Here's the same old dilemma that plagues billions of people: What's the best part of the Oreo, the cookie or the cream filling? Not exactly a rhetorical question. Okay, now throw a guitar in the hands of an inventive a cappella group and try to choose between their traditional tunes and their newer music that comes with accompaniment. As much of a mouthwatering treat as a bag full of those delicious sandwich cookies is Maximum Capacity, 259's departure from strictly faith-inspiring songs. The top and bottom is hardcore a cappella that brings you to your feet, while the middle is a softer center of guitar-driven ballads. The seven-man group didn't need to prove their talent any further, yet they expand their repertoire to include tales of love and good-byes. The guys get you pumped with the opening track "259,000"; it's as if they brought the screaming crowd with them and you've got front row seats. Soon enough, "Highwire" lands you back in the world of love's balancing act and introduces a number of love songs written by music pros McKane Davis, Rob Gardner, and Drex Davis. Outstanding lyrics lead "One Last Time," inspired by an actual letter written from a soldier to his wife during the Civil War. "Stick Figures" feels like "Free Fallin'" with a double-time guitar riff. The group returns to their signature sound in the final five songs, including the rousing "A Capella" and the lofty autobiography "259." Maximum Capacity is a double-stuffed package of ear candy. "You must meet me in the middle," McKane Davis pleads in "Highwire," and that's just what the septet does in this premiere collection.
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AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson
feat: Rob Gardner
feat: Joe Curtis
feat: Rob Gardner