To be truly human is to be in community, sharing our lives with one another. Our stories are threads woven together to tell the story of God's redemption and hope. We are His story.
Stories, the follow up to 2008's self-titled Addison Road boasting the #1 single "All That Matters," finds the band once again teaming up with producer Chris Stevens (tobyMac, Sanctus Real, Mandisa). Inspired by both a myriad of personal trials as a band and the enouraging stories of the impact of their songs from fans, Stories, filled with pop driven melodies and soul-stirring lyrics, reminds us that we are a part of something bigger
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FARTHEST Thing From A Slump...| Posted September 06, 2010
Addison Road splashed onto the music scene back in 2008 with the debut of their self titled first album, producing hits like ?All That Matters? and ?Hope Now?. The band garnered a wide fan base by their touring on the first ever Rock and Worship Roadshow tour last Spring, as well as their now infamous iTunes podcasts (which, by the way, if you?ve never seen one, I suggest you do yourself the favor?)
In the two years since their debut on INO Records, the band has seen it?s fair share of up?s and downs, including the departure of longtime drummer, Jeff Sutton. The most noteworthy feat the band overcame though, was a devastating van fire last year that not only destroyed all of their merchandise and equipment, but also most of the personal belongings of band members, Jenny and Ryan Simmons and their newborn daughter. It?s the things like this that can easily make the average band want to pack it up and quit?but Addison Road isn?t your average band. They overcame the hurtles that came along with the fire and have since gone into the studio to produce their sophomore release, ?Stories?.
You might think that will all that they?ve gone through, that ?Stories? might have a darker feel than their melodic pop driven first album, but it just isn?t so, quite the contrary actually. This is by far one of the most positive albums I have heard in a long time. It kicks off with the first single, ?Fight Another Day? (co-written by none other than tobyMac), from there you enter into ?Change In The Making?, which is one of the strongest tracks on the album, vocally and lyrically. ?This Little Light Of Mine? is a matured vision of the beloved children?s hymn, that beautifully displays this band lyrical depth.
Musically, this album is pretty diverse compared to their first album. Songs like ?Need You Now? and ?Show Me Life? stay on the slower more worshipful side, while the band sticks to their down to earth roots with upbeat tracks like ?Won?t Let Me Go? and the namesake of the album, ?My Story?. Highlights on this album include the dance club-esq ?Don?t Wait? (about, funny enough, the death of a friend), and my favorite song on the whole album, ?Where It All Begins?, covering the topic of what it means to be a light in a dark world (?I wanna love when it?s costly, be quick to forgive, run to the One who calls me to live??).
?Stories? is the FARTHEST thing from a slump for this talented group of musicians. If anything, the trails this band faced over the past year made them stronger, it shows in their musicianship and in their cutting (and oftentimes, quirky) lyrics. My one and only flaw with this album? It is too short! And you will defiantly be left wanting to hear more, but in a way? It is also a good thing, because it makes me wonder what their next album is going to hold for the listener?
This is going to go down as one of my favorite new albums in the year, and it is already one that I find myself listening to on days when I need the reminder that we serve a God who is always faithful to His promises, even when things around us are chaotic. I dare you to try and walk away from this one without a smile on your face. :)
Addison Road [Stories]| Posted June 16, 2010 [MAIN REVIEW]
For an “accidental” band formed in college by now husband and wife Jenny and Ryan Simmons, along with guitarist Ryan Gregg, bass player Travis Lawrence and original drummer Jeff Sutton, Addison Road sure has had a purposeful impact on Christian music. Their self-titled 2008 release on INO Records garnered strong reviews and chart-topping singles, and songs like ”All That Matters,” “What Do I Know of Holy?” and “Hope Now” still resonate with listeners. But the success became intermingled with a season of struggle. Their van and trailer were stolen twice, along with their gear, and once the van was finally recovered it was soon totaled in a collision with a fallen oak tree. The songs on their new album Stories became part of a theme without the band realizing it, a theme the members would soon experience quite personally. The first radio single, “Fight Another Day” (written by TobyMac), is a good example. “We’ve never done anybody else’s song, ever, but he felt sure the song sounded like us,” Simmons recalls. “We had no idea when we recorded lines about feeling the flames when the fire gets hot that we would actually have everything we own literally burn up in a fire.”
“Fight Another Day” is a great anthem in the style of Toby’s hit song “Get Back Up” and is a surefire hit for the band. I’m a huge fan of the electronic music of the 80’s and for me the best part of this album is the musically diversity of the songs. The pulsing beats of “Won’t Let Me Go,” “Don’t Wait,” and “Where It All Begins” which include a Depeche Mode type musical vibe blend perfectly with gorgeous ballads “Change In The Making” and “Need You Now.” “Show Me Life” actually features a synth-pop keyboard part, harmonica, guitar and banjo all in one song which for me is musical genius.
As if those songs aren’t enough to make this an incredible step forward for this up and coming band, the true stand-out songs for me are the incredible re-writes of sorts. “This Little Light of Mine” has the familiar chorus of the children’s song and is a stirring anthem written by Ryan Gregg. The song could be recognized as a tender letter of encouragement from parent to child, but it somehow takes on greater significance for any child of God seeking hope to keep battling through life’s journey. The other song that gives me goose bumps is the closing song “My Story,” which Jenny wrote based on the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” The song’s message arose from a time when Simmons was so empty and exhausted that she questioned her calling in music ministry. A good friend confirmed her feelings, but then reminded her of her place in God’s plan, saying, “The only thing I know for sure is that I’ve watched you over the last five years be a part of God’s story. This isn’t about you, it isn’t about your family or your story, it’s about you being a part of God’s story.”
