Star-studded veterans tend to shoot for the sky with their ambitions, and who can blame them? With new sights and sounds to experience, the temptation to break free from our roots becomes overwhelming, the gamble of which almost always ends in one of two ways: a lesson learned in crash-landing, or the always elusive celestial orbit into well-deserved recognition among the constellations. The moment that I saw that Seth & Nirva each came from a background of extraordinary merit (lending vocals for TobyMac and Chris Tomlin, to name a few) I was interested to see just what exactly the husband/wife duo would bring to the table after their years of experience within the music business.
Never Alone is a proper full-length debut, naturally following the layout of the 2013 indie EP, I Need You. Seth and Nirva explore their trademark use of gospel, R&B, and pop even further with a stellar production to boot. It's not exactly groundbreaking, but it profoundly screams the sounds of the generation with tracks like "You Are In Control" and "You Are With Me," sporting an energetic and liberal use of electronic instrumentation.
The couple's creative use of auto-tuned vocals in the latter track is especially enjoyable. Symbolically reinforcing the song's theme of God's renewal in our lives and the power that comes from it, we are likewise introduced to a characteristic that wasn't found in their music up until that point (or, at the very least, wasn't nearly as obvious). It was a surprising treat among the already-diverse cast of songs that range from contemporary worship ("Great Are You Lord"/"Should've Been Mine") to soul-infused pop ("Pour It Out"), as well as a brilliant cover The Brilliance's own "Brother."
Diversity is by far the most attractive characteristic belonging to Never Alone, but unfortunately, the songs presented to us don't explore past the boundaries that CCM-heavyweights have already laid before them. Seth and Nirva do make a fine home within the nest though, and sometimes a comfortable evening with the familiar is all we really desire.
- Review date: 5/20/16, written by Bersain Beristain of Jesusfreakhideout.com