Album Review: Building 429, “Listen to the Sound”

ALBUM TITLE: Listen to the Sound
ARTIST: Building 429
BEST TRACK/S: Where I Belong, Right Beside You, One Foot, Made For You

Contemporary Christian pop-rock band Building 429 was previously known for its breakout hit, Glory Defined. With the release of Listen to the Sound, the band has earned two more Top 10 hits, in particular the smash hit Where I Belong, which scored 15 weeks atop Billboard’s Christian Songs chart. Is it indicative of the career prospects of the seven-year-old band? I’m inclined to think so.

The 2005 Dove Award winners for New Artist of the Year released Listen to the Sound under Essential/Provident/Integrity, which may account for the significant quality of this release. Producer do jour Jason Ingram does some fantastic work with the band particularly lead vocalist and songwriter Jason Roy.

The clear standout on Listen to the Sound is Where I Belong. The song, which almost made it four months atop Billboard’s Christian Songs chart, is a perfect singalong, and thankfully supercedes Glory Revealed as the band’s most recognized chart single. The title track was also the carrier single of the album, and that track also made the Top 10. I wasn’t too much a fan of Listen to the Sound, but Where I Belong is lovely.

There are other great songs on the album, particularly Made For You, which quickly transforms into an anthemic song of praise and faith. The theme of faith pulses throughout the entire album, and many listeners are sure to enjoy the thematic unity of this release. Made For You can definitely find its way into churches, and it’s a great show-starter for Listen to the Sound.

Building 429’s new single, Right Beside You, follows Made For You. Featuring Fireflight’s Dawn Michele, this encouraging mid-tempo ballad is made for radio, and will clearly do well on Christian AC and Christian CHR. Both Roy’s and Michele’s voices work beautifully together, and I sincerely hope they make a video for this one.

Other tracks on the album have their own charm. One Foot has a catchy chorus and a bass line that won’t quit. War Zone uses a clever turn of phrase, probably the most memorable line in the whole album, my flesh and bones are caught in a war zone,. Roy’s falsetto in You Save Me is lovely as well, and the orchestral feel of Walls Are Coming Down are absolutely topnotch.

Listen to the Sound does suffer from somewhat sophomoric writing, though; the lyrics are generic platitudes of encouragement and faith. As far as breaking new ground is concerned, however, this release is not that breakthrough that Building 429 was hoping for, and I’m looking forward to the next release, where hopefully producer Ingram will hook the band up with other songwriters who can challenge them to create better lyrics.

Musically, though, Listen to the Sound is a stellar release, clearly the most radio-friendly of the band’s discography to date, with enough memorable song hooks, guitar licks, and other niceties that keep listeners tuned right in.

Disclosure: A review copy of the CD was provided for review by House of Praise.

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