Even Heroes Need a Parachute
The strengths of this impressive debut explain why ForeFront Records groomed This Beautiful Republic to be one of its leading acts in 2007. The quintet from Toledo, OH (home to fellow rockers Sanctus Real) crafted an impactful, potent record that combined the better parts of Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and Anberlin. The album title refers to the common need among all people to rely on a Being beyond themselves to survive. Ben Olin delivers a vocal performance that would make any emo-influenced band proud, seizing the opportunity to project the album's raw passion. With a familiar melodic rock sound, songs like "Something to Deny" and "Going Under" cast the Christian condition in a very recognizable light. Producer Allen Salmon (Sanctus Real, Mute Math) kept the wall of guitar sound from hitting listeners over the head too hard. Yet the impact was still made on forceful cuts like "Black Box," which compares faith to the thoughts of passengers on a plane that's tumbling toward a fiery end. TBR's debut is not entirely groundbreaking, but makes the undeniable statement that this band could make greater ripples in the CCM pond over time.