Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Kutless has been pumping out quality Christian rock for over ten years now, including two worship albums, 2005's STRONG TOWER, and 2009's IT IS WELL.  Kutless is back with their seventh studio album BELIEVER (2012, BEC Recordings).  For this album group members are Jon Micah Sumrall (vocals), James Mead (guitar), Nick De Partee (guitar), Dave Luetkenhoelter (bass), and Jeff Gilbert (drums).  In the liner notes Jon Micah makes it clear he is grateful to still be making music.  He quotes James 1:17 which reads: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

The record begins with a rousing rock number 'If It Ends Today' which anticipates Christ's Second Coming: "Seems like the end is coming/Seems like the signs are lining up/As far as I can see/We're closer now than ever/This pain won't last forever/Love, Love is on His way."  'Carry On' extols the Lord's virtues: "There is love for the lonely/That only comes from You/There is peace and forgiveness/That I have found in You/Where else can I go?/You are the Way/You are the Light/You are the voice calling me through the night."  'All Yours' features strings by Brian Gocher and musically sounds ready for mainstream rock radio.  It is a song of grateful surrender: "With blood You bought my broken heart/So here I am, take everything/It's all Yours anyway/You turned my heart around, I came running back to You/Oh what joy I found surrounded by the Truth/That You love me and now I can see/It's all Yours anyway."

'Even If' is a ballad penned by Scott Krippayne and Tony Wood.  It speaks of trusting God even in those times where life doesn't go as we wish: "Sometimes all we have to hold on to/Is what we know is true of who You are/So when the heartache hits like a hurricane/That could never change who You are/And we trust in who You are/Even if the healing doesn't come/And life falls apart/And dreams are still undone/You are God, You are good/Forever faithful One."  'Hero' is much more mellow than the Skillet song of the same name.  The words to it tell us that the harvest of souls is waiting to be gathered in: "You don't have to look that hard to see/You don't have to reach that far to find someone in need/There is a desperation deep in this generation/Looking for something new, a love they can believe."  'Identity' written by Nick De Partee and Jason Walker, is about opening up to God and His purposes for us: "God I need You to be my identity/It's always easier to hide behind that/Camouflage that keeps our hearts so guarded/But there's no shame when we surrender everything to You/Everything to You."

'Need' is a guitar driven rock number.  It communicates how we oft feel when in a spiritual wilderness or 'dry season'.  Witness these words: "You tore the veil so my eyes could see/Your open arms right in front of me/Lord I feel blind, make this darkness flee/You know exactly what I need/Help me God I do believe/But I feel lost and it's killing me/I need You right now/God please answer me."  'Come Back Home' will appeal to those who appreciate the story found in Luke 15:11-32, that of the Prodigal Son.  Here are some of the words to this song written by Sam Mizell and Jeff Pardo: "I wanna see that face that I've been missing so much/I want to wrap My arms around your neck/I want to welcome you back to the place where you belong/I want to show you love has never left.../I've paid the price so have no fear/There's nothing but mercy here, yeah.../Mercy is waiting/Oh, when you come back home."  'This is Love' is a great modern rock song based on Luke 22:39-46 which recounts the night Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane: "Alone in a garden weeping/Begging His Father pleading/Take this cup from me/But if it's Your will Father let it be/All of the others sleeping/Sweat on His brow was bleeding/He could have run away but He chose to stay/This is Love, this is real." 

'Gravity' paints a picture of the Lord drawing us closer to Himself: "No matter where I go Your mercy follows/And I come running back to You/Your gravity keeps pulling me to You/I must have been destined for You.../You knew this human heart would be lost/So You planned a ransom and You paid the cost."  'I'm With You' has Grant Diggles responsible for strings and Jeff Gilbert on acoustic guitar.  This song will speak to the prodigals among us: "All this time You've been walking here beside me/Waiting for the day I'd call Your Name/So here am I walking through the darkest valley/Shine down Your light so I can see/You know I'm weary/I know You're calling out to me/Fall in My arms and I will carry you, carry you/I know you and I we can make it through, make it through.../All who need rest, all who are lonely/Come to Me now and just let it go."  The title track 'Believer' was written by Jon Micah and Scott Krippayne.  It is on the softer side, but beautiful.  It offers these wonderful words of hope: "No matter what you've done/How far you've run/There is hope for you/For every broken heart/He'll meet you where you are/And He will rescue you/Let Him rescue you."  One of the co-writers of the closing track 'Carry Me to the Cross' is Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline fame.  It ultimately points us to a place of refuge at Jesus' feet: "All these burdens on my shoulder/I'm not alone (2X)/You pull me from this place/Hallelujah! You carry me every day/You carry me all the way/And Hallelujah! You carry me to the/You carry me to the cross."

BELIEVER runs a generous 46 minutes and 27 seconds in length.  It is a project that does a good job of both encouraging Christians and reaching out in love to non-Christians.  On it the band shows a great deal of maturity.  I'm rating BELIEVER 87% and recommending it to fans of rock acts such as Daughtry, Creed, and Nickelback.  For more info visit and