Review Rating: Must Listen! [4.8 / 5]
It's often too easy for worship albums to fit formulas, both melodically and lyrically. With a variety of audiences, not to mention the divine directive of adoration and praise, worship music is a tricky genre. Enter Cody Carnes - a familiar face in the worship community with an incredibly artistic album. In a TCB exclusive interview, Cody explains his desire to merge unique sounds with powerful lyrics in order to lead worship. Engaging listeners and glorifying Christ through each lyric, The Darker The Night / The Brighter The Morning is no typical worship album. The unique blend of sounds drives sincere lyrics of adoration and awe, making the collection stand out for its beautiful blend of sincerity and novelty.
"Resurrection Blood" opens the album, immediately convincing listeners that what follows will not sound like a typical worship album. Within the first minute, melodic themes from gospel and soft electronic genres blend with the staples of a praise and worship song, creating a unique and engaging sound. A consistent, marching percussion blends with soft, flowing electronics to alternate between themes of conquering and washing. Its lyrics continue the juxtaposition, singing of Christ's victory over sin and the "resurrection blood flowing in my veins … resurrection life in a hollow grave."
Kari Jobe joins her husband Cody in "Til The End Of Time," a slow-paced track with a heavy electronic emphasis. The melody is calming and gently moves along, providing a great foundation for the lyrics. There's an atmosphere of majesty and immenseness conveyed by well-time electronic pulses. With calm, higher vocals alternating between Cody and Kari, the song blends together into a beautiful piece. Its lyrics declare praise and admiration of the Savior, alongside a desire to be in His presence. "'Til the end of time, I'm Yours." In the context of praise and worship music, this track is beautifully unique.
Cody's "The Cross Has The Final Word" takes a step back from the heavy electronic presence and returns to a traditional, piano-backed melody with keyboard highlights. It's a beautiful song, certainly a highlight within the album. Its lyrics are simple, passionately describing the finality of the cross over sin and shame; the inevitability of Christ's victory over pain and death. Included as a bonus feature is a live version of the track that highlights Cody's vocal work and allows the audience's response to give the meaning context.
Toward the close of the album is "Nothing More To Say." As if a melodically diverse album could not bring any new sounds to the table, Cody brings gentle guitar into the fold, balancing the chords with soft keyboard, defined piano notes, and electronic chimes. It's a simple closer that brings it all back to Christ's work - His work in us and His work across the world. "Jesus, I'll never be the same" Cody sings, a reminder of how much the Savior can change lives.
"I hope (listeners) meet with God and find His hope and peace" says Cody, regarding his wishes for his debut project. Without a doubt, the album accomplishes this end. Engaging melodies and adorative lyrics saturate the collection, bringing listeners to a place of worship and awe in a way not often seen throughout the genre. The Darker The Night / The Brighter The Morning is an incredibly strong debut and a fantastic introduction to a talented artist, clearly passionate about His Savior.