Grade: B

This band has a unique story all to their own. The development of their band was a process that, they say, was led by God himself. Bart Millard, one of the vocalists, was on the path to being a football player through high school until both of his ankles broke, forcing him to take a choir class instead of continuing practices.

He enjoyed it so much he ended up joining his church’s praise team. There he met Jim Bryson, who plays the keyboard (and who is currently taking an extended leave from the band with his family). They then traveled with the church to Europe where they picked up guitarist Mike Scheuchzer. They originally formed MercyMe. After becoming more and more popular, they teamed up with bassist Nathan Cochran and percussionist Robby Shaffer. Even later, Christian artist Barry Graul of Whitecross joined the band as an additional guitarist.

They signed with INO Records and put out their first release in 2001 and have been releasing follow up albums nearly every other year through 2009, then again from 2012 to now. In 2006, the album “Coming up to Breathe” landed number 13 on Billboard’s top album charts. Their next album landed top 20 and the following hit up the top 10. Their latest album was released on March 31, titled “Lifer.” So let’s take a look.

“We Win” has some of the best lyricism on the whole album. It may not be my favorite song, but to me it is much less repetitive than the other songs and offers a great deal of creativity.

The song “Lifer,” after which the album is named, is a hot hit surprise. If you liked DNCE, then you will like this track. It is a great song to party to. It really makes you want to throw your hands up and jump around. You may not expect this from a Christian album, but you should add it to your playlist immediately.

After hearing “You Found Me,” you get the feeling that this group took a lot of inspiration from across the board when it comes to mainstream pop songs. It definitely has a similar tune and feel as another popular track that people jam out to. If you can figure it out, then kudos to you, because it’s too generic to pin down for me. Either way, they put a great spin on it and made it their own.

“Happy Dance” gives me the same vibes as Pharrell’s “Happy.” Another jump up and dance song, they really aim to get you moving in this album. This song is a call for all those with the inner joy that comes from knowing God to show it off by coming up “where words fall short.”

One of the songs that is less enjoyable is “Ghost.” The rest of the album produces such an excited feeling that you may not be prepared for this more solemn single. This song is very unique, as opposed to the rest of their album. It’s not dislikeable, it is sweet sounding and very inspirational feeling, but it’s out of place.

The album is fun and has a great energy with it. Given the acclaim this band has, especially among Christian contemporary stations, you should definitely give it a whirl. It is a sound that everyone could enjoy.