Kutless is one of those bands in the modern rock scene whose style evolves somehow with each album. After six studio albums (with their smash worship album Strong Tower going Gold last year), touring with some of the biggest names in Christian music (such as Newsboys, Stellar Kart, and Falling Up to name a few), and sales figures approaching two million, what's next for the rocking quintet? The label is releasing an anthology of their first three albums in one set.
One thing that may be frustrating for Kutless fans who have all their albums already is that this anthology merely repackages their albums from 2002-2006 (excluding Strong Tower) into one set. It would have been easier if they selected their biggest hits and put them here, instead of re-releasing the whole albums. But either way, these three albums are stellar releases from one of the biggest rock bands in today's CCM scene.
The first album is their self-titled debut, released back in 2002 and remains one of the biggest debuts in Tooth & Nail's history. Though now a bit dated, it remains a strong release. Highlights on this album include the moving "Run," the rocker "Tonight" (which is practically a duplicate of Creed's smash hit "What If"), the powerful "Pride Away," and the worshipful opener, "Your Touch." It's still a great rock record since its release, though it may be their least memorable to date when comparing it to their later work.
Next is what is personally my favorite album by the band, Sea Of Faces. To say that Kutless avoided a sophomore slump with this album is an understatement, as they noticeably matured as musicians. There's many highlights about the album: their being more outspoken of their faith, the more progressive styling compared to their debut, and overall impressive melodies, complete with an epic cover. The pounding rocker "Not What You See" brings the album to a strong start, and sets the tone for the whole. Other highlights include "Let You In" (where metalcore band Demon Hunter's lead singer, Ryan Clark, lends his notable screamer vocals to intensify the song), "Treason" (which may remind some of Switchfoot's huge single "Meant To Live"), the title track, and the epic "Better For You." It's one of the best pop rock albums to come out of Tooth & Nail to this day, and easily a memorable one as well.
Finally, we have the band's 2006 offering, Hearts Of The Innocent. This appears to take elements from their previous two releases (the edginess of their debut and progressiveness of Sea Of Faces) and combine them into an edgy offering, but a creative one as well. The opening song, the title track, and lead single "Shut Me Out" prove this point precisely. While Jon Micah Sumrall's lead vocals on the first two albums could easily be compared to Creed's vocals, he apparently abandons much of the comparison this time around. Other highlights include the rocker "Somewhere in the Sky," the moving "Push Me Away," and "Promise of a Lifetime." It's not their best offering, but easily a highlight of the band's catalog.
Overall, if you're a die-hard Kutless fan and own all the albums, it would be a waste to essentially re-buy these three albums. If, however, you don't have these albums, then this is the ultimate package for a Kutless fan, especially if one of these records are your favorite by the band. Kutless is one of the most popular rock bands in Christian rock today, and this anthology proves why.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 6/3/10, written by Paul Romano for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: BEC Recordings
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