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Floodgate Records
        If, upon hearing the name James Paul Wisner, you think, ďWho is he and why do I care?Ē youíre unaware of the impact heís had on some of your favorite music Ė or some of mine, at least. His talent in piano, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals has shaped him into a formidable producer. Heís worked with bands such as New Found Glory and Glasseater, and more recently Underoath and The Academy Is. Probably the most popular of his credits are Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever. Now if, in this list, you spotted at least one band youíve heard of and even marginally enjoy, youíll want to seriously consider listening to one of Wisnerís latest projects. Itís a lovely four-piece band out of Florida by the name of Forever Changed.
The Need To Feel Alive, the bandís first release since their EP The Existence, comes out March 8th on Floodgate Records. Thatís exactly a week from today, giving you seven days to become an I-liked-them-and-bought-their-CD-before-you-did Forever Changed fan. Itís not something hard to do; I myself was hooked upon hearing the first thirty seconds of Track 1.
         The ironically entitled ďThe Last TimeĒ begins forty-five minutes youíll want to have on constant repeat for as long as your mind can appreciate profound musical devotion. Itís only a quick glance into what Forever Changed is capable of, but itís a satisfying glance indeed, leaving the listener eager for what more the foursome has to offer. The well-chosen opening track has the feeling of a slowly developing Polaroid picture, with eloquent lines shaping a scene masterly abducted from the tangible world.
         I donít know about you, but lyrical content is unbelievably important to me in a song. A band can give me soaring vocals, insane guitars, pounding drums, and smooth, deep bass, but if the lyrics are meaningless or weak I have an inclination to use the CD as a coaster or Christmas ornament. But
The Need To Feel Alive doesnít need to worry about that. Each track is less a song than it is an orchestrated four-minute novel, delving deep into the lyricistsí personal experiences as well as the listenersí empathetic and sympathetic wells of imagination and memory. While not as catchy as, say, Taking Back Sunday, Forever Changed resembles aforementioned Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever in countless apologies, whispered wishes, and stories of strangers like the young man in ďAlone.Ē Dan and Ben tell tales most of us couldnít even dream of, while both contributing skillfully crafted drive on guitar. With Tom on bass and Nathan on drums, the Forever Changed formula is complete, yielding a breathtaking clash that is much, much more than the sum of its parts.
   The Need To Feel Alive is the type of album that can be listened to in rain or sun, in spring or fall, in ecstasy or defeat. It gives a different narration for each fan, impacting more fiercely and closer to the heart with every follow-up listen. The band combines the simplicity of obviously expert craftsmanship with the complexity of multifaceted meanings in intricately woven lines. Donít believe itís possible? Give the album a listen. Tell me after a few minutes if youíve reconsidered Ė if you can tear yourself from the snares of pure virtuosity to do anything but love Forever Changed.
A.A. '05
1) The Last Time
The Need To Feel Alive
Something More
Great Divide
Romance in Denial
The Vanity Letter
Opporunity (We Could Be The Ones)
<< 10) Alone >>
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