Time Travel by Never Shout Never (Warner Brothers/Loveway Records)
For those fans who encountered Never Shout Never’s rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody from Punk Goes Classic Rock, the compositions found within Time Travel should come as no surprise. All others should prepare for a jolt, as the Christofer Drew who warbled such homilies as What Is Love and Happy has matured in a glorious way.
Now with complete band in tow, the obviously inventive Christofer Drew has unleashed a multi-layered musical journey – an ambitious work that should gain the artist a good deal of respect from new converts as well as the older fans. The lyrics are still as heartfelt as ever, but the influences are surely of the Beatles and Queen variety. Drew and his band pull it all off with an enchanting sense of wonder and grace.
The amazing journey commences with the superb title track Time Travel, with its spacious dynamics and dream-like reverberations. An anthem of epic proportions, Drew rapturously sings “I don’t know what I’ve been told, I will sell my soul to rock and roll” during the songs sweeping grand finale. A stellar way to kick start the album, as well as demonstrate just how powerful and effective the new lineup is.
Calling a song on your album Awful is sure to inspire creative comments from less than grateful critical types, but the track is anything but what the title would suggest. Mixing progressive sounds with an Abba-like pop sensibility, the song literally explodes into your senses like the moment one awakens from an ultra vivid dream.
“No one else ever loved me like you did, No one else ever gave me such a thrill,” sings Christofer Drew with passion and intensity on the serenely dramatic Silver Ecstasy. As the hard rock guitars weave through the spacey musical interludes, one has an eerie sense of complications in paradise involving the relationship Drew may be referring to.
Simplistic Trance-Like Giveaway is wistful and warm, with it’s intricate melodies and lyrics of longing and hope. Then there’s the ironic strains of Robot, where Drew muses “I’m just a robot, I have no fears, I lack emotion and I shed no tears” with a good deal of passion and sincerity.
The somber Until I Die Alone is a dark lullaby that is sure to mesmerize the listener with its introspective lyrical content and dazzling yet haunting melodies. Then it’s time to rock it out with the bitter inflections of Complex Heart, where Drew reveals a startling revelation of “I was so mean to girl who loved me unconditionally.” There is definite heartbreak and frustration to be found within the confines of this uneasy, cathartic selection.
The closing track of Time Travel is a real stunner entitled Lost At Sea. A fond farewell that sounds like a traditional ode to the sea as envisioned by the likes of director David Lynch. The eight songs on Time Travel present an infinite journey through the mind of an artist who has a lot more to convey through is art, and has achieved something truly imaginative and intriguing.
In addition to the fine tuned talents of Christofer Drew on lead vocals, guitar and a host of other instruments, the Never Shout Never lineup consists of Caleb Denison on guitar, drums and percussion, Taylor MacFee on bass, and Hayden Kaiser on percussion. Together, they will rock you as well as trip you out!
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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