The messages behind the songs are what truly lift this album to that upper echelon of albums released this year, and for me this is one of the top 5 albums of the year. This is a 5 star album. If you liked Addison Road’s debut album, then you’ll absolutely LOVE Stories . This is an excellent album and I can’t get enough of the musical hooks, Jenny’s vulnerable and sincere vocals and the extremely poignant lyrics.
Addison Road: Stories Review| Posted June 13, 2011
Addison Road is back with their second album Stories. After tragically losing all of their belongings in an RV fire, Addison Road knew that all they could do was trust God and watch Him provide. Time after time, God has provided for the band and proven that He has never left them. Stories is a reflection of this truth, through ten simple tracks sure to encourage the listener to trust God in times of trouble. Also of interest for this album is the fact that Addison Road’s drummer Jeff stepped down from his job to go back to college. For these reasons, this album is definitely a milestone in Addison Road’s history as a band.
The extremely catchy pop track “Fight Another Day” opens Stories, being a track written by Grammy award winning artist TobyMac. “Fight Another Day” is a strong encouragement to persevere even when the fire gets hot (“Will you walk way when the fire gets hot or fight another day?”). It is no wonder that this single made it’s way to radio’s top hits, as it’s catchy tune and encouraging lyrics make for an outstanding track.
Slowing things down, “Change In the Making,” another single from Stories, is a reminder that God is shaping us into something way better than we are right now. In fact, as the band reminds us, even when we can’t tell what God is doing, He always knows what is best for us and we are “change in the making.” I very much enjoyed the inspirational lyrics of this track, as well as the wonderful way that Jenny sang this song. “This Little Light of Mine” follows, talking about reflecting the light of love, and never losing our lights. Although a bit slower, with beautiful strings, it is no wonder that this song is becoming a fan-favorite.
“Won’t Let Me Go” features a steady, upbeat tempo, sure to make the listener join in. As its name implies, “Won’t Let Me Go” is a simple reminder that everything will be okay, since God will never let us go. The way that lead singer Jenny repeated the word “won’t” several times makes this track yet another catchy track. “Need You Now” is very similar to “This Little Light of Mine,” again being a slower worship song about needing God to help us get through. I thought that the quiet background fill-ins by Jenny’s husband Ryan were a huge asset to the track.
“Show Me Life” brings out the bass on this contemporary track, being a prayer to God to help us overcome the everyday struggles in life by “changing the old to new.” “Don’t Wait” sounds remarkably similar to Press Play music, with the booming drums and bass, as well as the extremely full chorus. With this track, Addison Road encourages their listeners to go out and make a difference while there is still time: “We’re not indestructible / Our lives are unpredictable/ they can turn on a dime/ so now is the time/ don’t wait/ don’t wait/ today!”
“Where It All Begins” actually sounds much like a 90s contemporary track, perhaps similar to Point of Grace music. It is a prayer to God to help us get back to the basics: “Show me how to feel again/ I come to You with open hands/ Teach me to be real again/ Take me back to where it all begins.” “Who I Am In You” reminded me of Echoing Angels, with a slower contemporary track, and is a reminder that true identity comes only from God (“I’m finding who I am in You”).
Finally, Stories ends with “My Story,” a definite “bouncy” pop track which summed up the album perfectly. Besides the very catchy beat, the lyrics of the track, partially taken from the hymn “Blessed Assurance,” summed up Addison Road’s last year excellently with these lyrics exclaiming the desire that “wherever You lead me is where I want to go.” The tambourine and background vocals from Ryan again created a wonderful track. In addition, on the buildup, the choir was a perfect asset to the album. I am convinced that this track is the best end Addison Road could have possibly put to an album such as this.
It certainly has been a tough year for Addison Road, but they are nowhere near quitting. Through these ten contemporary, mostly upbeat tracks, the band reminds themselves and the listeners that God will never leave us nor forsake us. It was a very encouraging listen, and I would highly recommend it to any contemporary Christian music fan.
Amazing!| Posted February 03, 2011
One of my favorite albums of all time. These songs are fun to listen to and sing along to but they are also very deep. They sing about things that everyone can relate to: going through the hard things in life, trusting God, and living for every moment. My favorite songs are Fight Another Day, Don't Wait, Won't Let Me Go, and My Story but the other songs are just as great. Jenny's vocals are heartfelt and the lyrics are very honest. I love Addison Road for being so open about what they are going through. No one can be perfect and we all have doubts but "Stories" reminds me that through all of life's ups and downs we have hope. Addison Road does a remarkable job of creating an album that is a great listen and provides uplifting song lyrics. I definitely recommend this cd!
Great Follow up!| Posted July 27, 2010
I was way impressed by the syncopation in the first album and Jen's amazing voice. I was concerned that Stories may fall flat. I had nothing to worry about! The album is complex and straightforward! Listen with abandon and think about your own stories!
smacking :D| Posted July 20, 2010
this album is amazing. i really wish it would've charted on the billboard 200. the honesty, and passion in the lyrics are significantly addison road.. and i get to see you with tenth avenue north in october :D
Gotta Have!| Posted July 09, 2010
"Change in the Making" should be every single person's anthem. Addison Road does not dissapoint with their second album. Every single song offers listeners a new sound and fresh ideas!
Poppier than their debut, but very listenable| Posted June 22, 2010
Addison Road has reportedly endured their share of hardships over the past year. That they are persevering and turn in a sophomore album is a testament to their commitment to expressing their collective walk in Christ through their music, so I give them kudos for that in itself.
I was very impressed by their debut and while I find the new release to be a bit poppier and perhaps a tad more generic as a result, it is also a bit more diverse. It consistently shows solid musicianship and an ability to deliver a good hook. Highlights include Won't Let Me Go, Don't Wait, Show Me Life and Where It All Begins.