Album Review: Needtobreathe ‘The Reckoning’


Since hearing Needtobreathe’s song ‘Washed by the Water’ from their 2007 album the heat, I have been following the band with interest… their distinctive ‘southern’ sound.

The band has based their sound around the growl of  their lead singer and main songwriter Bear Rinehart and by doing so they are really on to a winner… by it’s self his voice is both powerful and delicate, but when you add on top of that the harmonies that Bo Rinehart and Seth Bolt add to the mix (and often a good ole’ southern sounding choir) and it turns the atmosphere into something to be a part of… it’s somewhere between an intimate rock concert and a southern church service.

And it brings us to ‘The Reckoning’ – this album is certainly more melancholic than the other albums, but it also has more depth to it at the same time. One of the things that I respect about NtB is the growth that you hear on each album, their craft is broadening and you can here the change from them playing in small gig towns to large stadiums…

The album starts off with ‘Ohhs and Ahhs’  a simple bass and piano and Bear growling rhythmically over top – the rest of the boys come in with some southern harmonies before the song explodes into a layered rock song filled with trumpets and strings and riffs that give you a taste that this album is about to take you somewhere you may not have expected… and then we are launched into ‘White fences’ a cross between an Irish pub singalong session and a southern drink session…

At this point you are thinking “Ok I’ve got a feel of this album” and then they land their first single from the album on you ‘Drive all night’ and it’s a cracker… it’s Matchbox 20 meets Counting crows meets Tom Petty… it’s all rock it’s all southern and it’s melodic, and gives you a taste… and you want more… But like any good band NtB know not to play all their cards in their first half of their albums, and they drop you nicely into the Celtic infused ditty ‘A Place only you can go’ and it is beautiful and it is gentle and it is laced with bagpipes.

‘Slumber’ and ‘The Reckoning’ pick up the rock trail again before the very singable track ‘Able’ which almost has a Gaither band feel in the chorus, and a real tip of the hat to the old southern sound that the boys were most likely grown up with.

‘Maybe there on to us’ reminds me of a Rob Thomas song, it almost has an R&B feel to it.

The album finishes with ‘Learn to Love’ it’s beauty in it’s simplest and it feels like it’s a slow farewell that you expect from a concert…

This is a great southern pop infused rock album, it has enough swagger and drive to keep you interested while taking you on a musical journey through the lives of Bear and Bo Rinehart.


Here’s the video for ‘Slumber’ the second single from the album ‘The Reckoning’



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