Holding a median age of just 21, Loftland continues to bring young, vibrant energy to the pop rock scene with their full-length DREAM Records debut, I Don’t Want To Dance. Brothers Dominic and Tanner Gibbs, Ben Pepin, and Joey McGuire comprise the Wisconsin based pop rock quartet and their debut album on DREAM Records is a great composition as they wonderfully declare the love that God has for us, as well as expressing the various scenes of falling in and out of romance.
Starting off the record with melodic synths, “Today Is A New Day” strives to encourage a positive prospective despite negative circumstances; No matter what happened yesterday, “Today is a new day, my voice is rising with the dawn, and hope is burning like the sun.” With 80s synths, bright bells, smooth vocals, groovy guitar riffs, and an upbeat drum tempo, this track kicks the record off to a jumping start.
The album does a great job of expressing how much Jesus truly loves us, and borrowing from the infamous tale of Adam, Eve, and the forbidden fruit, the track “Runaway” is a sincere reflection upon guilt and how it makes us want to disappear. We are reminded of God’s love and how His “love is a lion, fierce and free, relentless and violent” and no matter the mistake, pure love is always willing to forgive and forget. Whether this love is shown to us by God or a significant other, this unconditional love is further explored in “How You Love Me,” which is an honest introspection, as the lyrics state “I’m the king of a thousand good intentions. I mean well and still fall short.”
The song “Hold On, Small One” continues to marvellously convey how much God loves us. No matter how deep we lose ourselves in our fear, our sin, or our mistakes, God is always saying to us “When the storms they come, and all your hope is gone, you’ve got to hold on. I’ll never leave you.” Ending the record with a strong statement is “Let’s Make It Loud,” an anthem not only for the young generation, but for anyone who believes that Jesus’ Love is the answer to the world’s selfishness. “We’re not the future, we are the now. We’ve got a love song you can’t drown out.”
The secondary theme of the album is depicting the emotions of a captivating romance. “Girl Like That” is the first single from the album and lists out the Godly characteristics that these guys hope to find in a mate such as forgiveness, faithfulness, and gentleness. It is great to understand what you are looking for in a potential wife or husband, so that you yourself can strive to be that person as well. “Lie To Me” addresses the saddest possibility in relationships, the breakup. Even though it might not be the best remedy for the situation, in the midst of the heavy emotional roller coaster of a breakup, we can often find ourselves wanting that person back. Sometimes, we would rather have the fabrication of a relationship than feel like we have nothing at all. God has blessed us with His amazing unconditional love, and the only thing He has asked of us in return is to share that love with the rest of the world.
Wiping off the tears from the previous track, “Can’t Get Enough” depicts the wonderful scene of falling in love. “Every time we kiss, I get a rush I can’t replace. When you touch my lips, you put life into my veins.” You can’t try to describe such an enchantment in one song, so “Lovesick” continues to express how such adoration can completely consume you, “Cause every time you’re near I get delirious, and my heartbeat beats me senseless.” With “I Don’t Want To Dance,” we continue to embrace the captivating romance as it causes you to imagine that you’re at your local disco, and that you showed up only because you were bored and lonely, but then someone walks in and changes your life forever.
It is a wonderful thing hearing a band mature with each new release, as Loftland has done and will only continue to do. The fact that they are young makes one hope for a bright and long future for this group of talented artists so make sure to grab yourself a copy of I Don’t Want To Dance and partake in the exploration of loving God, loving yourself, and loving others.