Earlier this week, Family Force 5, one of my favorite newer bands because of their hard-edged dance-influenced music, released their second full-length album: Dance or Die. After their powerful debut, which I could probably listen to on an endless loop, I had high expectations for this album. And while it didn't quite fulfill those, it's not a horrible follow-up (unlike Panic! at the Disco's sophomore “effort”).
Dance or Die still has it's intoxicating tracks that just make you want more. “Get Your Back Off The Wall” just makes you want to jump up and dance, while “Fever” and “Wake The Dead” are nearly impossible to listen to without bobbing your head. Rounding out the solid tracks
are “Radiator” and “Rip It Up”.
However, some of the tracks just aren't up to par for the band. “The First Time” sounds like a track rejected from FM Static's debut album, “Party Foul” gets lost within itself, and the band must have lost their guitars when recording the title track. Then there's the awkward tracks that don't seem to fit the band at all. “How in the World” sounds like it was meant to be recorded by Hellogoodbye and “Share It With Me” sounds like a lost Backstreet Boys recording.
Overall, there's a lot of 80's and electronic influence here, which make for some good music, but sometimes take center stage ahead of the band. Dance or Die is definitely not the same quality album that Business Up Front/Party in the Back was, but about half it's tracks are worth adding to your collection.
Oh, and yes, Family Force 5 is a Christian band, but they actually take a lot of heat for that in the Christian community because they are not “overtly Christian” with their music. However, I have no problem with them producing clean music that you can still enjoy. Just because they don't slap you in the face with God doesn't mean they're not Christians, or that their not making a difference. However, I've already seen several negative reviews of this album mostly because of their approach as Christians.
In the end, at least check out their website/MySpace page at the link above and give some of the tracks a listen. I'm sure there's at least a few you'll be wanting to add to your collection, even if the whole album isn't as freakin' awesome as their initial release.