THE BAND: Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), John Connolly (guitar), Vince Hornsby (bass), Morgan Rose (drums), Sonny Mayo (guitar). Mayo replaces departed founding Sevendust member Clint Lowery (who went to perform with his brother’s band ‘Dark New Day’). Home town: Atlanta, Georgia.
THE DISC: Self-produced on Winedark label. 11 tracks clocking in at approximately 44 minutes. Liner notes: 4-page fold out including band pictures, lyrics and thank you’s. 25 minute DVD on the flip side of the disc featuring band moments and behind the scenes recording of the album.
COMMENTS: “Next” is one of my top 5 favorite albums from 2005. As much as I’ve liked scattered songs and hits from previous releases, I love “Next” in it’s entirety. There is absolutely no filler… this is the first ‘complete’ album I truly worship. Vince’s trademark bass pounding is still there, but it’s toned down. Witherspoon and bandmates are not solely relying on aggressive vocals and volume. Some songs are down-right melodic. It’s toned down in the way that Metallica toned down their 1991 ‘Black’ album – and it works. Topics include dealing with relationships, loneliness, and self awareness. I predict this release to have several songs hit the FM airwaves. Since Sevendust’s first release in 1997, they’ve continued to push the envelope. While “Seasons” (2003) is/was poorly received and probably my least favorite album, I have a strong feeling “Next” will be just the opposite. The first hits are “Ugly” and “Pieces” and very deserving = great songs! Also check out the acoustic “Shadows In Red” complete with string arrangments; and “This Life” – the closest thing to a ballad Sevendust has ever done. Great disc.