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JFH Music Review


Scott Stapp, 'Higher Power'
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Scott Stapp
Higher Power



Genre(s): Rock / Alternative
Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 12 seconds
Street Date: March 15, 2024


READER RATING:   


Enjoying Scott Stapp and being willing to admit it are two very different things. At this point in his career, you know what you are getting into. And although Stapp typically has all the lyrical subtlety of a sledgehammer, it's hard to doubt his sincerity or the power his voice wields. Or perhaps you like the music but his publicly played-out struggles with addiction, depression, and rockstar behavior turned you off.

Understandably, his on-and-off time as the lead singer of the mega-band Creed was nearly impossible for even the casual music fan to miss. However, if you haven't followed his solo career, especially since 2013, I'm happy to report his mental health and life have stabilized after a brush with death and a seeming recommitment to his faith.

He's certainly earnest, and his most recent album, titled Higher Power, is more of what you would expect from the singer/songwriter. His signature baritone sounds as good as ever, with its gravelly lows pairing with the huge post-grunge riffs perfectly. Lyrically, scriptural allusions are littered throughout. Also of note, Yiannis Papadopoulos, a Greek rock fusion guitarist, gives a big assist musically. Beginning the album with "Higher Power" is the right choice for setting the tone, and it's among the biggest highlights of the record. Lyrically, he sets the theme by singing, "It was the death of me/That made heaven speak/Heard the angels calling out my name/It was a eulogy/For the part of me/That will never, ever be the same/It took a fall to rise/To open blinded eyes/The day I died was the day I came back to life."

Additionally, "Deadman's Trigger" goes hard, while this reviewer's overall favorite - the hooky "What I Deserve" - and the ballad "If These Walls Could Talk" are a good sampling of what the album has to offer. Again, not many surprises here, but what Stapp has always done, he does well once again. However, after the first five tracks, we run into some diminishing returns. "Black Butterfly" and "Quicksand" are good, but I began losing interest as the album hit a lull with the final two songs. Again, there's nothing particularly bad about the last two tracks; this is just a case of over-saturation of the sound at this point. It also doesn't help that they are also two of the longer songs of the album.

So here I stand, with arms wide... well, you get the idea. You probably already knew if you would like this one, but if not, I recommend it -- particularly if, like me, you enjoy Creed/Stapp and aren't afraid to admit it. If for some wild reason, you are completely unaware of Creed or Stapp, give the first four or five songs a shot and you'll know if this is one for you or one to take a pass on.

- Review date: 4/19/24, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: Napalm Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 12 seconds
. Street Date: March 15, 2024
. Buy It: Bandcamp

  1. Higher Power (3:47)
  2. Deadman's Trigger (3:27)
  3. When Love Is Not Enough (3:24)
  4. What I Deserve (feat. Yiannis Papadopoulos) (4:26)
  5. If These Walls Could Talk (feat. Dorothy) (3:33)
  6. Black Butterfly (3:20)
  7. Quicksand (feat. Yiannis Papadopoulos) (3:31)
  8. You'e Not Alone (4:10)
  9. Dancing in the Rain (feat. Yiannis Papadopoulos) (5:19)
  10. Weight of the World (4:09)

 

 



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