When Spoken announced the crowd funding campaign for Breathe Again they said that it would be different from Illusion, which I loved. Breathe Again is still very much a Spoken record, and Spoken has always been a hard rock band. But Breathe Again is heavier and feels more intentional. Teamed up with Artery Records, it feels like there’s a push for this record to bring bigger and better things for the band.
The record feels like the mainstream hits we’ve heard from bands like Skillet and Red. The songs are huge and would fill an arena beautifully. The album’s lead single, Breathe Again, has hard rock radio hit written all over it. When Spoken isn’t all out balls to the wall heavy hard rock, they throw you these pseudo ballads. Spoken almost entirely (expect for the album’s closer, Take My Breath Away) avoids the all out ballad. Which is great because that’s usually where albums from bands like Skillet and Red lose it for me. Matt Baird’s melodies are, as always, absolutely killer and on point. Spoken can write a hook that’s as good as anyone else out there!
The sound and scope of this record is huge and impressive. But it’s also probably my least favorite record in Spoken’s discography. I thought Illusion was brilliant and Breathe Again is a nice follow-up. And it is very different stylistically, even though both records would fall under the hard rock genre. The problem with Breathe Again is it feels like a record I’ve heard and liked before. Yes, Spoken does it well and Breathe Again is great. But I find myself just not all that interested in the record. But, I have a feeling this could be a record that grows on me and I ultimately end up loving it. 3.5 out of 5 Stars.