Posted March 09, 2012
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Just like that, Kutless has transformed from that new rock band from Oregon to the one new bands look up to, the band whose music is all over the radio in multiple formats, the band that’s sold millions of records. Ten years after their debut self-titled album, Kutless is returning with their newest album Believer. I remember the first time I heard their debut hit single “Run” in 2002. I was a new believer and the band won me over with the emotional and prayerful lyrics from God’s perspective: “Why do you run, why do you hide, oh don’t you know I just, want to be with you, why do you run, why do you hide, oh don’t you know I just, just want to be with you. Be with you.” I can’t listen to the last stanza without getting emotional: “Find a place of solitude, and I'll speak to you, As you pray to Me, Don't you know I'm waiting here, waiting for you to read and hear My Words, I'm waiting here missing the time the times we shared, well, please come to Me.” From that point until now, I’ve been a major fan of the band. According to lead singer Jon Micah Sumrall: “We wanted our name to represent the impact of what Christ did for us on the cross. Christ took our beating and paid the wages of our sin (Romans 6:23). He took our cuts for us, leaving us "Kutless." Amen. That sentiment has been displayed in each of the band’s solid albums.
The rockers on Believer are opening track “If It Ends Today,” “All Yours,” “Need” and “Gravity.” Since guitarist Nick DePartee joined the band they have really found their niche musically and lyrically and seven of these new tracks and all four rockers were co-written by Nick. He also co-wrote their previous hit songs “Amazed,” “You Save Me” and “Remember Me” from It Is Well. They are all instantly engaging and hook-filled songs that are filled with biblical Truth. I love the chorus “Raise your hands if you're with me, Raise your hands if you're ready, Say hey! hey! I'm not afraid, Hey! hey! hey! If it ends today” in the opener. As Christians, we need to remember we’re not made for this world and we need to live as though today is our last day, unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “All Yours” has already become my rock worship anthem with the vertical lyrics: “It's all Yours anyway, You gave Your life to save me, So take my life.” Amen to that! Rock single “Need” is a great rock anthem with sincere and confessional lyrics: “Help me God I do believe, But I feel lost and it’s killing me, I need You right now.” The urgency of the message fits the tempo of the song perfectly. “Need” is a great song for workout sessions.
I’ve seen Kutless in concert many times, and the crowd response to their worship ballads has been moving and appeals to all musical preferences from my parents to my three young daughters. The worship ballads “What Faith Can Do,” “Everything I Need” and “I’m Still Yours” were all hit songs from It Is Well. If you are a newer Kutless fan looking for that musical style, then you’ll absolutely love the remaining songs which are all in that vein. “Carry On,” “Even If,” “Hero,” “Identity,” “Come Back Home,” “This Is Love,” “I’m With You” and “Believer” are all radio-friendly and potential hit songs that will resonate with all Kutless fans. “Carry On” features the biblical Truth from John 14:6: “You are the Way, You are the light, You are the voice calling me through the night.” “Even If” has biblical lyrics proclaiming truth from Isaiah 55: “Lord we know Your ways are not our ways, So we set our faith in who You are” and Romans 8: “We trust You always, You’re working all things for our good, We’ll sing Your praise, Even if the healing doesn’t come.” Amen. This is a very enjoyable album and I identify with the messages of every song. The closing tracks are certainly highlights. Title track “Believer” was co-written by lead singer Sumrall and is a bold statement of faith, ”There’s not a greater love that you’ll find in this life, I’m a believer in Christ.” Closing track “Carry Me To The Cross” is a great song for the Church, with the catchy and worshipful chorus:”Hallelujah! You carry me every day, You carry me all the way, Hallelujah! You carry me to the, You carry me to the cross.”
Believer is the band’s crowning achievement featuring thirteen excellent rock worship songs. The album has a perfectly balanced mix of rockers and ballads and Jon Micah’s vocals have never sounded better. This is their most complete overall album loaded with quality songs that all draw me closer to Christ. If you’re looking for the best of Kutless, this is their top album surpassing all of their previous excellent work. For sure, Believer is among the top albums of the year.
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