The Afters rode their "Beautiful Love" hit single a lot longer than they expected, which left us waiting unusually long for a sophomore label release. Never Going Back to OK is worth the wait. The songs are polished and satisfying. While I enjoyed their debut, I like this CD even more.
Following a Beatlesque intro, the title track rocks a little harder than we expect from The Afters, but it sounds like they had fun recording it.
I heard "Tonight" live last summer, and it's bound to be a crowd favorite on the concert tour, sort of the love song follow-up to "Beautiful Love." Songs like "Ocean Wide," "Falling Into Place" and "Forty Two" are examples of those superb power pop/rock ballads that The Afters excels at. Nobody in Christian music does that style better.
"Myspace Girl" sounds more like a Relient K title than something from The Afters, but it's a catchy and funny pop song that's actually based on the true story of The Afters' old bass player finding his wife via MySpace.
Overall, Never Going Back to OK is an impressively catchy album worthy of repeated listens. Existing fans will love it, and the band just might add some new fans because of this CD.
Visit The Afters.