Rivers in the Wasteland

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Rivers in the Wasteland
RiversintheWasteland.jpg
Studio album by Needtobreathe
ReleasedApril 15, 2014 (2014-04-15)
RecordedDecember 2012 – December 2013
Studio
Genre
Length45:29
LabelAtlantic, Word, Curb
Producer
Needtobreathe chronology
The Reckoning
(2011)
Rivers in the Wasteland
(2014)
Live from the Woods at Fontanel
(2015)
Singles from Rivers in the Wasteland
  1. "The Heart + Difference Maker"
    Released: January 14, 2014
  2. "State I'm In"
    Released: February 17, 2014
  3. "Wasteland"
    Released: April 1, 2014
  4. "Multiplied"
    Released: 2014
  5. "Brother"
    Released: February 2, 2015

Rivers in the Wasteland is the fifth studio album by American Christian rock band Needtobreathe, released on April 15, 2014, through Atlantic Records, Curb Records and Word Records.[1][2] The album was produced by the band along with Kevin Augunas, Ed Cash, Joe Chiccarelli and Jerrod Bettis at various studios.

The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart, No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.[3]

The album's fourth single, "Multiplied", was nominated for a Grammy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song category.[4] The album's fifth and final single, "Brother", proved to be the band's biggest hit to date, peaking at No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]

Background and recording[edit]

Rivers in the Wasteland was recorded from December 2012 through December 2013.[1] It was produced by the band along with Kevin Augunas, Ed Cash, Joe Chiccarelli and Jerrod Bettis. The album was recorded at Plantation Studios in Charleston, South Carolina, Fairfax Recordings in Van Nuys, California, Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Ed's in Franklin, Tennessee.[nb 1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
365 Days of Inspiring Media4/5 stars[6]
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
CCM Magazine4/5 stars[7]
Christian Music Zine5/5 stars[8]
CM Addict4/5 stars[9]
Cross Rhythms10/10 squares[10]
Jesus Freak Hideout4.5/5 stars[11]
4.5/5 stars[12]
4.5/5 stars[13]
4.5/5 stars[14]
New Release Tuesday5/5 stars[15]
PopMatters5/10 discs[16]

Rivers in the Wasteland received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Tony Cummings, founder of Cross Rhythms, rated the album a perfect ten squares, calling it a "delicious album" that "demonstrates once again that when you've got quality songwriting and a band on the top of their game, all resistance melts away."[10] At CCM Magazine, Matt Conner rated the album four stars out of five, calling the release a "spirited" affair on which has "Needtobreathe's signature Southern rock stomps circles 'round Bear Rinehart's distinct vocal for another 11-song feast that just might be their best yet."[7] At Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Piet Levy gave the album a positive review, writing that "the inspiration can be found in the beauty of its lyrics", and that when the band gets around to praising the Lord that "the effect is more powerful than anything on the latest albums from Christian acts like Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Chris Tomlin or TobyMac."[17]

Timothy Monger of AllMusic rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of four, remarking that "If Needtobreathe's intention was to deliver a more down-to-earth and reflective record following The Reckoning's big-budget glitz, they've succeeded."[1] At New Release Tuesday, Kevin Davis rated the album a perfect five stars, writing that "Every song is absolutely amazing" because "[t]he very relatable and transparent words of these songs use poetic descriptions and biblical language throughout eleven stellar tracks".[15] Kate Padilla of The Spencer Daily Reporter liked Bear's vocal tone, claiming that singling out a few standout tracks would be a shear lesson in futility because "The entire thing is great, from beginning to end and back again."[18] At PopMatters, Jeff Koch rated the album five discs out of ten, cautioning how "these rivers run too shallow to irrigate this wasteland."[16]

At Jesus Freak Hideout, four reviewers, Jen Rose, Jerrold Wallace, John DiBiase, and Timothy Estabrooks, all gave the same rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five.[2] Rose says that the release "represents an already great band at their finest".[11] Wallace writes that "The appropriately titled Rivers in the Wasteland is a tale of redemption and perseverance" because the band had its share of "ups and down," and that they have "pushed through and created some of their finest work to date."[12] DiBiase remarked that the release "is a refreshing listening experience",[13] while Estabrooks called the release simply "phenomenal."[14]

At Christian Music Zine, Graeme Jones rated the album a perfect five stars, remarking how the release "doesn’t disappoint" because it is "quality musically and lyrically."[8] Andrew Funderburk of CM Addict rated the album four stars out of five, stating that "It’s an album filled with strength down to the last track."[9] At 365 Days of Inspiring Media, Jonathan Andre rated the album four stars out of five, writing how it is "a gem of an album".[6] Timothy Yap of Hallels gave the album a modestly positive review, saying while some songs on the release don't work well that "Gone are the thinly cloaked inspirational songs, and moving right in are songs that penetrate from the superficial to the eternal."[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

Rivers in the Wasteland debuted at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 49,000 copies in its first week of release.[20] The sales were good enough for No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums and Top Rock Albums charts, and No. 6 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[20][21] As of January 2015, the album has sold 150,000 copies in the US.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bear and Bo Rinehart[nb 2].

