In a culture where chastity and morality have been pre-empted, it's a challenge to find a mainstream pop record that one can recommend without some level of reservation. Gone are the days we can enjoy a gorgeous love song without cringing. Immodesty, sexual promiscuity and violence are now so sheer that they do not need to be guised under euphuism or double entendres. So, thank God for Loftland's "I Don't Want to Dance." They may not mention God or Jesus in every song but they do present relationships and life in ways that are congruous with God's Holy writ. Thus, this is not an album with heaps of obscenity beeps that one has to constantly press the "skip" button. Yet, it's a record with a youthful and energetic bang flavored with today's hippest dance and R&B groove that fans of Royal Tailor and Anthem Lights would devour. Living with the mantra of "go big or go home," their DREAM Records debut "I Don't Want to Dance" is an album that will get us bopping to its big accessible tunes yet never for once feel like they are compromising on its lyrical content.
Loftland is a Wisconsin-based pop rock quartet making up of vocalist/guitarist Dominic Gibbs, guitarist Tanner Gibbs, bassist Steven Priske, and drummer Alex Klingenberg. With a median age of 22, they join the same class as Red Roots and Jamie Grace to be the newer generation of Christian artists coming out to make a difference in this world. Their latest single "Girl Like That" indeed has had been making a stir. At an age where many younger blokes are bound to be impetus in falling for a girl based on just her outward appearance, "Girl Like That" details a litany of Godly characteristics we need to look for in choosing a mate. Sounding like a Twenty First Century update of Proverbs 31, these guys outlines a mouth full of characteristic traits of their ideal gal: "steady as a heartbeat / stronger than the ocean's tide /gentle as a rainfall / brighter than a neon light /broken hearted for the broken / and she stands up for the small and weak / with a fire in her heart /and passion in the words she speaks."
Never one to take a relationship for a joy ride, Loftland deals with the issue of exclusivity in a relationship with the title cut "I Don't Want to Dance." In a time where many young people do not draw boundaries and date as many people as possible, "I Don't Want to Dance" is a sober reminder that we should treat the opposite sex not as objects but people made in God's image. However, Loftland never comes across as dumping down preachers standing on their soap boxes. Rather, they bristle with that youthful romantic dizziness that Taylor Swift has made a career out of on the infectious "Lovesick" and the slice and dice guitar imbued "I Can't Get Enough." However, not all the songs address the boy-girl relational issue. Album opener "Today is the Day" which boasts lots of gigantic dance loops over its rock based melody is a carpe diem tune urging us to embrace each new day as God's gift to us.
Though the name "Jesus" is never mentioned (albeit regretfully) the depth and nature of the love described in the pseudo ballad "How You Love Me" is far too lofty for a human being: "you always reach into the middle of the mess I make / somehow when i'm reckless / you are relentless / when I'm careless / you are kind / when I'm at my worst /deserving nothing /you give life." And the boys really go for the heart with the album's nerve piece "Hold On, Small One" --- a song sung from God's vantage point when He sees us drowning in our storms. This is the type of songs that transforms the weary heart. To this end, Loftland has brought us to an unforgettable dance. A dance not only brims with youthful dynamism but one that goes much deeper than the pleasures of the flesh. This is what makes this dance so unforgettable.