Hear the full album here.
To start, At War is a solid debut pop-rock album from This Love. Really, it's hard to believe this a debut full-length album. It feels more like something from seasoned veterans. Everything in this album, from the production to the political speeches, seems very well thought out and put together.
What really makes this album so much more, however, is the genuine optimism that emerges as Joe McFadden sings about the struggles of everyday life. Being an optimistic person, myself, this album really resonated with me. The core concept of At War is further structured around several carefully placed speeches from presidents, past and present, throughout the album.
The album starts with John F. Kennedy's American University Speech on June 10, 1963 in which he reflects on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, and leads into "Free", the first actual song on the album. The uplifting lyrics about achieving independence and excellent instrumentation make "Free" a solid opener. In "Shoot Out", McFadden lays out the persistent struggle that we endure throughout our lives, while "We Are the Brave" is a call to help and protect each other.
Another speech from JFK leads into "Motions", the best song on the album. The chording in this song is fantastic, while the guitar solo at the song's midpoint sent chills down my spine. And, the lyrics and vocal delivery really hit home. "The Thief" is another hard-hitter that shines as it pounds solid rock music into the listener's ears.
This Love slow things down a bit with "Fly Away" and "Alive", letting McFadden's vocals shine. The last track, "We All Know Well" is the home-run on the album. It starts with President Obama's address to the nation after the death of bin Laden accompanied by the soft strum of a guitar. McFaddin's vocals eventually emerge over Obama's words ending the album with a message of hope that the war is finally over.
This Love have put together a fantastic album. Definitely go check this one out, but make sure to listen to it in it's entirety since it should be heard as a complete package.
You can buy At War on iTunes and Amazon.com on August 2nd.