Someone told me about a year ago that one of the “new” youth pastors in town also led worship, but our community has an abundance of gifted worship leaders, so I paid him little attention. As his debut full-length c.d. shows, that was a huge mistake.
I won’t lie, putting this in for the first time I had two immediate reactions: shock and awe, and as a recording songwriter myself, a third also crept in – envy. I can’t recall the last time I heard such a professional, tight, and well-written debut indie c.d., and I’ve heard a LOT of music in my day.
From the triumphant opening guitars of the surprisingly-faithful-to-the-original, yet rocking “Come Thou Fount”, to the album’s closer, the beautiful “Holy”, ALIVE is a contemporary chunk of singable corporate praise, fitting well in an iTunes mix back-to-back with Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Fee. And, honestly, that is simultaneously a great praise, and my primary critique of ALIVE: occasionally I get the idea that I’m listening to some other popular radio artist, and not Kyle Jones. However, what it sometimes lacks in originality, it makes up for in memorable, singable, well-crafted songs, passionate delivery, and unquestionably top-notch production.
My personal favorites are the powerful proclamations, “Unchanging”, and “Glory”, the electronics-driven radio-friendly rocker, “Fully Alive”, and Kyle’s wonderful rendition of “Come Thou Fount”.
Shortly following the c.d. release party, Kyle relocated for a position at another church about 6 hours North of here, and for an artist I mostly ignored when he was a local, I definitely feel his absence now that he’s gone. Lesson learned: next time I’ll be more quick to take note so I won’t miss an opportunity to be blessed by someone so gifted.
Will appeal to fans of Fee, David Crowder, and Chris Tomlin.