Kutless
To Know That You're Alive


2.0
poor

Review

by wyankeif1337 USER (56 Reviews)
December 15th, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of Kutless trying and failing to mature.

If Nickelback converted to Christianity and got a better singer, there's a good chance that the end result would sound exactly like Christian post-grunge/worship titans Kutless. This is the iconic Christian band that hip youth pastors nationwide love, the general musical community hates, and countless CCM bands try to emulate. They also serve as somewhat of a gateway band for many sheltered Christian children (myself included) into harder music, along with similar religious bands such as Skillet or 12 Stones. Their bad reputation among music fans is arguably well-deserved, and can be attributed to the stereotypical post-grunge and Christian contemporary they push out album after album, but they do have merit. Singer Jon Micah Sumrall certainly as some talent, and their overall sound is incredibly catchy, if not anything else.

However, with their 5th studio effort To Know That You're Alive, Kutless seems to have recognized that their reputation for meathead hard rock is something that should be done away with, and they have, as a result, tried experimenting a bit more here. Eery now and again, this experimentation works: Dying to Become is honestly one of the best songs of the band's career, and experiments with electronics and intense loud-quiet dynamics to become an obvious album highlight. Kutless also inject some metal into a couple songs, namely The Disease and the Cure, whose LoG-ish bridge riff is probably the most metal thing Kutless has ever written. The title track is also relatively good, hitting a home run with its combination of electronic undertones, a catchy-as-hell chorus, and a few heavier bits.

Unfortunately, these three songs are the album's only major redeeming factors. The large majority of the rest of the album falls either in incredibly generic Jesus-praisin' ballad territory or the realm of mindless filler tracks. The great thing about previous Kutless efforts was that, even when they did throw in a few ballads, each album had a couple outstandingly good ones that actually held the listener's attention for more than three seconds: something the band fails to accomplish here. Tracks such as I Do Not Belong and You are about as cheesy as Christian Radio-friendly worship tracks can get, and when you've listened to this sort of thing for as long as I have you'll know that it can get pretty damn cheesy. Non-ballad tracks outside of the three previously mentioned highlight almost all fall as unmemorable filler. Lead single The Feeling, while being catchy at first listen, grows old incredibly quickly, and rocker Loud is probably one of the most boring things Kutless has ever written.

I wish just as much as anyone that this album could be better, as Kutless was one of those bands that practically defined my tween years. There are a few promising things here for the band, namely the introduction of electronic bits and the occasional metal riff, but these are mixed in with a puke-worthy amount of bad CCM tracks that prove that in the process of trying to mature Kutless have become lazy. If they combine the good here with the heavy post-grunge character of Hearts of the Innocent, the darker tone of their self-titled, and the magnificently catchy and at times beautiful choruses of Sea of Faces, Kutless could come out with a winner. But they still have a long way to go.

Album Highlights
To Know That You're Alive
The Disease and the Cure
Dying to Become




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user ratings (43)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
December 15th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I used to dig the hell outta these guys.

pizzamachine
December 15th 2010


13480 Comments


Good review, this band is too friendly to care about.

melgosa41
December 15th 2010


93 Comments


I still listen to a lot of there old stuff everyonce in a while. It is true that some of there stuff is generic, but I do not think they come even close the the sound of Nickelback.

wyankeif1337
December 15th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

well, more in status than in sound, although i think that they definitely have some musical similarities.

tiesthatbind
December 15th 2010


7420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Even though this is plagued with filler like all their other albums, the top 3 songs on this are the

best songs they've ever done.

Eko
December 15th 2010


2119 Comments


The scream in the title track is really random

North0House
December 15th 2010


1764 Comments


I used to listen to Kutless, along with almost every other kind of gateway-to-secular Christian bands like Switchfoot and Relient K.
It's funny, I used to love those bands, they were my favorites.
I haven't listened to them in years lol.
Good review.


astrel
December 15th 2010


2615 Comments


I just listened to the title track.

wyankeif1337
December 15th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i still love Switchfoot

MUNGOLOID
December 15th 2010


4464 Comments


dig The Feeling.

WhiteWallStargazers
December 15th 2010


2647 Comments


They're a decent band

melgosa41
December 16th 2010


93 Comments


Maybe older Nickelback

Emim
December 16th 2010


27546 Comments


Nah, they sound(ed) like Creed if anything. Compare Tonight from their self-titled with What If from Human Clay.


Jon has a great voice though.

tiesthatbind
December 16th 2010


7420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Either this or Hearts of the Innocent is their best album imo.

fr33convict
December 16th 2010


11724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this is the bands best overall album but it still is kind of lol outside of the top 5 tracks.

GiantSpeck
June 9th 2011


289 Comments


"Dying to Become" is probably the band's greatest song ever, and even then, it's somewhat mediocre.



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