The pop/rock band Chasen, out of Greenville, South Carolina, released their first album, Shine ThroughThe Stars, back in 2008. This album featured the hit single Crazy Beautiful.” Their newest album That Was Then This Is Now was released in early March of 2010 and has gained the band a fair amount of attention.
Chasen offers an infectious pop/rock sound that any fan of the genre will gulp up in a heartbeat. This is shown strongly through “Castaway ” “Love In Your Name ” “One In a Million ” “Bullet ” and “Eyes of a Rescue.” These tracks in particular are very upbeat and catchy. The band mixes in their rock sound with a well-placed focus on worship as well. This sound works perfectly for the band. On theflip side of the coin Chasen has some softer pop songs. “On and On ” “Leave You Alone ” and “Slow Down” are thrown in at nice spots in the albumand add in a good variety with the more upbeat tracks. The one odd ball on the album is the last track “There Is Love ” which offers a more stripped-down acoustic ballad. This style works well for the band also and a few more like this track would have fit well on the album. It is nice seeing that the band can pull off these multiple song styles in one album which resulted in ten strong songs showing how talenteda band these guys are.
Lead vocalist Chasen Callahan has a very strong and pleasant voice. He has a very nice range alternating between highs and lows throughout the album. I really like his voice; the amount of passion he puts into the songs he sings just makes me want to listen. You can tell he means every word he is singing and the great heart he has for Christ. And speaking of that the lyrics on this album are great. Thereare numerous Biblical messages and a worshipful tone presented throughout. The songwriting I would say is quite a bit better than a fair amount of other bands of the same genre. The lyrics range in topics from second chances through Christ the love of Christ the unending love of Christ looking to God for help and freedom through Christ. Many of these are familiar messages but the band tries to give a different spin to them. With the music already being pretty strong the band becomes a force to be reckoned with due to the strong vocals and songwriting.
I found myself enjoying the more upbeat tracks from the band a lot. “Castaway ” “Love In Your Name ” and “Eyes of a Rescue” are a blast. “Eyes of a Rescue” is one of my favorites as it starts off as a more laid-back track that ends up being a rather fun upbeat tune. I simply love the chorus to this song:
“So I’m looking up but you’re burning out/ My heart can’t stand how we turned out/ No I can’t help but look at you through the eyes of a rescue”
Even though the upbeat tracks are a lot of fun and catchy I can’t cut the more laid-back tracks short. “On and On” and “Leave You Alone” each have a great melody and some great messages that I related to easily. “Eyes of a Rescue ” “On and On ” and “Leave You Alone” would be my topthree favorites off the album.
I have very few complaints about this album. I didn’t find “Bullet” and “Slow Down” to be as strong as the other tracks but that really becomes a minor detail. They still fit in well with the rest of the album and are enjoyable tracks. This is one album I can play start to finish and absolutely love it. It would be nice to have maybe one or two more tracks because the album seems a little short at only 35 minutes. It’s a strong record but I found myself wishing for more at the end because I got so wrapped up in the tracks thatthe albumjust flew by.
As a whole That Was Then This is Now is one great album. This albumis extremely upbeat and very catchy. Pair that with the powerful vocals and great songwriting and this band has a winning formula. There are a number of songs that will get stuck in your head and you can’t help but sing along. No their offerings arenothing new but Chasen is easily one of the stronger and more enjoyable bands of this genre for the Christian market. They are right up there with Switchfoot and The Afters; I just can’t stop listening.The melodies are interesting and I simply love the messages the band shares. I recently got to see these guys live and highly recommend you go see them if you get a chance. They sound pretty much identical to their album which you can’t say about every band. If you like pop/rock you will be able to easily dive into this band. I seriously recommend checking out this talented band; you won’t be disappointed. With Chasen you get a group of guys who love what they are doing as they are spreading the love of Jesus through some incredible music.