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Rivers In The Wasteland

NEEDTOBREATHE Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 12.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Rivers In The Wasteland + Daylight + The Heat
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.52

  • Daylight CDN$ 9.70
  • The Heat CDN$ 11.38

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album! July 9 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I think it's their best so far and it encouraged me to go and see them live. Their show was unforgettable; more rock and roll and less folk than on the album. A different side of the artists which was great to see.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Multiplied May 30 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I don't know about the other tunes on this cd but I can bet you that the song Multiplied will be, no, is now a great hit.
Such awesome talent. Keep up the excellent work fellas May the Universe be with you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best! May 16 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of NEEDTOBREATHE's best yet. They're branching out musically, but sticking to their roots at the same time. Lyrically, they're becoming Christ centred, and I love that. Well done, guys!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Recording! Aug. 18 2014
Format:LP Record|Verified Purchase
Absolutely superb music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  132 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intense Yet Refreshing Journey April 15 2014
By Christopher Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've been following Needtobreathe since their debut in 2006 and a fan since The Heat. Over the past 8 years they have continually produced exemplary music that is both catchy and thought provoking. On top of that they have the ability to do this in varying styles. Excellence and versatility in music is often a difficult feat for many bands to accomplish, but Needtobreathe pull off both effortlessly.

Needtobreathe recently put out a documentary that gave an honest look at the band as they went through dramatic internal struggles. Within that turmoil, they lost their drummer, Joe Stillwell. This is the context in which "Rivers in the Wasteland" was born. Needtobreathe has always been honest in their lyrics, but this is definitely the most vulnerable we've seen them. The lyrics are raw, hurting, questioning, soul-searching, joyful, and surprisingly more faith oriented than any previous NTB record. To add to the vulnerability, 90% of the album was recorded from live takes. Though the sound is raw it also feels smooth, clean, and fresh. The musical styles covered on this album include classic rock, americana, folk-pop, and a simple acoustic sound. They flawlessly combine these genres from track to track and sometimes even within the same song.

The opening track, Wasteland, starts things off in a slow and chilling fashion. The first three minutes takes a completely stripped down approach; all we have here is a soft acoustic guitar, Bear's voice, and a few piano notes. Around the three minute mark, the song erupts with an absolutely epic drum and some soaring vocals that lasts all of 40 seconds before quieting again. The song shows Bear in a completely broken and hurting state, with a hopeful outlook: "In this wasteland that I'm living / there is a crack in the door filled with light / and it's all that I need to get by." It's a completely spine-tingling song that leaves you wondering what you are in for.

State I'm In starts off with some Beach Boys inspired harmonies before bursting into a full-fledged upbeat classic rock song. Feet Don't Fail Me Now is an upbeat gritty rocker which features an Allman brothers/ZZ Top inspired guitar solo. Bear and Bo share that the song is about "youth, ambition, and fear of failure set to the soundtrack of a car chase." Oh Carolina picks back up with the classic rock vibe, although this one takes a more southern approach. It is drenched in a joyful longing for home (South Carolina).

Difference Maker slows the album back down to the quietness of a soft acoustic guitar, Bears vocals, and a soft kick drum. They slowly add layers of piano, background vocals, and distant electric guitar. The lyrics, music, and harmonies all work together in a beautiful artistic fashion.

Rise Again picks the tempo back up a bit and is also my personal favorite off the album. If you have ever felt broken or overwhelmed then you will easily connect with this song: "We crawled through the abyss then came through the other side / heaviness is only temporary, the daylight will soon break in / the sunlight could change your heart in the wake of a bitter end" This song shows Needtobreathe at the top of their game with powerful lyrics and outstanding instrumentation. When I first heard this song I was immediately blown away and have only come to appreciate it more with each repeated listen.

The Heart is upbeat and catchy, encouraging you to celebrate life in spite of difficult times. In the chorus Bear sings, "Long live the heart / Long live the soul / That knows what it wants / No matter how far / How heavy this load / It never lets go".

