better. The beats are fun, but I just can’t get into the songs at all. The remaining tracks are okay, but other than the music being catchy there isn’t much else that I love about these tracks.
I was looking forward to this new release from FF5. Business Up Front/Party in The Back and Dance or Die has gotten plenty of spins from me. So I was really disappointed when this band that had two great albums kind of slid backwards. To their credit the songs are still as fun as ever, and the guys have progressed musically, providing a number of creative musical arrangements. But none of it is as breathtaking as their other two albums. I only thought there was a few standouts and the rest where just so-so. So after waiting for new music for three years and only getting an average album, III was a letdown for me. There are definitely a few tracks that are worth picking up, but otherwise you wouldn’t miss much if you passed on this album. This album is just missing the charm that the band showcased through their past albums. We get a few glimpses of that charm here and there but not enough to make this album stand out from their past efforts.
Posted on: November 5th, 2011 PST By: Joshua Clark