That Was Then, This Is Now
On their sophomore album, Chasen further develop their elegantly assertive pop/rock sound. That Was Then, This is Now is a resolutely positive song collection, framing messages of reverence and hope in sweet (but not cloying) melodies and sturdy rhythms. Singer Chasen Callahan favors sincerity over flamboyance, giving his performances an Everyman sort of quality. His group shifts between Edge-like guitar heroics (“Castaway,” “Bullet”), acoustic-centered textures (“On and On”) and glistening keyboard colors (“Leave You Alone”) without losing sonic focus. Drummer Aaron Lord deserves special mention for his muscular classic rock drum work on “Love In Your Name” and “Slow Down.” Lyrically, Chasen does best when they ground their themes of God’s redemptive grace in personal stories, as in the uplifting waltz “Slow Down” and the reflective, family-oriented “There Is Love.” Overall, this praise-filled, hook-laden effort benefits from its well-tailored production, featuring baroque string accents, vocal effects and backwards sounds at key moments.