Reviewed by Jamie Maxwell
This is the debut from Tennessee-based Samestate. The driving rock vibe that permeates this recording is evident from the first bar of the opening track, "Realign". This is probably one of the strongest on the album, along with "Sons And Daughters" and the more mellow closing number, "Symphonies". In one sense it all sounds fairly familiar: the songs are fairly standard driving rock numbers that are pleasantly anthemic without being outstanding, but while Samestate don't bring much that is completely new, they seem to do the stadium-style rock thing better than most. The musicianship here is excellent and the production is of a high standard. Singer Dalton Diehl has a distinctive quality to his voice, intriguingly reminiscent of Marcus Mumford, which lends credence to the well put-together lyrics. Clearly Samestate are a band who merit further attention so it remains to be seen whether they will rise above the rest of the modern rock crowd.
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On the band's Sparrow Records debut, SAMESTATE takes each member's disparate musical influences - be it a whole bunch of rock and pop, a touch of Americana, a smidgen of country - and with the help of veteran producer Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Third Day, Matt Maher) merges them into a sound that's infectious and approachable.
The bombast of the nominal title track Realign and follow-up Sons and Daughters counteracts, but doesn't fight with the emotional, Avett Brothers-esque Upside Down, the jangly romp of Love Remembers You or the quiet, strings-driven ode Symphonies. Lead singer and chief songwriter, Dalton Diehl, used both the losses of close family members and the gains of his creative pursuits coming together to shape the message of the album as a whole.
The Alignment's first Top 5 single, Hurricane, has a simple message of hope. The song reminds us that no matter if we do everything or even if we do nothing, God's love will always find a way back to us.