Review: Hope and Holcomb Find a Common Connection

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors/Strangers No More/Magnolia Music
Four out of Five Stars

Videos by American Songwriter

It’s no accident that Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors garner such overwhelming enthusiasm from their audiences. The songs they share convey feelings and emotions that are essential to the human experience, making for a clear connection with anyone who’s simply trying to pursue their path through life and hopes for the encouragement and affirmation needed to make it through. It’s genuine and sincere, a kind of pathway to positivity that’s often so lacking in these days of difficulty and divide. 

Not surprisingly then, the title of their new album, Strangers No More, truly says it all, building on the bonds that bring people together through action, encouragement, affirmation, and, most of all, an uplifted attitude. The names of the songs certainly share those sentiments, with “Gratitude,” “Possibility” and “On a Roll” offering more than a hint of overt optimism. They rally the listener with a genuine sense of anthemic urgency, encouraging one and all to find reason for resolve and added hope in happenstance. 

One track in particular, “Find Your People, sums up that stance. Ya gotta find your people…when you’re together you’ve got nothing to prove…you’ve gotta find your people, then you’ll find yourself…” 

Moreover, the need to find common cause and to summon the strength needed to persevere are essential themes that surface throughout the album. Songs such as “Troubles, “Strange Feeling” and “That’s On You, That’s On Me” warn of hazards that often intrude on any path forward, while also citing the need to overcome those obstacles that lie in the way.  Holcomb’s a great guru in that regard, offering advice that’s gleaned from a positive perspective. Few artists are as unequivocally upbeat in that regard, and the uplifting melodies he shares make that consistently clear. The soaring sound of “Free (Not Afraid To Die)” and the expressive enticement of “Dance With Everybody” drive the desire home. 

In short, few albums are so captivating and compelling. Strangers No More is an ideal means of encouraging a common connection. 

Photo by Ashtin Paige / Stunt Company

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