Sidewalk Prophets

Live Like That

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After scooping a Best New Artist prize at the Dove Awards with their 2009 major-label debut, These Simple Truths, Christian rock five-piece Sidewalk Prophets don't seem in too much of a hurry to eschew its winning formula of soaring MOR anthems and inspirational acoustic ballads, judging by its follow-up, Live Like That. The corny "Love Love Love," a repetitive Jason Mraz-esque reggae-pop number that sums up the power of love with the line "even Chuck Norris can't defeat it," suggests that's not such a bad thing. But while the Chronicles of Narnia-inspired country-tinged "It's Good (Love's Not Safe)," the highly charged worship number "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" (one of two songs featuring a group of fans on backing vocals), and the rousing title track are all worthy of sitting alongside the likes of Train and Goo Goo Dolls on adult contemporary radio, you do wish producer Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli) could perhaps have thought outside the box a little more. A string of stripped-back offerings ("Heart's on Fire," "This Is Not Goodbye") showcases Dave Frey's vocals in all their impassioned glory but lacks the inspiration the lyrics attempt to provide, while the stodgy AOR of "Save My Life" and "Keep Making Me" do little to dispel the album's predominantly unadventurous spirit. Live Like That will please those Sidewalk Prophets fans who wanted more of the same, but those hoping for a sign of progression will be left distinctly underwhelmed.

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