Luke and Joel Smallbone bring a sense of drive and ambition to their band for King & Country. Their debut album Crave may remind listeners of emotive rock acts like Kings of Leon and Snow Patrol. Crave harnesses the fist-raising heroics of such groups in the service of a Christian faith that stresses empathy and redemption over dogmatic sermonizing. The Smallbone brothers deliver their tunes with a palpable urgency over thumping guitar and piano-centered tracks that build to anthemic choruses. “Busted Heart (Hold on to Me),” “Middle of Your Heart” and “Light It Up” are indicative of for King & Country's feel for rock dynamics and positive lyric content. “The Proof of Your Love” stands out for its inspirational message (“Let my love look like You and what You’re made of”) as well as its string-draped musical grandeur. Several tunes — particularly “Pushing on a Pull Door” and “Fine, Fine Life” — are especially effective in capturing God-centered themes in the language of everyday experience. The closing track “Crave” is a powerful statement of spiritual yearning, concluding the album on an exalted note.

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