A slate of thought-provoking lyrics and hearty neo-grunge riffs powered Kutless' fourth studio album to stand out above a host of other melodic rock/metal offerings in the contemporary Christian world. It is a balanced and complete record, one that doesn't sound too familiar, worship too directly, or rock too hard. The quintet still spends plenty of time thumping on monolithic guitars, but there is also a well-developed balance point where mid-tempo numbers like "Changing World" take their turn in the limelight. As on previous efforts, the lyrics put social consequences, relationships, and world situations under a microscope and reveal new, intriguing insights. Jon Micah Sumrall has one of the most soothing rock voices out there, as evidenced in the reflective power ballads "Smile" and "Promise of a Lifetime." Unlike too many of its contemporaries, Hearts of the Innocent proved what you don't need for a killer modern rock record " no need for over-the-top political statements or pounding walls of sound that are unfitting for the subject matter. All you need is a knack for looking at the world in a challenging new way and a keen sense of musicianship.
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A Kut above the rest| Posted June 09, 2008
After a successful worship based album, Strong Tower, the guys from Portland, Oregon return with their fourth studio project, Hearts of the Innocent. Returning to the rock theme is easy for Kutless but maintaining their poise was interesting after their worship project.
Kutless has always been Kut above the rest with their rock, as they always place among Pillar, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Skillet, and it’s clear that they can still rock with one listen to the first song on the album. The title track, Hearts of the innocence, is a solid, but edgy rock song with some great guitar riffs, plus lead singer Jon Micah Sumrall vocals are very emotional here. “Shut me up” gears into the song well with its pre chorus before lighting up into a heavy rock song, and “beyond the surface” is solid also. The first three songs of the album have been hard and musically blended so the result is not so much diversity but the album slows down with “smile” which isn’t overly impressive because the song is simple, but it’s a great touch for the album. The single “promise of a lifetime” isn’t as good as the previous track musically, but the soft music is fine.
Kutless gets back into the rock in the form of “winds o change” which is a gritty rock song, that doesn’t have a smooth flow. Trying to use a little of “your touch” in the bridge in “something in the sky” works pretty well, but the song falls into the lesser half of the rock group. Unfortunately catchy tunes seem to avoid Hearts of the Innocent and more gritty tunes control like “Mistakes” which is a simple rock tune that is a little bland and “push me away” which isn’t terribly impressive either. But “changing the world” is a pretty solid soft rock song, that has a very high-quality tune. The heaviest song on the album is “million dollar man” which incorporates some screaming in this short song. The songs named “legacy” seem to be saved for last these days, but this song is a highlight with an outstanding refrain.
Kutless takes on some big issues, and doesn’t try to make them indecipherable or make God’s part in their lyrics vague. The title track is about awareness for the next generation, and neglected children. Sacrifice is a big theme on this CD (“change the world”) and so is flying as Kutless seems obsessed with flying (“something in the sky” and “winds of change”). “Beyond the surface” has great lyrics (‘Don’t give in to everything the world around tells you to be/…”Stop the lying, stop comparing who you are to what you see’) and so does “mistakes” which caution listeners not to go down the path that the singer has gone. Of course the album does have its weaker spots with “promise” and “shut me up”.
“Smile” has a great message about the effect we can have on people and gods joy in life and so does “push me away” where the singer would rather be friends than stand alone (‘You can lean on me/Stand by my side/We will fight/We are much stronger as one’). While “million dollar man’s” theme has been down before, the strong lyrics have not grown old (‘He’s got everything he wanted /But now what he wants is what he had/But he threw it all away’). To conclude things is the true and good tune, “legacy” which says: ‘Nightmares of the past will fade away/The future of your name is what will stay/Never try to blame the past for everything you say/You have the power you need to change your legacy’.
Coming off of a big worship album is easier than this writer thought, as Hearts of the innocent really proved to be solid musically and lyrically. Kutless has no outstanding songs, no eye popping music, just a big Heart.
A Homerun| Posted December 10, 2009
Hearts Of The Innocent is one of my favorite albums. If I were trapped on a dessert island with only 10 albums, this would probably be one of them. It has hard rock in songs like "Hearts of the Innocent" and "Million Dollar Man," and then slows down in some of my favorite songs such as "Smile" and "Winds of Change." This is an album for everybody: for the rocker and non-rocker alike. If you like to rock, you'll love it! If you don't like to rock, you'll learn to love it!
This CD Rocks!| Posted February 28, 2013
This CD rocks especially if you are fans of Kutlesses rocker side! Kutless is awesome and so is this record! This record is full of both rock songs and has some quieter songs on it as well! This album is so amazing in talking about God and Jesus!
Can't turn it off.| Posted April 15, 2011
I have literally listened to this cd for three days straight. There are songs for everything. From feeling down to looking for answers, this album has it covered. Kutless is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands.
Best Rock Album!!!!| Posted August 29, 2009
Kutless really made an album that blends the heavy rock tone of many contemporaries (but much better) with passionate lyrics. Hearts of the Innocent is a keeper!
Hearts of the Innocent: An excellent drive of what we so blatantly expose the youngsters of the world to at such an age where they don't know any different. We're teaching them to fail. Jon Micah Sumrall's lyrics could pierce even the most hardened mind. The passion is overwhelming and awesome. With loud guitar riffs and heavy sounds, this can simply not be thrown away.
Shut Me Out: If track one was purely awesome, imagine something even better! With jamming guitars and passionate, never-give-up lyrics, this one is revolutionary!
Beyond the Surface: A thought-provoking look at the watered down modern day gospel message. Prepare to jam for this track.
Smile: The lighter side of Kutless shines through on this song. With a message about simple Christian joy and love, it demonstrates what the world needs so simply yet so correctly.
Promise of a Lifetime: The only song I didn't particularly care for on the '06 record. Too soft and light. Though the lyrics are still good, they don't penetrate the spirit like the others do.
Winds of Change: A look at what we don't and can't expect out of life, this song tells the world what with a heavier sound.
Somewhere In The Sky: Reminiscent of "Your Touch", this song rockets the guitars in well-laid maturity.
Mistakes: Soft and light, but an excellent theme.
Push Me Away: Hard but not heavy, this provocative song is great.
Changing World: Light again, but the message is always outstanding!
Million Dollar Man: The heaviest on the album, this has a Casting Crowns' "American Dream" theme. Way awesome.
Legacy: They finish with booming guitars and a little screaming, which I hate, but good besides that with a good message.
Kutless has their best album on this one. A definite hit. Go Kutless! It is a prime example that good music still exists.
amazing| Posted November 06, 2008
I like the title of this album because it tells you that babies are God`s creation just as well as you are,there just in the making.
So next time somebody thinks of aborting thier baby,just think of that album and tell them that there God`s creation.
A good album, but not a must have.| Posted August 09, 2008
All the songs are pretty good, but they would be they all sound pretty similar. The lyrics in Kutless tradition are good and powerful. The songs I like best are …
Shut Me Out – I LOVE the music video to this song. I also love the spirit of this song. It’s a good reminder that no one and nothing can keep us down or shut us up.
Winds Of Change -
Somewhere In The Sky -
Mistakes - I especially like this songs message.
Million Dollar Baby –
Legacy – We can either change the world for the better or worse.