Building 429 is a pop/rock band out of Nashville, Tennessee. They’re made up of Jason Roy(lead vocals, guitar, keys), Jesse Garcia(background vocals, guitar, keys), and Michael Anderson(drums). The band burst into the music scene in 2004 with their debut album, Space in Between Us. The band shot up pretty fast with their breakout single Glory Defined “which topped numerous charts was a record breaker at radio and gained the band a fair amount of recognition including gaining the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. The band released the heavier rock album Rise in 2006 and the more worship-orientated Iris to Iris in 2007. The band released a greatest hits album as they left Word Records and began a new season on INO Records with their self-titled album.
I first came across Building 429 upon purchasing their sophomore album Rise when it released in 2006. I have followed the band since then finding myself really enjoying Jason Roy’s vocals and their solid pop/rock sound. I kind of miss their heavier rock sound back on their Rise album but the pop/rock sound suits them nicely even though it reminds you a lot of their past work.
But whether you were hoping for a different sound or not you get 10 tracks that follow the typical pop/rock formula to a tee. The band however does a sufficient job with all the tracks and delivers a rather enjoyable album. “Not Gonna Let You Down” is a nice rock-driven track and is a good opener to pull you into the album. The next track “End Of Me ” is the first radio single and one of my favorites off the album. This is due to the catchy tune as well as the message of putting ourselves aside realizing how much better our lives are when we put Christ in the center and remove ourselves. It’s a great reminder that when we surrender our control to Christ then and only then do we truly come alive. Check out the chorus:
Once upon a time the story goes/I laid it all down and let it go/To lose it all/To lose it all/Took a step of faith and said goodbye/And everything I had I left behind/To find true life/When all I longed for I found finally/At the end of me
“Erase” is probably the most guitar-driven tune and a great message of how the love of Christ and the time we spend with him can never be erased. “Overcome” and “Shoulder” are other solid tracks that follow the formula. “Always” along with “End of Me” is the other major highlight on the album. This song is a gentle-piano ballad that talks about even when everything goes wrong in life when we have lost all hope God will always be there and isn’t going anywhere; we just need to have faith in him that he will take care of us and get us through.
“Bring Me Back” was the one song that didn’t hold up too well in my opinion.It’s like the other tracks but wasn’t one I was able to get into. “Your Love Goes On” and “Coming Home” are decent but they get overshadowed by the tracks earlier in the album. “Oxygen (Bringing Me To Life)” is a solid closer and talks abouthow God is the oxygen bringing us to life.The band was able to have a powerful delivery with the message in this song making it a strong track.
One of best things the band has going for them I think is Jason Roy’s vocals. He has a fairly unique voice and one I have enjoyed since I’ve followed the band. Their sound is solid and they do the pop/rock formula well but I think it’s mainly driven by Roy’s voice. It doesn’t vary a ton but it has a slight gruff edge to it that I enjoy. That is something that makes them stand out from the number of other pop/rock bands.
The lyrics on the album are decent and the band is direct with the topics they bring up. I couldn’t help but notice though that the band sticks to some familiar messages a number of bands use as well. That’s not necessarily bad but the lyrics just didn’t seem as strong on this album as in some of the band’s other releases. There are definitely moments though like in “End Of Me ” “Erase ” “Always ” and “Oxygen” that show some writing that would have been nice to see on the other tracks.
Overall Building 429 gives us a solid and pretty enjoyable pop/rock album. It’s nothing ground breaking or much better than other bands of the style but it’s all right.The band does do it’s job putting catchy guitar riffsand solid rhythm sections together into songs you can sing to that will give you that boost of encouragement and comfort in Christ. Out of Building 429’s past albums this is a decent release just not their best. They lost a bit of the edge they had which fit them better I think but they still follow pretty close to what they’ve done before. This formula works adequately for them but I think they could make something great if they try something other than just this “safe” sound they’ve stuck to. But that aside I love the ministry these guys are doing and following what the Lord wants them to do. They’re a great group of guys and their hearts are definitely in the right place. So all in all this is not a bad release just a lot like what we’ve heard from the band in the past. Nonetheless they deliver once again with solid songs that are spurred on by their undeniably strong faith.