The Outsiders are group of college students based in Central Arkansas who formed in the 8th grade, with the ambition to make creative Christian music that stood apart, musically and lyrically, from many of the more popular mainstream bands within the genre. One thing you’ll appreciate straight off the cuff, is that their lyrics are not ambiguous. They do not try to play it safe by writing lyrics that could be sung to God or to their girlfriends. The Outsiders clearly state their beliefs and show their passion for God, Jesus and their faith. Yet at the time, the band avoids overused preaching tropes.
The Outsiders’ music is propelled by a powerful organic momentum, which is dominated by sweeping pianos, clean guitars and thrusting percussion that wash over you from the first track to the last on their debut album, “Yesterday Today & Forever”.
Sonically inspired by the likes of Coldplay, Chris Renzema, Kings Kaleidoscope, and COIN, The Outsiders deliver their alternative indie style spiced up with contemporary pop and rock leanings. At the forefront, The Outsiders are armed with formidable lead vocals, which carry the band’s messages straight to the hearts of listeners. Its really hard to imagine that the The Outsiders will not seize high streaming numbers and many accolades with this project.
Every song contained within “Yesterday Today & Forever” is an absolute ear-pleaser – musically, lyrically and vocally – regardless of whether you may like Christian inspired music or not. In fact, by the time I reached the third track, I wasn’t even thinking in terms of ‘Christian’ music anymore, but simply ‘music’.
This is an amazing achievement, considering my previous affirmation. Lyrically, The Outsiders do not deal in ambiguous meanings. They make clear exactly what they are singing about every step of the way.
“Yesterday Today & Forever” opens with the deliciously dynamic “Heaven” and its momentum pushing percussion. This is followed by the fully fleshed out “I Don’t Deserve”, featuring rolling pianos, fiery guitars and lusciously layered harmonies.
The lead vocals and piano lines beautifully dominate the mid-tempo comfort of “Better”, which leads to the poignant acoustic guitar strum of “Change”, making for a passionate and emotional listening and worship experience.
“You Now and Always” turns up the praise and worship dial with a convincingly resonant vocal performance, draped over an uplifting musical backdrop. “Creation” brings an upbeat rhythmically ruled arrangement, with well-placed piano-driven breakdowns and build-ups.
This is followed by the stunning, soulful lead vocals, on the slower “More or Less”, which simply engulfs the senses. The album closes with the standout strummed acoustic guitar and affecting vocals on “Deep to Deep”.
Whether or not The Outsiders aim directly at mainstream success, listening to “Yesterday Today & Forever”, it becomes crystal-clear that they possess all the elements to do just that. The lead vocalist and has an amazing and anointed voice, which pierces through the sound system, while the band weave soundscapes that enthrall and mesmerize. The songwriting, music arrangements and production, are filled with earworm hooks and melodies meant to captivate and hold your attention.
Sincerely, The Outsiders have done so much more than could ever be expected on a debut album. Moreover – recalling an old cliché – I don’t think, the sky is the limit for them, spiritually and in their hearts, they’re already way beyond.