Prime Cuts: King of My Heart, Cornerstone, Great Are You Lord
Overall Grade: 2/5
Over the course of Kutless' career, they have oscillated between hard rock and worship music. Therefore, they have had alternated between the releases of original song-albums where they would make their electric guitars work overtime and cover albums where they would take current worship staples and add their rocking signature touches to them. With this year's release, they have decided to merge their two genres together on "Alpha/Omega." Here, you will find the band tackling 6 worship covers and 4 originals. Fans who have been familiar with Kutless' catalog will not be disappointed: these 10 cuts are impeccably produced and they come with just the measured amount of screeching guitars and pounding drums to keep their rock-driven fan-based happy. And they also demonstrate enough reflective nuances to make these songs palatable for worship.
Perhaps because of the familiarity of the covers, they are by far the most ear-grabbing tunes. Nevertheless, one has to ask, what prompted Kutless to cut John Mark McMillan's "King of My Heart" and even release this song as the album's lead single? "King of My Heart" is indeed a great worship song; it has a chorus so singable that even a newcomer in church could hum along. But is Kutless aware that besides the songwriter, the song has been cut by almost every worship artist and their cousins? Do we really need another version? The same goes for All Sons and Daughters' "Great Are You Lord," Phil Wickham's "Your Love Awakens Me," and Hillsong Worship's "Cornerstone." Have these guys done a search on iTunes as to how many artists have already been singing these staples?
To make matters worse, Kutless adds nothing new to the covers. Even with their 2005 hit "Strong Tower," the guys haven't invested much innovation to make this a worthwhile makeover. So, what's the bother? Now, let's come to their originals: melody-wise they pale in comparison to the covers. All of them lack memorable hooks. It has always been the dream of front man Jon Micah Sumrall to make an impact in the church with these songs, but to do that you need stronger tunes and less recycled lyrics. Words like, "No wonder we call You Savior/No wonder we sing Your praise/Jesus our hope forever/You made a way, You made a way" are too vanilla.
Sorry, as much as one tries to like this album, "Alpha/Omega" sounds uninspired, routine, and similar to the countless worship records out there. Instead of covering more worship songs, the team should spend time to write more quality worship songs; songs that will become staples for the church themselves.