Just in case you didn't know, Ed Kowalczyk, the former frontman of Live, went solo, and with a holy vengeance at that.
On his debut single, Ed shows a passion that we've never heard from him before. Ed works hard to get his message across, that, no matter what you look at or what you have to say, his faith is real. It's the kind of intensity that makes you want to stand up and shout “Yeah, that's right, I do still have faith; so put a sock in it!”
Okay, maybe holy vengeance was the wrong term to use. How about a holy passion? Yes, that will work.
This is quite the contrast from his days with Live. I went back and listened to two of Live's most loved songs: “I Alone” and “Heaven,” songs of similar tempo where Kowalczyk sings in a similar range, and I was shocked at the difference in the intensity of his voice on “Grace.” Whereas, with Live, it almost sounded easy (even on “Heaven,” which is another faith declaration), Kowalczyk works hard to make sure that you know that he means and believes every word he's singing.
Now, if a line a ever existed between alt-rock and alt-metal, EK sure found it on “Grace.” The song starts out nice and easy, and doesn't immediately give the impression of a smashing power-song, but once the drums and EK's voice kick in, you get the impression that you're in for something good, and something intense. The chorus rolls along nicely until the whole song finds a new level when, on the bridge, we get some distortion scratching and those metal-esk guitar riffs. The change is subtle, though, and only serves to tie the whole song together into one extremely heartfelt message.
In four words: “I love this song!”
In three more words? “You will too.”
You can listen to "Grace" using the YouTube video below:
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Afterthought: After hearing this song, my wife better understood what many of Live's songs were about. I'm sure some of you can appreciate her epiphany.