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This Beautiful Republic

Sparrow Records

CBN.comThe hope of eternity is not easily articulated nor readily captured in song. Many try but few are successful in generating a genuine connection between the music, listener, and the feeling of a life beyond this one. Yet, where imagination meets the glory of a future reality is where you will find this Toledo, Ohio outfit. The width, length, height, and depth of its calling are expressed in one lyric from the band’s debut album, Even Heroes Need A Parachute.

I get the feeling that I’m not home yet. 

“The name This Beautiful Republic signifies a kingdom of faith and love,” explains lead vocalist Ben Olin. “And we chose our album’s title to emphasize the common ground that all humans share. No matter who you are or what you do, the need for a savior is vital. So we hope, beyond anything else, to show people this savior, Christ, and to give listeners a brush with eternity.”

To say that This Beautiful Republic’s debut release evokes strong, positive emotion would be an understatement. Sonically, the band lies somewhere between Switchfoot, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, and Taking Back Sunday. Heavy guitars, heavier hooks. But beyond powerful, commercial rock choruses and strong, dynamic, melodic songwriting is an element not found many places. It is the presence of something other-worldly that sets this band apart.

“Big choruses are an important part of the songs,” explains Olin. “Anthemic, driving melodies that people can sing along to is what we are about. And they are written with the live show in mind. We want the crowd to be able to partake in this and grab hold of it. We intend to make the music about the listener, not just ourselves.”

It is rare that a debut effort contains such strength from front to back. Consider the track “Cloud Cover.” It is an exercise in ambiance, which moves to a wonderful, wide-open expanse that is the song’s hook. Straightforward in its evolution, the song incorporates purposeful, direct instrumentation as well as structure, taking the listener deep into a heavenly presence. Similarly, debut radio single, “Jesus to the World,” contains a forthright chorus that lingers long after the song is finished, beckoning listeners to connect with heaven. This Beautiful Republic’s rock fills, beats, and riffs offer enough potency to satisfy the most ravenous audience. Added texture intelligently placed with keyboards and samples also make the record three-dimensional.

Even Heroes Need A Parachute was produced by Allen Salmon (most noted for engineering records by Sanctus Real and Mute Math) with Mike Needham (Killers) at the mixing board. The result? Power. Stamina. Vertical Emotion. It sounds as a rock record should—with an asterisk on allowing these worshipful melodies to breathe without sacrificing the attack of the music. 

As with the project’s musical aspects, its lyrical content is determined and poignant. On “Fears and Failures,” This Beautiful Republic confronts the idea of life’s inherent meaninglessness without God: Questions are not easy. When nothing can satisfy. Life is more than these fears and failures. Fame is just a lie. “Black Box” likens the idea of faith to a fiery plane crash. In this analogy, the black box records our responses to life’s tribulation, revealing where we truly place our faith: I know it’s a tragedy that sometimes people lose their wings. When we’re crashing down, what will they see? When (now) there’s nothing’s left, who are we? The black box is hearing the hope and the fearing. What will it say? Finally, on fan-favorite “Let’s Be Honest,” This Beautiful Republic addresses our certain mortality with a challenge to the listener: I sing because I don’t know what to do. It’s taken me a long time, to find that life is passing by. I lift my hands, I’m so desperate to feel Him. So let’s be honest, without Him life just passes by. There is an active faith in these words, one that honestly desires to share with willing hearts.

This Beautiful Republic has placed a heavy emphasis on its live show, stating that the song recordings are meant to be mere glimpses of its performance. Spin kicks, guitar swings, and multiple members in the air are common staples of a show that features a more aggressive feel than the album alone. And whether they are sleeping on floors or facing sleepless nights, hundreds of shows will follow their debut release. The band will launch a national tour with scene champions Sanctus Real in spring 2007.

Label innovator Forefront Records stakes its faith in this fresh unit by plotting a massive campaign around Even Heroes Need A Parachute. Citing the group’s universal appeal, there is little question that this move will prove pivotal to all involved. And This Beautiful Republic aims to obey its calling, welcoming and encouraging believers while inviting their searching with open arms.

“God has gifted us in this way, so that’s the main avenue we use. We want people to have a unique encounter with Him using the most powerful medium possible.... music. The confidence to risk doing this comes from the provisions we have experienced. He has always been faithful to help us every step of the way. So, we are going to go where He wants us and embrace His people along the way. If nothing else, we want all to know that there is a real beautiful republic beyond this world, waiting for us to take hold of it in the here and now.”


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