When was the last time that you got completely lost in another world while listening to music? Perhaps recently, or maybe long ago? It has happened a few times to me over the years. A few albums here and there have that affect; make you drown in a fluid drug-like state of sweet effervescence and lucidity.

One of the times I remember that happening to me is when I heard an album called Phantoms by a relatively new band called Acceptance.

It was 2005, a time when the market was flooded by overproduced power pop and cheesy acts trying to make a buck. With Acceptance, you instantly felt a genuine passion exceeding from each note and lyric. A true need to make great music that would leave a lasting impression.

After some major label mix-ups and a few other incidents, Acceptance broke up in 2005.
Members would go on to other projects and bands; namely guitarist Christian McAlhaney played in Anberlin until November 2014.

Now let’s leave the past exactly where it is and move on. Acceptance reformed in 2015, and after playing some live shows, they have another brand new album for us.

After 12 years since Phantoms it is an awesome surprise to old fans, and anyone who discovers the band for the first time will be more than fortunate they have!

The 2017 release Colliding By Design is truly and utterly a great record. From front to back, it’s fluidity is almost unparalleled by modern rock. It has all the best parts of what U2 did with their post-90s work; combined with every sweet spot of feel good pop that Anberlin, Third Eye Blind, or Maroon 5 brought to us… and you have a perfect formation of beautiful pop-rock landscapes set to the never ending crooning and longing that is the incensed laden voice of vocalist Jason Vena.

As soon as you hit play, it is like you forget that you are listening to just music, and you escape in euphoria to some other place.

As of yet, I honestly haven’t really paid too much attention to the lyrics, because of the effect that the music has on me!



It is difficult to do a proper track by track review, as the continuity of the music is just too solid.

I was stoked to hear that they again obtained Aaron Sprinkle (mastermind producer behind legendary albums such as The Question – Emery, You Are My Sunshine – Copeland, Cities – Anberlin) to produce this album. This is most definitely a big part of the reason that this album really feels like a true follow up to Phantoms, but also has a true progression.

I will make mention of the track “Sunset.” You would literally have to be dead to not enjoy this song! Or, at the very least, you will be compelled to stop and listen. Upon hearing it, you would at the very least be tapping your toe or involuntarily dancing, lost in a trance completely unexpectedly. Seriously, if you played this song over Earth’s loud speakers, we would have world peace for 4 minutes and 35 seconds. Wars would cease and soldier’s weapons would smack against the dirt as they were dropped by the operators, stuck in sudden amazement.



In this screen locked/social posting addicted modern world, we need escapes.

We need certain times where we can have our minds transported to a different place, even if we are still driving to work or killing ourselves to meet that deadline.

Well my friends, despite what genre of music you are most akin to, this album from Acceptance has the ability to do that. Give it a listen. Hear for yourself. “Come Closer.”

This new record gets a 5/5 from me for exceeding the expectations that anyone might have had. Okay, maybe this isn’t as similar to Phantoms as the 2005 fans would have liked, but maybe we need to understand that people change. The maturity in this music is evident and real, and that makes it that much better.