Blending a mixture of country, roots and southern rock, Rhett Walker Band's debut release is outstanding.
Fans of Needtobreathe and NewWorldSon will love the four piece’s musical style while lovers of Leeland and Casting Crowns will enjoy the lyrical depth on Come To The River.
Opening with the mid tempo Gonna Be Alright, it’s an uplifting start with a driving rhythm section, a great organ sound and some impressive vocal efforts.
The title track combines Mumford and Sons style acoustic guitar and banjo playing with great gospel lyrics. “Come to the river / Oh and lay yourself down /And let your heart be found” Rhett sings.
All I Need is a beautiful track with a top quality melody. It’s unsurprising to see one of the greatest Christian songwriters in the world today - Jason Ingrim, has had a hand in the penning of this top tune.
Make Me New places the emphasis on rocked up drums and guitars while final track Singing Stone is a truly special ending to a great album. The quiet, understated tune is captivating as Rhett duets with All Songs & Daughters’ Leslie Jordan.
Much of the album has an edgier sound than some other Southern rock influenced Christian bands such as Third Day. Clocking in at less than 40 minutes, the recording is on the shorter side. Quality has rightly won over quantity. The recording has been sensitively produced. The vocals are passionate and gritty and the music is radio friendly without loosing its bite in the necessary places.
Although there are some excellent up tempo tracks, it’s the slower, more reflective songs that really stand out. Raw and honest, songs like Brother really hit the spot.
Rhett Walker has a story to tell. The preacher’s kid started taking drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd in his teens. Seeing Rhett make bad decisions, his parents sent him to a Christian school. While there he met a girl named April, who he got pregnant.
When Mercy Found Me brings the band’s Christian lyrics to the fore. It’s likely Rhett is looking back on his personal experiences as he sings “In one moment everything changed”.
Having now turned his life around and married April, Rhett is persuing a career in music. Considering the band only formed last year, to release a debut album on a major label is an excellent start. Rhett’s songwriting gift is obvious from the outset, and with a hot band behind him, who knows what the future will hold?
For now Come To The River is a hopeful and uplifting start to the band’s career. It’s not perfect, but if the boys keep heading in this direction they are sure to have a long and prosperous future ahead of them.
Rating: 9 out of 10
August 22nd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes