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Review – Kutless "To Know That You’re Alive" (2008) June 30, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Kutless.

Written by Andrew “Gravity” H.

It’d be no over exaggeration to say that Kutless has been one of the most dominating bands on the christian rock movement for the past six or so years. Since 2002’s Sea Of Faces and the number one hit “Treason”, Kutless has been one of the major names on the scene and rightfully so. As 2008 approaches it’s halfway mark, this Christ-loving rockers return with their fifth studio effort To Know That You’re Alive.

Alive kicks off with the opening single from the disc, “The Feeling” the most crowd-pumping song the band has likely every written. As the chorus hits, the band drives it’s way into your head with the infectious lyrics made to jump up and down to including “I cannot run away/the feeling’s gotta stay while we rock all night long.” An odd choice follows with “Sleeping City” a track that sounds like a typically designed album intro, but doesn’t achieve this feeling at the number two spot. It makes sense as the track is too mellow to slip into “The Feeling” afterward, but it seems strange to place it as the second track. However, it then flawlessly transfers to “To Know That You’re Alive” the best fast-paced song on the CD easily. The lyrics are fantastic and the melody is as catchy as can be heard by Kutless. The album starts strong with these three, but would have benefited with a reorder.

“The Disease and The Cure” keeps the uptempo going and continues to demonstrate how very perfect Jon Sumrall is to sing for these guys. His voice matches the blend of the band perfectly, tone for tone melding with the music. “Complete” strikes me as a track that attempts to be the next “Sea of Faces” but simply doesn’t have enough of anything to leave it on your mind. The chorus is bland and the rest of the song is hardly worth writing home to about. “The Rescue” is a change of pace for the album, and is more straight forward rock and roll than the catchy anthems Kutless had been putting together. The track goes nicely paired alongside “Promise You” another strong plain ole’ track. While both of these songs are certainly listenable, they aren’t memorable and alongside “Complete” force this CD to lose some momentum. “Guiding Me Home” does no better to engrave it’s place in your mind.

“Overcoming Me” rights the ship as the album slips into it’s latter half. A very cool electronic-aided intro sticks this song out immediately, and thanks to some catchy riffs, this track will break your repeat button. “I Do Not Belong” continues the sweet intro trend and has one of the best vocal performances from Sumrall heard on any Kutless record, which marks this beautiful song as a standout. “Loud” is another fist-pumping thriller for the masses and “Dying To Become” serves as a decent transition to the final gem on the CD. “You” is drop-dead gorgeous in music form and from start to finish serves as an enchanting ballad that drives this album home with a tear in your eye. The harmonic high notes on the chorus send chills up my spine with each listen.

The biggest problem with To Know That You’re Alive may also be it’s greatest strength. You will pick up this record and you will hear Kutless as you’ve always known them. The band has done little to evolve sine Sea of Faces and Hearts of the Innocent. The sound remains the same, it’s like listening to old Kutless records with new lyrics. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the “Ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, at this point Kutless‘ shtick is starting to wear a little thin, and mixing things up surely wouldn’t kill them. Top that off with a few stale tracks, and To Know That You’re Alive is most definitely not a masterpiece. Still, it’s hard to fault this Christ-rockers for throwing us another piece of wondrous worship rock, and once again, it’s still pretty damn good whether it matches your beliefs or not.

7.5 out of 10

Download This – “You”



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