When you’re young, it’s hard to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Everything sounds up for grabs. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time to decide and figure that all out. When you’re in a band, however, you’re faced with that same question before you lay down your first track. It’s a serious “come to Jesus” moment, because odds are the genre you choose will stick with you as long as you continue to record. And once you make your decision, it’s even harder to stray away from it, especially if you have a following.
Carolina Liar‘s second album, Wild Blessed Freedom, lacks an answer to that aforementioned question. Sure, there’s plenty to enjoy here: catchy songs with strong messages (“Miss America”) and vibrant, lush instrumentation (“Beautiful”). Yet there’s a lack of focus.
The band attempts to incorporate too many musical styles into one disc. The alt-rock single “Drown” is reminiscent of their breakout hit “I’m Not Over” (off their 2008 debut, Coming to Terms). Right next to that are a couple of less than stellar dance tracks (“All That Comes Out of My Mouth”, “Daddy’s Little Girl”) that both seem very out of place. Vocalist Chad Wolf is strong throughout the effort, but his vocals are better suited to ballads and choruses than dance tunes.
Sticking to a single genre or sound would behoove Carolina Liar and build them an even bigger following. The tools are all there, whichever direction they choose. They just need to make that decision and then finally grow.
Essential Tracks: “Miss America” and “Beautiful”