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The "feeling" isn't quite right about this album
Posted July 07, 2008
By Nathan,

Kutless’ latest effort, To Know that you are Alive hit the top twenty on ITunes, and the single “the feeling” is getting more airplay, their newest album certainly looks like it will be another hit for the rock group. But that doesn’t guarantee that it will be a solid album, as Kutless has been known for underachieving with their basic rock tunes.

The music To Know that you are Alive is obviously rock, and very solid, and refined rock at that. What’s the problem? Sadly not much has changed since Hearts of the Innocence and Kutless’ newest album. The opening song “The feeling” rocks loudly from start to finish, as it has an exceptional chorus, and the title track also is a heavy rock song with a good flow. Unfortunately both of those songs sound too similar, a problem that reoccurs on the album. Another frustrating thing in their album is “dying to become”; the song blends a great tune with a good music, until they get to carried way with the electric guitar making the song only so-so.

“Complete” is a rock worship song that is impressive, and “overcoming me” is another solid rock tune, but neither are nothing new to rock music, or even Kutless fans. One head scratching song is “sleeping city” which is just instrumental; the music is nice yes but the point of the track is missed. A sense of emergency is fused with “Disease and the cure” which is a heaviest song that unfortunately lacks a defining chorus. “Guiding me home” is the lightest song on the album, as the music has more emotion to than others, and “promise you” is another soft rock tune that is basic but solid.

Kutless keeps eternity in focus on To Know that you are Alive whether the singer is admitting that only in God can he be “complete” or understanding that this world is not his home on “I do not belong”(‘This world is not my home/I’m a stranger in this land’). But some of their lyrics get a little cliché and trend on already plowed roads. “Overcoming me” states ‘just need you to love me’ and “guiding me home” says ‘You say that You love me always and forever’. “Disease and the cure” contemplates the infection of sin and what overcomes it, and lead singer Jon Micah Sumrall sings about “dying to become” like Jesus Christ.

Strong song writing shows up on “Promising you” which it deals with bitterness and forgiveness over a bad friendship (‘I can’t deny these thoughts of hate/The poison adding to my shame/Forgiveness can’t take scars away/But I forgive you anyway’). “To know that you are alive” isn’t about God like perhaps the title suggests (‘I know your pain is for a reason/You need to feel just to know that you’re alive’) and “you” is a basic worship song. Overall the lyrics are not bad yet they don’ reflect much growth.

Kutless’ rock music didn’t quite get out of the shadow on their worship album Strong Tower on Hearts of the innocent. And To Know that you are Alive probably won’t either. The music isn’t that much different than on Hearts of the Innocent and if any change was made about the lyrics, it went backwards. Not a bad album for Kutless, but the lack of anything new to offer will probably not make To Know that you are Alive the album fans wanted.

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