Nonpoint Development
Grade
A
 
Also Try
Sevendust
Dogma
Sugartooth

I've seen Nonpoint labeled as nu-metal and categorized with the likes of Incubus, Adema and Korn. I don't see it. That's not to say they don't compare in presence. It's just that Nonpoint brings something different and rather refreshing to the table. In Development, I find more of the "energy" and emotion that made acts like Jimmy's Chicken Shack, Sugartooth and Dogma a joy to listen to.

Elias Soriano's vocals initially come off aggressive and even bitterly acidic, but over the length of the album show a great range of variety and emotion to sustain the drive and focus that Nonpoint obviously has. I would say this easily goes for the rest of the band. Andrew Goldman's guitar tracks show a firm hand, being both powerful in certain moments, while delicate in others. KB's bass tracks are a pleasant backbone - it's nice to know that some people still play quality bass not covered up in overproduced fuzz. Robb Rivera's beats have great pacing and add that extra bit of punctuation to the more high-energy segments of the album.

The opening title track is powerful, tempered with lulls to give more impetus to the powerful chorus segments. The aggressive opening belies a deeper, more intricate album that may take most casual listeners by surprise. While it has a few "simpler" tracks (by no means simple in comparison to the standard), the album showcases a large variety of emotional range in the song writing.

Nonpoint successfully blends power chords, hard groove and well developed chord progressions throughout the length of the album. One of the strengths of this album is that the listener can feel a certain passion in the music and vocals. You're not hammered over the head with angst and rage. Nonpoint presents a palatable array of emotions.

The lyrics are excellent and well-thought out. Nonpoint chooses a more poetic lyrical stance, which is such a refreshing change from the more popular (and clichéd) angry at everything look of their contemporaries. In my opinion, I would say that very few bands, like Faith No More or Thought Industry, could come up with better words to offer.

A few tracks of exceptional note: Both Circles and Normal Days will catch you will firm guitar riffs and choruses that will stick like peanut butter in your head. Both Hands and Any Advice? come across as a more mellow and restrained tracks if only because they don't jump at you with as much force and aggressive intent.

There's a certain infectiousness about this album. After the first listen, I was intrigued, but after a few times through, a number of the tracks just jumped out because of the catchiness and unrelenting energy. And, it's not just uncontrolled energy. They obviously know how to write and have a vision of what their sound should be. You don't find an unfocused edge in the album. There are grooves here so catchy (Hide and Seek and My Own Sake easily come to mind) that you just can't ignore them. Or easily get them out of your head.

I find it difficult to place Nonpoint in any one corner of the music spectrum. They show signs of various styles, fused together as a straightforward rock band with enough variety and quality to their songwriting to keep them from falling into the boring standards that often make it to the Top 40 in airplay. It's the kind of musical style, quality, energy and independence that give them a leg up on more radio-friendly acts. If you enjoy good rock that doesn't focus on overdone rage and powerchords, check out this disc. You will be pleased.

- - Kinderfeld

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