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JFH Music Review


Love & The Outcome, Only Ever Always
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Love & The Outcome
Only Ever Always



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Pop
Album length: 13 tracks: 41 minutes
Street Date: April 1, 2022


READER RATING:   


The act of offering encouragement is an artform that's a subtle dance. If the encouragement put forth is too broad, or consists only of recycled cliches, then it comes off as insincere -- like a greeting card sent in a time of crisis. On the other hand, if the encouragement is too specific, it can miss the wider picture of life.

Veteran CCM duo Love & The Outcome are born encouragers, and over the course of their career thus far (three albums and counting) they have presented their brand of sincere, super-charged encouraging pop with the seeming goal of sharing hope with the masses, one pop song at a time. Their latest album, Only Every Always continues this noble effort, but this being the third full-length project by this husband/wife team, it falls a bit flat musically. There is nothing overtly wrong with the keyboard centric pop music offered up here; it's just the sense that the growth of the band has hit an artistic flatline. There are a few standouts throughout, though, showing that sometimes an encouraging pop song is just what might be needed after a trying day.

After the cloying few opening songs, including the cliched, Instagram caption worthy "I'm Not Lucky, I'm Blessed" and "Need U On Repeat," "Look What God Has Done" rightly points to a history of the Lord at work in past circumstances as a means of encouragement. This Old Testament-like practice, used in many Psalms and writings of Moses, is a good starting point for a believer in need of a bit of encouragement and perspective: "My life is evidence / Of all that God has done / I faced my darkest hour / I wasn't strong enough / But He is faithful / This is my testimony / It's one I couldn't write / If I had known the journey / I'd have given up the fight / But He is faithful (He is faithful) / He is faithful / And now I look more like faith and less like fear / Not living in the past now I'm right here / I'll never stop singing loud and clear / Look what God has done / Look what God has done."

The following tune, "End Of The Day," features a nifty opening bassline and progresses with a sophisticated pop motion. "Start From There" is equally dancy and moves along with a nice distorted vocal and jazzy backbeat. "Nothing Surprises You," and the closing "Moving On," are likewise nice worshipful moments that end the album on an uplifting and sincere fashion.

Depending on the listener's relationship to this sort of overt pop, with titles like "Looking Up" and "You Got This," Love & The Outcome's latest offering can either inspire an eye roll or a shout of hallelujah. There is room for all sorts of approaches in the Kingdome Of God, and this genuine, veteran musical duo is clearly headed in one thematic direction, with the sort of effervescent, fizzy pop (think of fellow Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsem of "Call Me Maybe" fame) that might just be the thing someone out there needs during a rough patch in life. The album wins points for shear effort (for such a lite pop album, thirteen tracks is impressive) and sincerity, but loses a few for some groan-inducing song titles and cliched song writing. Here's hoping the band grows a bit artistically next time out, but continues the good work of spiritual encouragement.

- Review date: 4/7/22, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



Sometimes it seems the airwaves are oversaturated with worship styled music which can be bothersome if too many echo the same sound. It surely makes for a nice change if an artist can display a more original sound with praise music. Love & the Outcome capture the sound of the glory days when songs were played to revitalize skating arenas. After releasing 2 successful albums, Love & the Outcome embark on their next journey into the pop world. The husband and wife duo continue to exhibit sounds from the past like they did with the excellent cover of the Police's "Every Breath You Take" on the deluxe version of their last album, and make it with their own style with Only Ever Always.

The title track is a very captivating and memorable tune that focuses on God always being for us as well as giving guidance. The follow-up song is easily the best song on the album; the chorus in "Need U On Repeat" draws the listener in with its very energetic tempo sounding like something one would place as background music for a slideshow, "Oh the mess is the message so let it show/Oh imperfectly perfect just let it go/ The scars and the beautiful /Chaos and colorful everything in between /I need You I need You /God right here I need You /I'll say it on repeat on repeat on repeat." Love & the Outcome created a video for "I'm Not Lucky I'm Blessed" recently which gives the listener more of an idea of where the artist is coming from as they give examples throughout the song, like recovering from severe damage done to their home after the Nashville floods last April. "Love What God Has Done" would easily fit in with the mid-80s music with its Glass Tiger vibe.

Although it's a very short tune, "Start From There" provides a nice flow with an infectious disco-like beat that has found its way in a more contemporary fashion today. Things slow down some with a more serious and dark track, "More," which covers the forgiving love that God has for us regardless of our thoughts, "God You see more / More than the mistakes I made/ More than just a tear-stained face /When I messed up /Feeling unloved You call me Yours /God You see more." The ballad, "I'll Find You," demonstrates how we can always seek God when we need him and we will never be alone.

"You've Got This," "Same Page," and "Moving On" were all previously released on the EP, You Got This, in 2020. But if you already purchased the EP, there are still 10 new songs here on Only Ever Always. Love & the Outcome's newest effort will definitely satisfy the fans. The collection has a nice flow with many dynamic pop-driven songs balanced with some ballads. All in all, Love & the Outcome succeed in providing an entertaining album that is very easy to dive into. - Review date: 3/31/22, Wayne Myatt of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Curb Records / Word Entertainment
. Album length: 13 tracks: 41 minutes
. Street Date: April 1, 2022
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: Amazon.com (CD)
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Only Ever Always (2:59)
  2. Need U on Repeat (3:57)
  3. I'm Not Lucky, I'm Blessed (3:31)
  4. Look What God Has Done (3:02)
  5. End of the Day (2:52)
  6. Start from There (2:50)
  7. More (2:46)
  8. Nothing Surprises You (2:55)
  9. You Got This (3:14)
  10. Lookin' Up (2:18)
  11. Same Page (2:56)
  12. I'll Find You (3:39)
  13. Moving On (3:49)

 

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