Reviewed by Paul Kerslake
Manic Drive, the Toronto-based rock band you can read about on the Cross Rhythms website, return with their second album, an interesting mixing pot of hard rock with a pop sensibility and faith-based lyrics. The opener, "NYC Gangsters", is a full on rock track with syncopated guitars and driving drums. That's followed by "Eleven Regrets", which starts with a piano riff and moves into a more pop/rock setting. Kevin Max makes a cameo appearance on "Blue", another up-tempo track that wouldn't be out of place on a dcTalk album. The music then takes a further twist with a guitar-led dance/rock/pop track that sounds a little like Justin Timberlake and has some great female vocals on it as well. Clearly eclecticism is what Manic Drive are about, and what compels the listener and holds interest for the entire album is the band's energy and enthusiasm as they touch on R&B, electro-funk, pop and metal without skipping a beat or sounding disjointed. They have the musicianship, imagination and ability to create this musical melting pot while remaining focused on the songs. And the songs all have a challenging message, "Obvious" looking for a deeper walk with Jesus, "December Mourning" an interesting twist on Christmas, and "Better Man" speaks for itself with the great line, "One question that I need to ask/Who's this heart for?" A great album that rewards further investigation.
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