Mark Schultz is adored by his fans for his genuine ability to paint vivid imagery through his songwriting. Not only that, but he embraces an optimism that is difficult to come by in music these days. If done incorrectly, this approach can come off as unrealistic or hypocritical - or even cheesy. Shultz swivels from all of these possible snares and manages to create music that is admirably refreshing.
There is a lot of good material on Come Alive for growth, encouragement, and worship. The album starts off powerfully and in excellence with "All Has Been Forgiven," a riveting ballad with a kind of style like MercyMe and Steven Curtis Chapman (two great artists). Next is "Grace Amazing," which is a highlight because of its honest and humble lyrics. It begins with the sad confession, "I'm not myself today, but I'm finding it's okay. My heart is learning to believe that You could love someone like me. O Lord, I'm not myself today." Then the chorus only confirms the song's success with a catchy melody that is simple and great for worship. "He Is" somewhat brings this amazing start to the album to a slight speed bump. The song isn't bad, or even inappropriate, but it does risk losing the listener's attention because it seems too common in its lyrics and progression. The first story ballad comes four songs into the collection with "What It Means To Be Loved," and it is a splendid one at that. Don't be too startled if you feel the hairs on your neck stand up, or if you start to tear up. With the hiccup that is the third song, things start to pick up again with number four and its follow-up "God Of Glory," a beautiful and soothing praise song to God. The chorus is a bit risky and almost on the corny side, but if you give it a chance, you'll probably love it like I did.
There is no doubt that this is a great release for Mark Schultz, and it will only continue to propel him towards the favor of his fans and new fans to come. The words in this album can do wonders for someone's heart. A perfect example of this is in "Father's Eyes," a song about how God views us in comparison to how we see ourselves. "Love Has Come" seals the album with a sort of togetherness and unity feeling.
With its gracefulness and carefully crafted lyrics, Come Alive is sure to satisfy fans and newcomers like myself. Mark Schultz without a doubt proves here his stability and constancy as a singer/songwriter, to say the least.- Review date: 10/2/09, written by Ben Cardenas of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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