REVIEWS 'Songs for the Late Night Drive Home'...
When Anberlin broke up, the music industry lost one of its most profound and engaging musical presences. Fortunately, all is not lost. Stephen Christian, the guy behind those signature vocals, is still very much involved in making music, and his side project Anchor & Braille is back with a third full-length album.
Those familiar with the project know that these songs explore Christian's softer side. This time, he adds in a heavy dose of electronic influence that makes the songs feel more alive than ever. The album title, Songs for the Late Night Drive Home, sounds outrageous at first, but it becomes increasingly appropriate with each listen. It's as if Stephen Christian got into a car late one night and wrote these songs while driving home. The music fits the surreal, neon light-fueled night landscape, and the lyrical musings that Christian is famous for are perfect representations of the kind of conversations had with oneself after midnight.
"Nightfall" boasts a lush and vibrant musical landscape and includes one of Christian's signature memorable lyrical statements: "I know it's hard but you've got to hold on to something to believe in." "Still Looking" gets the closest to an Anberlin chorus, upbeat and soaring, making it another of the album's memorable cuts. "Live Fast. Die Young" is a single-ready number with a briskly paced chorus that again exemplifies a "driving through the city at midnight with the windows down" vibe.
The electronic elements work to the album's enjoyability. Even though this album doesn't satisfy like an Anberlin album, it's still a rich and meaty treat with layers that demand to be peeled back slowly over several listens.
The Bottom Line: This is not Anberlin. But it is another side of master musician Stephen Christian, and virtually anything that guy sings is worth your time.