They Mean What They Say | Posted March 16, 2012 Staff Reviewer
Sent By Ravens made an impressive debut two years ago with Our Graceful Words, proving themselves to be one of the more solid new faces on the Christian Hard Rock scene. Now they’re back for their sophomore album entitled Mean What You Say, and anybody worried that their strong debut was just a fluke can breathe easy.
Right away, it’s clear that Sent By Ravens stuck with what works for them. “Prudence” opens the album on a high note with a fierce, yet polished and accessible hard rock sound that carries through most of the album. Most of these songs would feel right at home on either Christian or Secular rock radio, especially a song like “However Long It Takes,” which I personally felt echoed a few vibes of bands like Daughtry.
Lead single “Learn from the Night” follows in the footsteps of “Beautiful List” as the rock ballad the band uses as their first single. With a music box-like opening, the song proves to be an album highlight. Other great moments include the powerful ballad “Never Be Enough,” the thumping title track (“Mean What You Say”), and the stirring closer “Best in Me.”
Musically, the band should please a lot of listeners with a good balance. There’s a little something for the scream lovers, the ballad lovers, and the straight-up rock lovers. Another plus is that it doesn’t ever get too boring or musically monotonous, which helps the album feel more complete.
Lyrically, the album pays significant attention to the theme of making the words we speak honest and Christlike (and the harm that can come from not doing so). This theme is most evident in the title track, which claims: “I don’t need to hurt with my hands. I could find some value, destroy it with my mouth.”
“We’re All Liars” also picks up on a similar theme. “Listen” seems to speak to the other end of communication, asking, “When will you listen?” Words of encouragement are found in “Best in Me,” “Just settle down, this storm won’t last forever.” All in all, the band seems to be open about their faith but does so in a way that would attract even secular audiences.
Sent By Ravens offers up another solid rock effort that should give many rock playlists material to be spun all year long. While I don’t think Sent By Ravens has had its true breakthrough moment with this release, I do think it has propelled them a step closer to that. At the very least, this fantastic project will keep their names on the shortlist of the better Christian hard rock bands out there.