The Oswald brothers, also known as OBB, are: Zach (21, lead vocals/keys/guitars), Jacob (19, lead guitars), and Nich (18, drums). They placed third in the CBS Early Show’s ‘Singing Family Face-Off’ in 2009. The brothers are on the worship team at Atlanta’s Passion City Church, the congregation started by Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin. A press release says: “The trio’s infectious songs, infused with Hope amidst a backdrop of colorful pop, are connecting with young fans desiring to sing along to something that matters.” OBB have been part of the highly successful Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, exposing their music to a very large audience. On their self-titled EP, OBB (2013, Curb Records), tracks 1-3 and 6 were written by OBB and album producer Justin Ebach, while tracks 4 and 5 have an additional writer, Sam Tinnesz.
‘All I Need is You’ is a fresh pop number that points to our Father God as the remedy for our spiritual longings: “Everyone has a heart that’s burning for more/A greater need than this world could ever afford/And You are the One that we’ve been searching for/Nothing satisfies/Like the love that I/Found in You alone/All I need is You.” ‘Come on Home’ is a catchy pop song about the kind of church I would like to be involved with: “May the people of God sing ‘Welcome home’/Let us meet the broken with open arms/We will look past stains, throw away our stones/With open hearts we’ll welcome those/Looking for hope/Searching for peace/Falling apart/Down on their knees/So, if you’re out there looking for love/Come on home.”
A pleasant, effective ballad, ‘Song of A Savior’, is up next. It finds Christ calling out to the lost and wounded: “I’ll never let you go/You’ll never be alone/Open your eyes to the truth/I’ll take you from hurting to beautiful/Broken to being whole/Your heart is my greatest pursuit/All of your life, I’ve been here/Chasing you.” ‘Wildfire’ will get your feet moving, like a Newsboys pop song. It is clear that OBB desires to have a positive spiritual effect on others: “I don’t wanna live just to be another shooting star/Who shines for a moment/In the end I just fall apart/I wanna live a life that brings You glory/Be the one who tells Your story/That love is alive/I wanna be light, be light/I wanna burn bright, burn bright/Spreading hope like, hope like/A wildfire, wildfire.”
‘Through His Eyes’ encourages the discouraged: “You’re only seeing/A small part of the picture/So hold on/To your faith/He has a plan/Cause there is a light in the middle of the darkness/Love has made a way when everything seems hopeless/You’re gonna make it.” If you have a physical hard copy of this EP, you are treated to an acoustic bonus track called ‘Beautiful Ride.’ It makes good use of percussion and backing vocals and its message is a real confidence booster: “Jesus came to give us the power of His grace/To mark us with His freedom/So we don’t have to be afraid/So walk with your head held high/You’re a child of the King.”
Of their live performances, Jacob Oswald says: “I believe we serve a fun God, and I’m not afraid to stand on stage and jump around and run and raise my hands and give everything I have to worshipping God.” OBB’s vibrant pop music with a decidedly Christian message for young people, will appeal to fans of Starfield¸Sanctus Real¸and Jeremy Camp. Teen girls will likely make up much of the fan base of the three brothers. I’m rating OBB 87.5%. For more info visit www.obbmusic.com and www.curb.com.