Proof of Life

Proof of Life

There’s a rousing sort of heroism to Scott Stapp’s second solo album, rooted in both the verities of Christian faith and the sounds of post-grunge rock. Taking a break from his role as Creed’s frontman, Stapp grapples with moments of weakness and reaches out for redemption in these muscular, hook-laden tracks. Bone-crunching guitars and arena-shaking rhythms are matched by vocals filled with a gravitas tempered by vulnerability. The melodrama that helped make Creed a mega-act in the late ’90s is still very present here. The lead track, “Slow Suicide,” seethes with conflicted emotions underscored by self-incriminating imagery and a grinding tempo. The mood veers from the smoldering desperation of “Who I Am” to the dawning optimism of “New Day Coming” and the defiant bravado of “Hit Me More,” giving a palpable sense of spiritual conflict. “Jesus Was a Rockstar” is an especially potent slice of God-centered rock that struts and snarls as it extolls His name. Stapp closes with “Dying to Live”: a fervent pledge to God embedded in a classic power ballad.

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