Multiplied is a beautiful and eloquent praise and worship song that I could easily see being sung in a Church service and possibly the best worship song to come out in a while. Brother is another strong track that is lyrically similar to Lean on Me and musically I might define it as gospel rock. This song is particularly powerful knowing the internal struggles this band went through. Closing the album out on a soft note is More Heart, Less Attack. It's a simple song challenging us all to be more loving to those around us. It's an appropriate closer to the album that has a strong focus on friendship and brotherhood.

This 11 track masterpiece is a refreshing yet intense journey that takes you from the struggles of being in the abyss to a place of real joy. "Rivers in the Wasteland" engages our heart and mind in a way that few bands can accomplish, and proves to be one of the best music releases so far this year. 4.5/5.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEEDTOBREATHE's best album April 15 2014
By Kevin Davis - Published on Amazon.com
NEEDTOBREATHE has very quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands because of how they are able to move me with such amazing and spiritual lyrics that truly reflect how I feel as a Christian. This album is all about the restoration of the band when their drummer Joe Stillwell quit, a response to the overwhelming tension brought on by touring and being thrust into the limelight with his fellow South Carolina natives and lifelong friends, Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart and Seth Bolt.

Their story is chronicled in the documentary film, Prove the Poets Wrong, drawn from the lyrics of their song "Drive All Night." NEEDTOBREATHE is getting back to their roots with Rivers in the Wasteland, based on Isaiah 43:19 (NLT): "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

Listening to "Wasteland" to open the 11-song collection, it's clear that the themes of relying on God's grace and mercy and seeking and speaking truth flows throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, "Wasteland," "Difference Maker," "Rise Again" "The Heart," and "Multiplied." You'll be hooked right from the opening notes of "Wasteland," which really sets the tone for this album. As Christians, we can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying out: "In this wasteland where I'm livin', there's a crack in the door and it's filled with light, and it's all that I need to get by." That prayerful sentiment is punctuated in the chorus: "Oh if God, is on my side, Who could be against me?"

Fans of the band's trademark high energy live shows will flock to "State I'm In," "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," "Oh Carolina" and "The Heart." "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" is an incredible ZZ Top-style catchy song, with the band's trademark high octane musical pacing, and the message of the song is an autobiographical expression of the band's musical journey.

"Difference Maker" is a gorgeous, moving and encouraging song about knowing that God's plan is far greater than any success or failure. It is about the beauty of grace and having faith. Christians are called to be difference makers and friends of God. I get choked up singing: "Isn't it amazing how God can take a broken man, and let him find a fortune and then ruin it with his own two hands, and he climbs on up the hill on the Rock on which he stands, He looks back at the crowd he looks down at his hands and he says I am a Difference Maker, I am the only one who speaks to Him, and I am the friendliest of friends of God."

The emotional and uplifting "Rise Again" frames an incredible song of hope. I love the chorus: "I know I'm on the rise again, set my sights on where I'm going, and my goodbyes to where I've been, Oh, I know, I know I'm going to rise again, saying farewell to the king of the broken, so long my friend." Bear's vocals are emotive and honest, which makes the words he's singing all the more powerful and moving.

"The Heart" is a wonderful foot-stomping, show stopping anthem, where the band's full on ability to write a hook and sing about deep meaningful topics is on full display. You'll be belting out the words with the band, "Long live the heart, long live the soul, that knows what it wants, that piece you can find, that part is the whole, it never lets go." What's so cool about the song is how "piece you can find" sounds like "peace you can find" and depending on your situation you can apply either homonym into the chorus which is pure songwriting genius.

