Powerful and uplifting, Michael J. Valentine’s most recent album, Alive, presents some of the best spiritual music has to offer, providing listeners with a glimpse into the meaningful connection between body, mind and soul.
Inspiration for the record can be traced back to Valentine’s long-standing relationship between his music and faith, having roots in church and gospel music, as well as a strong affinity for the rock genre. Valentine is also a skilled multi-instrumentalist, further adding to the depth of the record’s musical elements.
The album’s opener, “Rise” immediately fills you up inside, with its robust and dynamic sound. It goes, “Been to hell and back/ In this life I’ve seen it all/ Darkness depression/ Felt I was a little out of control/ Follow your heart/ Reach eternal divine and rise.” Starting off on a musical high, this first track perfectly encompasses the feelings of love and hope, which run throughout the entire album.
Coming in next is “Thankful” an acoustic track, with a lot of heart. The chorus plays, “Look over my shoulder stop living in the past/ Search for the meaning to this awful loneliness/ Thank you for the fortitude that gives us peace of mind/ Fortunate for a life that is so well defined.” This song really makes you think about what’s most important, putting into perspective all that there is to be grateful for, despite the trials and tribulations which often lay ahead of us. Just about midway through, the melody also picks up and takes on a much swifter tempo from starting with a lighter sound, adding a more textured feel to the song.
The sweet and gentle ballad, “Human Kindness,” sends listeners on a lyrical journey, exploring the true meaning of love and faith, through the expression of empathy. “Love is stronger than anger/ watch it fade away/ what is right and what is real/ the truth will set you free/ Human kindness/ that’s what love can do/ human kindness/ that’s what the world needs love, “Valentine sings. Perhaps more than any other track, “Human Kindness” emphasizes the sensitivities of human nature and the ways in which people can find purpose through accepting and supporting one another.
Closing out the album is Valentine’s aptly named title track, “Alive.” This song points to the highs and lows of self-acceptance and the importance of following your inner voice. It goes, “You accept me as I am/ it’s all part of a master plan/ a wicked lifetime to clearly see/ ignite the soul and feel truly free/ Silvering lining in these times of grey/ I’m lookin’ atcha and you’re not so far away/ Alive.” The song proves deeply profound, addressing emotions of confusion, joy, fear and hope; everything it means to literally be alive.
The 12-track record asks listeners to look within themselves and search for their source of inner strength, passion and love. Filled with messages of truth, sincerity and faith, Alive is moving to its core and a joyous coming together of music and spirituality. Reviewed by Francesca Creavey
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.