Music Review >> SafetySuit – ‘These Times’

Rock band SafetySuit experiments with their sound on latest record, These Times.

SafetySuit, comprised of Doug Brown (vocals/guitar), Dave Garofolo (guitar),  Jeremy Henshaw (bass), and Tate Cunningham (drums), are kicking off the new year  on a high note with the release of their second full-length record, These  Times.

“People always say you have your whole life to write your first record, and  your second record you need to do it in a year,” Brown told Sound Spike at the  end of May 2011.

After heading back into the studio to create the  follow-up to 2008’s Life Left To Go, which spawned the hit single,  “Stay,” SafetySuit decided to trash what they had recorded halfway into the  recording process and start again from scratch. The band then aligned themselves  with powerhouse producers Howard Benson (Daughtry), Espionage (Train), and an  old buddy of Brown and Cunningham’s from college, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder  (Gavin DeGraw).

It was with Tedder that the band created their lead single off of These  Times, Let Go.”

“I love that song, because it’s such a departure for us,” Brown explained in  a press release. “Ryan is obviously a very pop-minded producer, so I said,  ‘Let’s have fun with it; let’s do something that’s not the norm.’ It turned out  great, and it kills live.”

The track itself does have what I would call a “Tedder Was Here” feel to it,  with its symphonic melody and pop-infused beats. It shows that SafetySuit isn’t  afraid of taking a risk and experimenting with their sound and embracing pop  music. Nevertheless, on an album that’s predominantly rock, “Let Go” shines.

The band gets politcal on the Howard Benson-produced title track. With the  economy being less than stellar, the lyrically powerful “These Times” stands out  as an anthem for people that have fallen on hard times. The track speaks to the  relevance of what’s currently going on in our society, as well as ingraining the  hope that things will get better.

“We wrote, ‘These times are hard/But they will pass,’ and that’s important to  remind people of,” Brown said in the aforementioned press release. “We’ve made  it out of bad times before, and we’ll make it out again.”

Collectively, These Times is a captivating album. You can tell from  the opening track, “Believe,” that the musicianship here is really top-notch. On  that track in particular, the anthemic ascension of the guitar work in the  beginning sets the tone for the entire album. And Brown’s vocals throughout are  impressive and incredibly versatile.

With lyrically relatable, rockin’ and melodic songs about life, love, and  everything in-between, SafetySuit’s These Times is a must-listen for  2012.

These Times by SafetySuit is available now. For more information on  the band, check out their official  website.

Originally posted on Blogcritics.


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Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a Writer, Editor, and Arts & Entertainment Journalist from the SF Bay Area. When not listening to music or cheering on the San Jose Sharks, she's probably at the movies. Follow her on Twitter: @KirsCoachman

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