“Strength” is an album made by a mature band. The Alarm made the step from their early material to “Strength”, not in a giant leap, but with the help of their first album “Declaration” and its forward-looking attitude. The youthful exuberance of “Declaration” is nearly absent here, supplanted with an emphasis on human needs and personal experience. What “Strength” keeps from “Declaration” is an inherent optimism for the future, even while reminiscing about the past. Electric guitars eclipse acoustics on this album, making for a full, rounded sound not heard on previous Alarm recordings. This album is filled with some of The Alarm’s best songs: The nostalgic fire of “Spirit Of ’76”, the cautionary tale in “The Day The Ravens Left The Tower”, the simple truths of “Only The Thunder” and the joyful cry of “Walk Forever By My Side”. “Strength” is an album to savor, it makes you think, and stomp about at the same time.