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Music Review: Into The Wild by Manic Drive

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Updated July 09, 2018
Manic Drive - Singing In The Rain (Lyric Video)
Manic Drive - Mic Drop (Lyric Video)
Manic Drive - Easier (Lyric Video)

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Since the formation of Manic Drive, their goal was not to just entertain, but to inspire a generation to live out their faith "manically" and be driven to pursue their God-given, individual purpose. With a musical fusion of rock, funk, and EDM, they have been entertaining audiences with explosive performances, sharing their unique "edge pop" sound around the world.

"We want our new songs to be authentic and honest," Shawn continues. "I think if we write from our hearts, it will connect with our fans, and we can meet them wherever they are. With INTO THE WILD we hope to continue to inspire people to earnestly seek out who God created them to be. We hope people will take a risk and walk into the wild unknown and boldly live their lives reflecting their Creator."

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Into The Wild by Manic Drive
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Its been a while since we've heard anything recorded by this Toronto based band, their last album, "VIP" was released in 2014. They have continued to tour and get some critical and chart success particularly in the Billboard charts. It seems to me that this band, despite being around for quite some time, has yet to really be found by a lot of listeners. So perhaps "Into Their Wild" is the moment that will move them forward.

"Mic Drop" the opening track is a re-introduction to Manic Drive, reminding us that they are the "boys from the six" the nickname for Toronto, before telling us that they might be the underdogs but they are going to own it on this release. With such a confident statement, it's a shame that this song doesn't really back itself up as it's honestly quite a weak track, especially for an album opener! Having said that even a weak song can make an impact and this track was used to back a video from YouTuber Dude Perfect and the video has been viewed over 70 million times!

"Ceiling" gives us a trip back to the sounds of Michael Jackson from around his "Thriller" period, it's a song about not being limited and breaking out and breaking through. This sense of movement continues of the title track, "Into The Wild" is about moving away from the comfortable and heading out to the frontiers, moving away from what we know into the unknown. Then "Easier" finishes off this trio of songs by suggesting that just because we have set off on this adventure it's not necessarily going to get easier, in fact, we need help and we need to admit that! This track was the lead single which is good because it sets out a prayer that we all need help sometimes and that we don't need to be false about it!

"Singing In The Rain" is not the Gene Kelly classic track, instead it's about keeping positive when times are tough. If it rains then remember God is in control and dance in the rain like no-one's watching! If "Ceiling" was Michael Jackson inspired then this track seems to owe Mr Timberlake! "Be You Beautiful" see's an addictive used of cow bells to emphasise the craziness of this song. This is ultimately a simple love song of being so wrapped up with someone and loving them completely in those moments when people are truly themselves. "Operator" is a song that is about the disconnect that we sometimes find between us and God, particularly when we have neglected our side of the relationship. The song goes from "Operator" to "Aviator" which for me seems to be an odd expression of reaching out for God and following His plans, it's not one of my favourites, but it's actually quite catchy despite that!

"Stiletto's" is probably one of the tracks that are just meant to be fun, but again it misses the mark and doesn't really fit with this album. I guess it's a bit of lightness before the tone turns quite heavy for "Forgiveness". This track is about the idea of seeking forgiveness through confession. So it's quite an honest song, but through the confession there is the reminder that God won't love us less, no matter what we have done, or the messes we have made. The album finishes (apart from the last track remix of Easier from Matthew Parker) with the incredibly fun track called "Fun K". However there is a serious message behind that track which is about who's going to be next who will focus on the music and the message and not just be looking for a pay cheque. The good news is that there is a wave of people taking up the mantle to make music for the love of music and their God.

This album shows just how far Manic Drive have come, obviously they are now down to just the two brothers, but their sound seems to have settled into a comfortable place, which is a long way from where they started out as a hard rock band. There are a lot of good ingredients here, but there seem to be too many tracks that don't quite get to the point. Some of them they get away with as a light relief, but others don't work. On this album they seem to be a little too reliant on the electro sounds, which means there are drum loops that don't sound real and you notice the difference when they have the addition of live percussion. Overall this album has a good sound and the band are showing a maturity that hasn't been there previously. They aren't terribly well known, but this album should definitely help them bring their sound to a new audience.

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