Review Rating: Catch It On The Radio [4/5]
Nashville-based Centricity Music group Carrollton recently released a brand new album titled Everything Or Nothing. This is their first release since 2015, and many of the songs were born from their experiences on tour. They have found that all the songs seem to “tie back to a courageous message: full dependence on the Lord through everything.” The band’s indie-rock sound runs through the album, but lead singer, Justin Mosteller adds, “Part of our excitement and the fun of making this album was pushing ourselves to explore different sounds and themes, while still reaching back to what makes us us.” The songs, many of them championing love over fear and division, are artfully crafted and passionately sung, making the album a beautiful statement of hope.
“Shelter,” the first single on the album, opens with a foot-stomping rhythm and a catchy melody. The song then moves into the chorus with a rich sound, energy and comforting lyrics. “My anchor in the storm, love unbreakable, my helper, You are my shelter.” The song was released as a single prior to the album’s release, and it is already receiving favorable attention, which isn’t surprising given its strength both musically and lyrically.
“Stand My Ground” is a timely declaration against returning hate with hate. The lyrics take their inspiration from 1 Corinthians 13, proclaiming the power of love in times of desperation. The chorus reads, “Before I speak my piece, show them the heart of God beating inside of me. All of this hate, all of this war will start to change and turn around when love is where I choose to stand my ground.” The powerful lyrics are accompanied by electric guitar and driving drums. The song is one that listeners can quickly sing along to, giving them an anthem to sing when love is most needed.
This theme of triumphant love is carried into the title track of the album, “Everything Or Nothing” is an acoustic-style song with powerful lyrics: “It’s everything or nothing at all. It’s an open heart or stone wall. It’s all in or it’s all out. Love is everything.” Mellow electric guitar accompany the lyrics, giving the song a cheerful, relaxed sound. The lyrics are sung with earnestness, and the song feels like a hopeful prayer of surrender.
In summary, the songs on this album are heartfelt. There is an honesty and authenticity evident throughout the album. Mosteller attributes this to the songs being born out of what the band “feel[s] like God’s been doing around and within [them].” Everything Or Nothing puts words and sound to our ever-growing desire to see hope and light come from darkness. It is an album in which listeners will find both comfort and hope.