Review Date: 10/20/2014
Review By: Angel Journey
Release Date: 10/14/2014
Rating: [usr 7.5]

Out with their fifth studio album, Canadian trio Manic Drive recently released VIP. The band is made up of vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Shawn Cavallo, lead guitarist Michael Cavallo, and drummer Anthony Moreino. It has been three years since the band’s previous release of critically acclaimed EPIC. For this album, Manic Drive raised funds from fans via pledgemusic and worked with producers Oh, Hush! (Cee Lo, Jamie Grace) and Nick Baumhardt (Stellar Kart, Britt Nicole). The project features a couple of extremely talented guest spots and a ton of the power-pop energy that fans have come to love.

Opening the record is “Electric,” and living up to the name it is full of synthetic grooves, skillfully placed auto-tune, and carries a strong Daft Punk vibe. While using the analogy of love and electricity is not anything new, this piece brings a fresh take on it, sharing that God’s love can “resuscitate what’s been defeated, break the circuit to complete it.” Featuring the great Trevor McNevan of TFK, dance-tastic beats, and an inspiring message, this song sets a great tone for the album. Keeping things funky is “VIP,” featuring Manwell Reyes of Group 1 Crew. This track brings tons of energy to back up the encouragement that we are all unique, purposed people. “Get up, like you’re one in a million. Get up, like a diamond you’re brilliant.” Throughout the record, “Good News” and “Rhythm” continue the dynamic, upbeat grooves.

Street Lights” slows the tempo to a reverent tone, where the group illustrates that God’s hope can lead the way out of despair’s darkness. “When the sunlight fades, You are here to lead me and show me where to go.” Continuing the pop-worship is “King of Mercy,” with spritely melodies and a few whoa-oh-oh’s, the track reflects on the grace of God. A strong lyrical piece is “Song To Sing,” where we hear the story of a despondent man finding God’s love through a hymnal. “Stumble through the front door, I’m an imposter. Find peace in this holy church, sitting in the back row.”

A couple of recurring motifs present themselves throughout the record. Within the tracks “I Hide You Seek” and “Indestructible,” we hear about the power of God’s restoring love, where the latter states “as long as You’re with me, my world can crash and I’ll be standing.” We can also hear the confidence and conviction of sharing God’s hope, as in “Fire,” where we are called to “burn up the night, come together and blaze up the sky, lets set this world on fire.”

VIP brings with it a great dynamic of fun and confident lyrical pieces, as well as infectious dance-tastic tracks contrasted by more worshipful ballads. Manic drive is currently on the One Life Tour with Fireflight, Lastwatch, and North11, so catch them live and grab a copy of VIP so you can sing along!

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