Closing tracks "Multiplied," "Brother" and "More Heart, Less Attack" are all beautiful songs, musically and perhaps even more so lyrically, reflecting the album's wide range of sounds and emotional expressions. The lyrics to "Multiplied" are prayerful and moving: "Your love is like radiant diamonds, Your love will surely come find us, like raging wild fire, singing your name, God of mercy, sweet Love of mine, I have surrendered to Your design...these Hallelujahs, be multiplied." The takeaway message of unity to the band and for all of us is found in the moving refrain, "Be more heart, and less attack." It's that range of songwriting that sets this album on the highest level for me, and is why they are my favorite band.

Closing Thoughts (Staff Review, NewReleaseTuesday.com):
No matter your situation, this band has songs that can really bring healing and reflect the cry of your heart such as their Dove Award-winning songs, "Washed by the Water," "Lay 'Em Down" "Something Beautiful," "Slumber" and "Keep Your Eyes Open." As "Something Beautiful" reflects, sometimes we need to be on our knees in prayer and submission before God and cry out "Hey now, this is my desire, consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful." The band consistently makes songs that remind us to get to that place where we are in humble submission to God and don't play it safe but take a chance and ask for God to be real in our lives. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God.

Rivers in the Wasteland is the best album I've heard this year. Every song is absolutely amazing. I can't get the catchy melodies of many of these songs out of my head. The album includes a solid mix of Southern rock tinged music with inspirational lyrics. Don't miss the standout songs "Wasteland," "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," "Difference Maker," "Rise Again," "The Heart," "Multiplied" and "More Heart, Less Attack." The very relatable and transparent words of these songs use poetic descriptions and biblical language throughout eleven stellar tracks, resulting in NEEDTOBREATHE's best album.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air April 15 2014
By One Big Happy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It would be so easy for this band to just settle in and give people what's expected. But they continually stretch and try to keep things fresh and interesting. I met them on a sidewalk a few years back, right after they played an acoustic set in a little martini bar in Michigan. I didn't want to bother them, but I did thank them for writing such great songs. I thanked them because it takes talent and effort and dedication, all of which are evident on this recording. Some of the songs are instantly likeable. Others may take a few run throughs. And some of them are deceptively complex, both musically and lyrically. The song "Difference Maker" is a prime example of this. Seeing how different people are interpreting the song is fascinating because it can be taken in vastly different ways. Is it an anthem to be embraced personally, or is it a criticism of those who think they have all the answers? I think I know, but you can decide for yourself. I'll be seeing them live in a few months. Plenty of time to get the songs memorized so I can sing along. Great stuff.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best one yet! April 15 2014
By Heather McDougle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have been waiting for a year for this album to come out. The anticipation for an outstanding album grew and grew. I have listened to each song as they have been debuted in the weeks leading up to the released. None of them have disappointed me. They made me more and more excited to hear the complete album all together. I have been streaming the album from the NEEDTOBREATHE website for the past few days, so I already knew what all the songs sounded like before today but it's nothing like having the album in my hands. I love this album just as much, if not more than NEEDTOBREATHE's past albums. The band has grown in talent and strength. This album really showcases their unique talent and voices. My favorite song on the album is Brother. Amazing song and lyrics. I would love it if everyone bought this album. It's amazing!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Return to Form April 15 2014
By John C. Troyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've been a huge fan of Needtobreathe since I discovered 'The Outsiders' but their last album 'The Reckoning' left me cold. I badly wanted to like but it just never clicked for me. It felt too polished, calculated, and joyless. Their new release 'Rivers in the Wasteland' is an amazing return to form for them. It's warm, joyful, heartfelt and even ecstatic at times. Primarily acoustic with a few rockers thrown in to change up the pace. They seem to have had something of a spiritual reawakening, as evidenced by the lyrics and feel of the album being more explicitly Christ centered than their last few albums. Their secular fans probably need to be warned about this in case it's a deal breaker, but if they can get past it, they'll have some really great rootsy southern rock to enjoy. My favorite song on the album is the unabashed worship that is the song "Multiplied". It's better than 90% of the regular worship songs out there. So anyway after just 1 1/2 listens to this album I'm already totally in love with it! Highly recommend!
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