Released three years after their sophomore album The Flood, Restoring Force can be safely considered to indeed have restored Of Mice & Men’s force in the music industry, with an incredible debut at #4 on the US Billboard 200. Now a year removed from it’s initial release, Restoring Force has been reissued as Restoring Force: Full Circle with three unreleased songs and an acoustic rendition of “Feels Like Forever” added to its track-list.
The album starts strong, even with the bold move to follow Carlile’s lone, explosive vocals on “Public Service Announcement” with “Feels Like Forever”, a track driven by Aaron Pauley’s cleaner and more melodic vocals. The entire album follows with an impressive balance to the two different voices amongst the strong chords and percussion, both adorning one another or at times completely stepping back to accent the other. Carlile’s dirtier vocals laced into Pauley’s on “Bones Exposed” and “Never Giving Up” is an incredible cut that stands out from the rest.
It’s around the track “Would You Still Be There” that the album starts to falter on its grip around its listener, tightening again with “You Make Me Sick”. While the tracks in-between the aforementioned aren’t bad, the songs simply don’t hold enough of the albums’ alluring elements found in the other songs, instead blurring together more than standing apart- even with a lulling song like “Space Enough To Grow” on the record. The momentary slip in the uniqueness of those three tracks made the belly of the album feel vulnerable, before “You Make Me Sick” picked things back up in full force.
Specific to Full Circle, a sense of completion and closure is brought by the three new tracks, perhaps bringing the album dare we say ‘full circle,’ by following the original, gentle end of Restoring Force with “Space Enough To Grow”, to not only add strength to the softer song but take listeners on a final drive forward. As the album comes to a close with a fresh rendition of “Feels Like Forever”, listeners will find themselves enjoying the band’s quality performance, and vulnerability brought out by the stripped down acoustic track.
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