Singer/songwriter Robert Gotcher embodies the moodier, introspective side of Christian rock. In other words, much of the material on here probably wouldn’t be light and pop enough for praise and worship radio stations. The first cut, “Never Let It Go,” is as close as Gotcher gets to a stadium-ready Christian anthem, his undying love for God as vividly and loudly pronounced as it can be. Gotcher doesn’t do a Bono, either, disguising scripture in the context of rock poetry; his spiritual leanings are open and exploding with sincere affection.
However, Gotcher throws curveballs throughout the record. While other Christian artists are reluctant to expose personal wounds, Gotcher lets it bleed. “Goodbye” hovers overhead like a black cloud, its melancholic beauty touching and breaking the heart simultaneously. There is no happy, sugar-coated ending in “Goodbye”; just like its title states, it is a final farewell, a tear-soaked admission of defeat. There isn’t even a sense of life getting better after the break-up. The song reflects the reality of a busted relationship with no hope of repair.
Nevertheless, this is an overall positive album. The reggae-tinged “Real Life Charades” and the infectious crystalline jangle of “Sweet Clarity” brighten the dimmest of summer shades. Gotcher’s songwriting is straightforward and honest but doesn’t forget that only hooks can elevate a tune from words on paper to melodies that soar like angel wings.