If you’re like I was, then you might not have heard of a little band called A Rocket to the Moon unless one of your friends nagged you to listen to them or you stumbled upon them after a random listen.
After seeing the band open for Boys Like Girls at a concert back in high school, I fell in love with their fun, alternative tunes, such as “Dakota” and “Life of the Party.”
The band was formed in 2006 in Massachusetts with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Nick Santino, a kid with big, red hair, guitarist and backup vocalist Justin Richards, bassist and backup vocalist Eric Halvorsen and drummer Andrew Cook.
ARTTM had a fairly poppy alternative sound characterized by upbeat guitar riffs and percussion. They have released five EP albums and two studio albums.
The new album, “Wild & Free” was released on March 26 as the band’s second studio album. While it is more twang-y than I would prefer, the lyrics and the delivery are what made me want to keep listening.
Santino traded his voluminous, spiky, red locks for a slicked-back, gelled style. He ditched the alternative-emo look, no longer donning a plaid shirt and vest, but instead has more of a clean-cut Southern style with a denim jacket and collared shirt.
Opening the album is “Going Out,” the country, band-version of Taylor Swift’s “22” or Ke$ha’s “Die Young.”
It’s a song about having a fun night out with friends, taking risks and “driving around with one headlight.” It’s about not taking things too seriously, not being too concerned or letting things get you down.
While the first few tracks were not my favorites, I forgave the band as the album went on.
The more popular “Ever Enough” is a sweet love song with a nice build. It starts out somewhat slow with sounds of finger picking and piano, then picks up when the drums and electric guitar comes in.
The album continues with more love songs, such as “If I’m Gonna Fall In Love” and “I Do,” bringing the listener into a song about having a friend or angel looking out for you. In “Another Set of Wings,” Santino sings, “There’s an angel looking out for me, ‘cause I ain’t well, though I try to be.”
The constant theme of the album is healing, whether it be from a relationship, a friendship or just needing a pick-me-up. Santino sings of keeping an open mind in hope that tomorrow will be a better day, regardless of the past or the heartbreak it has brought.
There are as many songs about heartbreak as there are about falling back in love. In “Nothing At All,” love is the best thing, the only thing, with lyrics such as “Your love is the only thing, I can’t live without it…A little bit of lovin’ beats a whole lot of nothin’ at all.”
“Somebody Out there” was another song which reminded me of another artist. Santino sings of buying a girl flowers and treating her right. It sounds just like Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” even mentioning taking the girl out to dance.
The deluxe version of the album closes with “While the World Let Go,” a track about watching the world change, but not leaving the one you love because it will “save my soul.”
The meat and potatoes of the album can be found sporadically, there isn’t one big chunk or section of the album that really sticks out as the best.
However, I did enjoy “Ever Enough” and the title track, “Wild & Free,” which is fun and carefree, exactly as the title promises with lines like “We can sing right along with the thunder, we can be who we want to be. We will never have to worry or wonder, the only thing we gotta believe is we’ll live while we’re young, and we’ll do it ‘cause we’re wild and free.”
All in all, this is a solid album to listen to if you’re in need of a Country pick-me-up. With its uplifting songs about coming back from a heartbreak to finding a new love, it’s sure to make you feel “Wild & Free.”