Christianity that is effective needs to be podiatric. Faith that turns us into couch potatoes where we slouch through life without ever lifting our feet is ultimately dead, useless and damned. Yet, a faith that is genuinely birthed from workings of God's Spirit ought to empower our feet to want to run to the Savior. It will direct our feet to the poor and the unsaved to bring to them the good news of Jesus. This Is why the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10:15, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." "Runaways" is a album for the feet. This collection consists of 12 songs that target against inertia to keep us on a linear velocity towards the Savior and the world in need. Sumerlin consists of Dan DiGiovanni, Logan Tudor, Chris Taylor and Joshua Mace. This quartet first made their mark with their highly successful EP "Motives" which spawned two mega hit singles "The Fallback" and 'Just a Dream." Both songs spent nearly 40 weeks on the Billboard Chart in 2013 collectively.
2014 finds the quartet on the enterprising DREAM Records (Bread of Stone, Loftland & David Thulin) with their brand new full length album "Runaways." Helmed by producer John Harrell (Sent By Ravens, Divided By Friday, Set It Off) and mastered by Brad Blackwood (Maroon 5, Anberlin, POD), "Runaways" showcases the band's post grunge polished rock pop sounds augmenting their hope-filled lyrics and their infectious melodies. Already making an impact across radio airwaves is the single "Breaking Out." Incorporating samples of the latest electronic dudstep with their crunchy big guitar Kutless-like rock sound, "Breaking Out" is a smoking number made to be a hit. Lyrically, the song is ambiguous enough that it could be read as a love song of a man living in the regrets of letting his paramour go or it could be also be read as a prayer of rededication to God.
Sounding like it is a snippet of a soundtrack made for a movie, "Heartbeat" brilliantly opens with an eerie cinematic sound before the glass shattering sounds of drums and guitars bring us into the gist of the song. Thumbs up are thus in order for Harrell's production prowess. Lead singer Dan DiGiovanni is no slouch either: listen to his soaring tenor blasting with such passion and conviction over the rollicking melody of "Walking Away." "You Always Were," on the other hand, gets to the heart. A gorgeous love song that is nestled in the soft purring of the keyboard riffs, here the boys wax profundity when they sing: "Grace woven in my soul/Where my heart strings tie together/Like a symphony/You gave me a song to sing forever."
The album's centerpiece is "Voices." This is a must-hear song that addresses the symptoms and issues of those contemplating suicide. Documenting the loneliness of many of these would-be victims, "Voices" not only acknowledges the pain but it draws them to Christ who understands their pain. Be prepared for some hearts glowing moments as we listen to these words: "Light up this love/Reach your arms up to the sky/You're not invisible. You're unforgettable/Don't give up now." In sum, "Runaways" isn't just your average Christian rock record, it's one stuffed with heart and life changing moments. So don't let this record runaway.