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4.8 out of 5 stars
It Is Well: A Worship Album
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
I became a fan of Kutless back when Sea of Faces came out back in 2004. Their rock sound was a welcomed find for me as I discovered the world of Christian rock. In 2005, they released Strong Tower, a worship album that combined a did a great job combining a rock sound with some familiar and new worship tunes. To this day, the song "Strong Tower" remains one of my favorite worship songs.

After a couple less-than-overwhelming rock releases the past few years, the guys have once again returned to the worship genre with the release of It Is Well: A Worship Album. While the album doesn't always hit on all cylinders, the band's take on some traditional and well-known songs, as well as a few of their originals, combine to make this a very solid addition to the worship genre. I really think these guys do worship better than straight-up rock, actually.

The album opens with the title track, using a recording of a person walking into a church where the choir is singing the song to transition from the traditional to the modern. It works well, and when Jon Micah Sumrall launches into the chorus (with the melody changed ever so slightly), it sounds amazing. Other familiar songs that work well here include "Hungry," "Remember Me," "God of Wonders," "Give Us Clean Hands," and "Redeemer," which uses part of the hymn "There Is A Redeemer" extremely well (although I wish it was much longer and repeated the verse structure more than once).

I know what you're thinking: Do we really need another version of "God of Wonders?" That was my first thought, but the band is really able to make it their own for the most part. Instead of reminding me of earlier versions, it just reminded me why I enjoyed the song so much in the first place.

The original songs weren't really anything all that special. Pretty much your typical worship fare. The current single, "What Faith Can Do," explores the power of faith and what God is able to accomplish through it, and sounds made for K-LOVE radio. "Taken By Love" is another solid tune, and "You Save Me" turns up the rock sound more than most on this album. I don't think they were able to come up with a "Strong Tower" on this album, however.

This album really made me wish that Kutless would just do an album of all traditional hymns and update them with a Kutless style. "Redeemer" and "It Is Well" are easily the two best songs on the album ("Remember Me" is close, though). That verse structure on "Redeemer," with it's fantastic guitar riff accompanying the familiar tune, built perfectly into the chorus, forcing me into praise of God. Hearing an old hymn given that treatment was fantastic, and I would love to hear more of that from Kutless if they ever choose to do another worship album (and if it's done that way, I'll pre-order it now).

This album, although not perfect, does a great job of combining the worship style with Kutless' familiar rock sound and is a worthy addition to the genre.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
These guys continue to push themselves to create different layers of their amazing sound. They've done it again with 'It Is Well'. I was expecting the cd to sound very similar to 'Strong Tower', which isn't a bad thing since that cd was incredible.

While this is still in worship mode, the sound is very different and the band pulls it off extremely well. The best thing I can say about the cd is that it will definitely draw you nearer to God and will pull you into a worship frame of mind while still having a rock flavor to the music.

My personal favorites are the title track (what an original way to record this classic hymn), Amazed, What Faith Can Do, Everything I Need, and Give Us Clean Hands.

As always, the original lyrics are very personal and genuine as these rockers continue to humble themselves in praise for our Almighty God. Kutless fans will drink this in and new listeners will be back for more. Excellent cd.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
WOW!!! I was blown away by how powerful this album is. From the intro on the first, and title track to the end of the last track, it is filled with emotion. I think this was far better than their first worship album, Strong Tower, which in my opinion was pretty good itself. This album has so much more emotion though and to me is so much more powerful too. I also like that they actually have some of their own songs on this album. It is hard to pick a favorite because they are all so good. There wasn't one song that i wanted to skip. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. The only disappointing part was when the last song ended. I didn't want the album to end. Oh well, I guess all good things must come to an end. Anyway, Kutless fans, or Christian rock fans in general, pick this album up. You will not be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I listened with eager anticipation when a friend lent me this CD - could it possibly be the holy grail: true hard rock, true hymns? Alas, the disappointment set in from the first track. It's not that it sounds bad, or that Kutless didn't do a good job. It's simply that the album was not nearly so unique as the liner notes suggested.

Probably the best covers on the album are "Hungry" and "Give us clean hands" - these songs can get a bit tedious when sung in corporate worship if they are not led by skilled musicians and worship leaders, and Kutless succeed in making them very singable whilst keeping the tempo up. The originals on the album are solid tracks. However, the more familiar tracks (especially "It is well with my soul" and "God of wonders") have some rather perplexing chord progressions that remove colour from the accompaniment, and make it much harder to sing along.

Overall, i found "It is well" listenable but not remarkable, solid but not brilliant, fresh but not unique. If you want singable alternative rock/pop versions of classic hymns, try Hymns Ancient and Modern instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The fall of 2009 has been an exciting time for Christian music fans. Tons of new cd's from popular artsits have flooded the shelves and while some are good most seem to be trading away their Christian themes for more mainstream friendly love/emotion songs. Not so with Kutless. The rockers from Portland OR have crafted yet another great CD and have added a fine addition to their worship repitoire. This CD is just as good as Strong Tower if not better and the mix of hymns, worship choruses, and Kutless original songs are very well produced and recorded. I was blown away by the title track! It almost seemed to have a David Crowderish electric thing to it but the soaring rock chorus is definitely Kutless. This CD is worth every penney.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
It Is Well is a very old hymn but Kutless just made it one of their songs. The verses sound just like it would in church but then it gets to the chorus and they make it one of their songs which is great. "Amazed" is a very good song as well. But "What Faith Can Do" is the best song on the album. This is a very inspirational song about when you fall you will have the strength to rise. As a lot of you know Third Day did a Worship album called Offerings II and they did "God Of Wonders" live and although Kutless doesn't do it live they still I think are just a little better.

This is a great well rounded album with a lot of inspirational songs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2009
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Impressive! From the beginning of this album, Kutless rocks again. I am amazed that my favorite rock band can produce 2 worship albums that are so exceptional. They've done it again. If you liked "Strong Tower" you won't be disappointed with "It Is Well". In fact you might just like "It Is Well" better. Great CD just to bring us to a point of praise to our great God. Thank you KUTLESS!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I am not typically a fan of 'praise' albums. They tend to be far too soft and make me feel like I'm listening to something from my mother's album collection. However, this album is fantastic. Kutless, for the most part, doesn't hold back. It is not quite a hard and driving as some of their other albums, but it is a worship album after all. I have been Kutless fan for years and own all their albums. I count this as one of my favorites. It is most definitely my favorite praise album ever. There is a good reason why this album has now spent 26 days in Amazon's top 100 album list!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album is supposed to be a sequel to "Strong Tower" which is decent, but not as good as this one. The opening -and title- track, It Is Well, is really good, with the verses sounding essentially the same as if you were singing it on Sunday morning. Then you get to the chorus which has a great Kutless twist on it. God of Wonders is good. I would rank it as better than the original Third Day song, but I'll call them equal because Third Day's version features Michael Tait, member of Newsboys and former member of dc Talk. All the tracks really stand out against other worship albums in the fact that Kutless brings such a raucous sound to the table. I would put this album in league with Third Day's Oferrings II: All I Have To Give, Newsboys' Adoration and Jeremy Camp's Carried Me, all of which are stellar albums. I hoped that this would be a "rock" album, but I guess we'll have to wait 'til next time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
it's a worship album, not a very rocking album but more of emotional album with very highly worship lyrics than touches you in a way that makes you think more about the paths we choose in life. kutless music has really reached out and grabbed me they have plenty of energy in there music along with emotional touches that lets you know that god is still by your side no matter what.
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