A Best Fourth Release Honorable Mention in the 2006 Awards
Kutless’ fourth album Hearts Of The Innocent blends portions of their first- and second-release music styles together and then also adds a touch of something new. While, overall, this is still not the Hard-Edged Rock/Hard Rock of their debut, it does take a step back in that direction.
The album begins with its title track, the lyrics of which deliver a cutting message on the state of today’s families and youth (and on who is ultimately responsible).
Next is “Shut Me Out”, an excellent, quite heavy rocker with powerful vocals. Lyrically it states that the message of truth will go on, even after they’re gone; and while they’re here, they won’t stop telling it no matter what happens.
“Beyond The Surface”, another quite heavy rocker, deals with the false (yet often extreme) pressures of image, and also with the rampant problem of self-injury.
“Smile” musically moves into non-heavy Rock. Lyrically, it describes how we can sometimes change a life by starting with just a simple smile.
“Promise Of A Lifetime” is the first true slowdown of the CD, with a piano lead at first and medium rock later on.
“Winds Of Change” picks the pace back up a bit, especially during the chorus and final bridge, where the heavy guitars crank in.
“Somewhere In The Sky”, a rocker that is quite heavy in places (indeed, even as heavy as their debut!) picks up the pace even more.
“Mistakes” is musically lighter; lyrically, it encourages you to learn from both your own mistakes and also from others’.
“Push Me Away” contrasts softer verses with an excellent heavy-rock chorus.
“Changing World” is a slower track with soft verses and a medium-rock chorus.
“Million Dollar Man” gets right back into the great heavy rock. Lyrically, it warns you not to forsake relationships and true happiness for eventually-empty money and fame.
And finally “Legacy”, still another great heavy rocker, closes off the album with the message to not let your past control you.
The Special Edition comes with a DVD that contains the entire Kutless music video collection to date, and four extra acoustic-version tracks on the CD.
The acoustic “Shut Me Out”‘s vocals are still powerful, yet the music consists of only several acoustic guitars. This is a somewhat odd combination, and the original heavy-rock version is better; but this version is still good.
“Smile” is a great acoustic version (utilizing a bass and piano as well as acoustic guitars), and just as good as the original.
“Somewhere In The Sky”‘s acoustic version, like “Shut Me Out”‘s acoustic, is a little odd because of its powerful-vocal/somewhat-bare-music combo, but it’s still good.
And “Changing World”‘s acoustic, like “Smile”, is equally as good as the original version.