A personal crisis (private, artistic) hit Tim Showalter, frontman of Strand For Oaks, when he wanted to start working on his band's new album. "Heal" is now the name of the work with which the American freed himself from all his problems. "I wanna start all over again" he sings again and again in the opener "Goshen '97" and plays a stomping stadium rock. In the title song he leads the 80s synthpop into the 21st century. "Same Emotions" is modern indie rock with funky rhythm guitars and synths. All neat and tidy. Sometimes quieter, sometimes louder, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Never really extraordinary. But what distinguishes this album are the songs "Woke Up To The Light", "Plymouth" and "Wait For Me", which remind of well-known chart strikers of Coldplay with immediately catchy pop melodies, immense hit potential and appealing arrangements. The highlight, however, is "JM", which cleverly and charmingly oscillates between massive guitar riffs and tender moments.
Top track: JM