To Know That You're Alive
Christian rock has come a long way from the fairly staid days of DeGarmo & Key and Petra. Kutless is a fit representative of the genre today: hipper, grungier, but still accessible to the less-than-trendy. To Know That You’re Alive reinforces the band’s status as a top-flight Christian act, rocking hard enough to satisfy the faithful without getting too edgy. With new producer Pete Kipley at the helm, Kutless takes an eclectic approach this time out. Fresh recruit Nick DePartee sharpens the band’s thrust with his slicing guitar lines on “Overcoming Me” and the title tune. Vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall settles into a contemplative state on “Complete” and “You,” then bares his incisors a little on “Loud” and “The Disease & Its Cure.” From the psychedelic distortion of “The Rescue” to the string-draped balladry of “Dying to Become,” there’s a lot of sonic ground covered here. Central to the album’s message is “I Do Not Belong,” a robust yet melodic call for spiritual renewal. To Know That You’re Alive suffers a bit from its sheer variety, perhaps striving too hard to please all tastes. But when Kutless connects, there’s no denying their muscle or their faith.