by bentheREDfan USER (76 Reviews)
October 19th, 2016 | 1 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Do you notice the difference or is it all the same?

Kutless, despite their moniker, have many chinks in their armor. They’ve lost much of their core fan base due to how bland and generic they have become, pumping out CCM hit after CCM hit for the HisRadio crowd that is already oversaturated to beat the band. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with explicitly Christian lyrics (though I do prefer ambiguity as a whole), but it’s painful to watch a fairly talented heavy rock group become a forgettable pop rock/praise act. Speaking of heavy rock, many forget that Kutless started as an edgier Creed, complete with Drop D riffs, gritty vocals, and the occasional power ballad to boot. These are, as I like to call them, the glory days of Kutless. They were never wholly original, but at least in these days, they were more interested in ripping on Staind than Casting Crowns.

“Your Touch” opens much as one would expect: cleanly picked, interlocking guitar notes and the calmer cries of vocalist John Micah. It’s worth noting, however, that he displays an extremely powerful voice that is easy on the ears but commands the listener’s attention nonetheless. The guitar note progression, while simple, adds to the contemplative feel of the first part of the verses before the heavy power chords and palm-muted riffs kick in. They are fairly simple and nowhere near the level of Breaking Benjamin or RED, but they work for what they are (especially in the bridge) and do give something for a listener to bang their head to. John shows off one of his growls in the bridge as well, before moving on to some fairly decent rapping and ending the song on more snarling aggression. Later track “Tonight” follows a similar template and is an enjoyable “party rocker”, though it rips a little on Creed’s “What If”. Both “In Me” and “Pride Away” are slightly heavier numbers that alternate between power chords, cleanly picked notes, Jon’s hauntingly melodic voice, and an aggressive vocal delivery. “Pride Away” is the heaviest song of the affair and features some pretty gnarly screaming and riffing right at the end as well. If you’re a heavy rock fan, you’ll probably find something to like about these tracks, but don’t expect the record to convert the nearest Bieber fan.

“Vow”, “Down”, and “Saved” are slower rock numbers (not quite mid-tempo, not quite a ballad) that all pack a fairly decent punch and talent from all the band members (the vocal work on “Vow”, drum work on “Down”, and guitar work on “Saved” are especially highlights). Ballad-wise, Kutless is clearly inexperienced and has no idea how to write a ballad that really sticks with you, like every RED ballad ever composed or “Ashes of Eden” from Breaking Benjamin.

Lyrically, this is definitely a Christian album, and while the earnest cries to God work in songs like “Your Touch” and “Vow”, it does become a little grating after awhile, and it makes the listener wish for some semblance of subtlety and varied interpretation. Still, as a whole, this isn’t a terrible rock album, but it’s not a ground-breaking album either and isn’t really much to brag upon.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 20th 2016


Album Rating: 3.0

Wow...is this really the first review for this album? Nice.

I jammed this album so much back in the day. Believe it or not, without this album, I probably wouldn't have walked the line to heavier music. From here, I went to Blindside, from Blindside to Demon Hunter, from Demon Hunter to Underoath, from Underoath to As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean, and from there I was in all the way.

I can't listen to this album nowadays without laughing, but I won't deny its incredible impact on my musical journey. And this is a solid review that at least takes it seriously, so definitely a pos from me.

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