No.TitleProducer(s)[nb 3]Length
1."Wasteland"Needtobreathe4:31
2."State I'm In"Kevin Augunas, Joe Chiccarelli, Needtobreathe3:19
3."Feet, Don't Fail Me Now"Chiccarelli, Needtobreathe3:45
4."Oh, Carolina"Augunas, Needtobreathe3:25
5."Difference Maker"Chiccarelli, Needtobreathe5:40
6."Rise Again"Augunas, Needtobreathe3:17
7."The Heart"Chiccarelli, Needtobreathe, Jerrod Bettis3:44
8."Where the Money Is"Needtobreathe3:22
9."Multiplied"Ed Cash, Needtobreathe4:35
10."Brother"Cash, Needtobreathe4:49
11."More Heart, Less Attack"Chiccarelli, Needtobreathe5:03
Total length:45:29
Online B-side (NTB mailing list; Code handed out at NTB 2014 concerts)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
12."Say Please"Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart2:51

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic[23]

Needtobreathe

  • Bear Rinehart – guitar, slide guitar, synthesizer, lead vocals
  • Bo Rinehart – banjo, guitar, mandola, percussion, synthesizer, background vocals
  • Seth Bolt – bass guitar, bowed bass, percussion, background vocals

Additional musicians

  • Ronnie Blake – trumpet
  • Carl Broemel – lap steel guitar
  • Ed Cash – bass guitar, electric guitar, piano
  • Scott Cash – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals
  • Jason Freese – saxophone
  • Randall Harris – drums, percussion, synthesizer
  • Ivory Layne – background vocals
  • Josh Lovelace – keyboards, organ, background vocals
  • Paul Mabury – drums
  • Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – keyboards
  • Jonathon Smith – banjo, acoustic guitar
  • Francisco Torres – trombone
  • Michael Trent – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals

Technical

  • Kevin Augunas – producer
  • Seth Bolt – engineer, mixing, producer
  • Ed Cash – engineer, mixing, producer, programming
  • Scott Cash – engineer
  • Joe Chiccarelli – engineer, producer
  • Pete Ganbarg – A&R
  • Bryan Nash Gills – woodcut
  • Randall Harris – engineer, mixing
  • Ryan Hewitt – mixing
  • David Leonard – engineer
  • Ben Levy – mixing assistant
  • Bob Ludwigmastering
  • Fuller Moehagen for AKT – design
  • Clif Norrell – engineer
  • Gavin Paddock – engineer
  • Mike Reaves – engineer
  • Jerrod Bettis – producer
  • Lowell Reynolds – engineer
  • Bear Rinehart – producer
  • Bo Rinehart – art direction, design, mixing, producer
  • Jonathon Smith – programming
  • Sully Sullivan – photography
  • Michael Trent – arranger
  • Virgilio Tzaj – layout
  • Roman Urazov – mixing assistant
  • Neil B. Young – engineer

Charts[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart position
US Christian
[35]
2014 "The Heart" 13
"Difference Maker" 16
"State I'm In" 11
"Wasteland" 4
"Multiplied" 4
"Brother" 1

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ According to the inner liner notes of the album.
  2. ^ According to the inner liner notes of the album.
  3. ^ According to the inner liner notes of the album.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Monger, Timothy. "Rivers in the Wasteland - Needtobreathe | Songs Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Jesus Freak Hideout (March 2, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE, "Rivers In The Wasteland" Review". John DiBiase. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  3. ^ "Needtobreathe - Chart history - Billboard". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  4. ^ Times staff (February 8, 2015). "Grammys 2015: Complete list of winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Needtobreathe - Chart history - Billboard". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Andre, Jonathan (May 28, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE – Rivers in the Wasteland". 365 Days of Inspiring Media. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Conner, Matt (April 15, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE: Rivers in the Wasteland (Atlantic)" (PDF). CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing. p. 35. ISSN 1524-7848. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Jones, Graeme (April 15, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE – Rivers In The Wasteland (Review)". Christian Music Zine. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Funderburk, Andrew (April 8, 2014). "Review of Rivers in the Wasteland by NEEDTOBREATHE". CM Addict. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Cummings, Tony (May 6, 2014). "Review: Rivers In The Wasteland - Needtobreathe". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Rose, Jen (April 13, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE, "Rivers In The Wasteland" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Wallace, Jerrold (April 14, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE, "Rivers In The Wasteland" Review: Second Staff Opinion". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  13. ^ a b DiBiase, John (April 13, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE, "Rivers In The Wasteland" Review: JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Estabrooks, Timothy (April 13, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE, "Rivers In The Wasteland" Review: JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Davis, Kevin (April 13, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE's best album". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Koch, Jeff (May 21, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE: Rivers in the Wasteland". PopMatters. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  17. ^ Levy, Piet (April 15, 2014). "CD Reviews: Jason Derulo; Ray Price; Neeedtobreathe; Black Label Society; G. Love & Special Sauce; Rodney Crowell; Afghan Whigs; the Both". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  18. ^ Padilla, Kate (April 17, 2014). "Music Review: 'Rivers In the Wasteland'". The Daily Reporter. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  19. ^ Yap, Timothy (April 13, 2014). "NEEDTOBREATHE "Rivers in the Wasteland" Album Review". Hallels. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (April 23, 2014). "'Frozen's 11th Week at No. 1 with Biggest Sales Yet". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Billboard (May 3, 2014). "Canadian Albums : May 3, 2014". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  22. ^ Christman, Ed (January 9, 2015). "Music in 2014: Taylor Takes the Year, Republic Records on Top, Streaming to the Rescue". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  23. ^ "Rivers in the Wasteland - Needtobreathe | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  24. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 26.04.2014 (wk16)". zobbel.de. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  26. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  27. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  28. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Christian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  29. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  30. ^ "Needtobreathe Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  31. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  32. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2015. (subscription required)
  33. ^ "Christian Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Top Rock Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Needtobreathe Album & Song Chart History - Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 24, 2014.

External links[edit]