10 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The course of Kevin Max’s post-dc Talk career has been a fascinating zigzag, taking him through a myriad of pop styles, and The Blood finds Max once again defying expectations. The album uses old hymns as a thematic touchstone, though these tracks range far beyond the traditional. Helping out are a bevy of notables, including Amy Grant, Ashley Cleveland, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell and Joanne Cash (Johnny’s sister). Ultimately, though, Max is the main attraction, and he tackles the tunes with varying success. Gospel shout-alongs like “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Up Above My Head I Hear Music in the Air” work convincingly well. Bluesy acoustic renderings of “The Old Rugged Cross” and “I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole” sound a little contrived. “The Cross” reprises dc Talk’s modern rock thrust, while “They Won’t Go When I Go” takes Kevin into elegant R&B territory. Max’s mannered vocals — often adopting a rocker’s sass or a lounge singer’s croon — are a hit or miss affair. Ultimately, The Blood is in keeping with Max’s past work: provocative, sometimes erratic but imaginative overall.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The course of Kevin Max’s post-dc Talk career has been a fascinating zigzag, taking him through a myriad of pop styles, and The Blood finds Max once again defying expectations. The album uses old hymns as a thematic touchstone, though these tracks range far beyond the traditional. Helping out are a bevy of notables, including Amy Grant, Ashley Cleveland, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell and Joanne Cash (Johnny’s sister). Ultimately, though, Max is the main attraction, and he tackles the tunes with varying success. Gospel shout-alongs like “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Up Above My Head I Hear Music in the Air” work convincingly well. Bluesy acoustic renderings of “The Old Rugged Cross” and “I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole” sound a little contrived. “The Cross” reprises dc Talk’s modern rock thrust, while “They Won’t Go When I Go” takes Kevin into elegant R&B territory. Max’s mannered vocals — often adopting a rocker’s sass or a lounge singer’s croon — are a hit or miss affair. Ultimately, The Blood is in keeping with Max’s past work: provocative, sometimes erratic but imaginative overall.

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