The Amazing Grace
You realize right away how grace was very much on John Elefante’s mind when he created The Amazing Grace. Not only is the word ‘grace’ in the album’s title and title track, but it appears again in the album opener, “City of Grace.” Elefante is most famous for his role as the lead singer in Kansas. However, he also fronted Mastedon and recorded multiple solo albums. Most significantly, he’s one of the finest male vocalists in Christian music. Comprehending God’s grace is an attribute, believers have grappled with since the beginning of time. Here, Elefante continues that quest for understanding it all, through music.
That fine voice is especially on beautiful display during “Not Alone,” a lovely ballad also featuring layered backing vocals. There’s a sweetness to the way Elefante sings so melodically that also brings to mind Phil Keaggy’s singing. If you’re dying for a Kansas-like progressive rock fix, however, look no further than “Won’t Fade Away.” This one begins with acoustic piano, before following multiple time signature twists and turns. For straightforward guitar rock, though, go straight to “Little Brown Book,” which features plenty of crunchy electric guitar.
Although The Amazing Grace incorporates plenty of stylistic elements that are sonically tied to ‘80s rock, the album was recorded in wonderfully high fidelity, which gives it a bright, pure sound. Additionally, Elefante’s is a voice one simply just loves to hear—no matter what he’s singing. Sure, you may listen these new songs with a slight tinge of nostalgia. Kansas was special at the time, singing about the Christian faith on secular radio which was no small feat. That special Kansas voice still sounds fantastic here, almost as if no time has passed since Kansas’ heyday.
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