Music Review: The Beginning and Everything After by The Afters

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Updated March 05, 2019
Beginning Cover
The Afters - Well Done (Official Lyric Video)

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£7.99 (Amazon)

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To know where we’re going, it’s important to understand where we’ve been. As The Afters charts a course for the future, the band can’t help but pause to reflect on its memorable past. The Beginning & Everything After celebrates the triumphs, including chart-topping albums and singles, TV placements and theme songs, an MTVU Award, GMA Dove Awards and other accolades. But it’s more than a retrospective.

This new mix of hits and favorites showcases The Afters’ music in a new way. When laid side by side, the band’s compelling pop hooks and inspirational anthems take on new life.

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The Beginning and Everything After by The Afters
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Personal Rating 
The Afters are a band that too a little while to find their feet and their name. According to Wikipedia they originally played as The Screaming Mimes before recording an EP in 2000 as Blisse, upon discovery that there was another band with the same name Josh and Matt changed the name to The Afters. This band is the Christian band that you know, but you don't realise you know them! They have had key tracks for TV shows, mainly in the US and many hits on US Radio.

One of their first hits is featured on this collection, called "Beautiful Love", a track written by one of the band's founders Josh Havens. This featured on the album "I Wish We Could All Win" which was their 2005 major record label album that raised awareness of the band in Christian circles and outside thanks to "Beautiful Love" being recognised by MTV as we as featuring as a TV theme and on the soundtrack of the Lindsey Lohan movie "Just My Luck". This track is the only one from this initial album to make it onto this compilation. It took them a couple of years to follow up with "Never Going Back To OK" which released in 2008, the title track from that album features here. It was that song that really hit home in the Christian market featuring as the most played song on (US) Christian Radio in 2008.

2010 saw the release of "Light Up The Sky" which received a mixed reaction from the Christian reviewers. 2 songs from this album make it onto this compilation including the title track from the album and also "Lift Me Up". This album wasn't followed up until 2013 with "Life Is Beautiful" and a massive 4 tracks on this compilation are from this album. "Broken Hallelujah", "Moments Like This", "Every Good Thing"and "Life Is Beautiful" all find their way onto this album. Finally we come on to The Afters latest release which was 2016's "Live On Forever" which scored 6.9/10 when I reviewed it a couple of years ago. It is only the tracks "Battles" and the title track "Live On Forever" that find their way onto this release.

It's quite a back catalog to choose from, thankfully the band don't leave us just looking at the past. They have teased new music in the opening tracks. "Well Done" which is about hearing those two words when we reach Heaven leads off the album and I must confess I do love this track actually, but it sounds less like The Afters and more like MercyMe in the vein of "I Can Only Imagine" not just because of the similar theme. The second new track is "Fear No More" which is about relying on God to fight our battles for us and realise that we don't need to fear. There is, according to some sources, a brand new album in the works right now and this is due to hit sometime in 2019.

If you have every song ever released by The Afters then I don't think the temptation of 2 new tracks is really going to work, but if you are someone who didn't realise that one of the songs mentioned was by this group and you wanted to get up to speed with what they, or their record label, believe are their best releases then you should definitely pick up this compilation. It's impossible to deny the history and popularity of this band over the years, but to be honest they are not a group that really fire me up, despite these songs being taken from different albums they all sound a little too similar for my liking, although I must confess to having a soft spot for "Broken Hallelujah".

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