An extended review of this full-length 2022 music recording
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Curb | Word Entertainment, 2022. $20 (MP3 $10)
The road to a record deal and the widespread reach of their music wasn’t an easy one for Love & The Outcome. Singer/songwriter Jodi King left her solo career behind to start the duo known as Love & The Outcome with her husband Chris Rademaker. Before having the opportunity to record their first album, they sold their house and possessions and undertook a grueling touring schedule. They eventually left Canada for a move to Nashville, landed a record deal and released their first album as a duo in 2013.
Now Love & The Outcome is back with another full-length project, titled Only Ever Always, which released April 1, 2022. An ambitious undertaking, the album includes 13 tracks, an amount which is a rarity in the music industry today. Ten of the songs are brand new releases, while three of them appeared on the EP, You Got This, which came out in 2020.
As Love & The Outcome was preparing to head into the studio to start recording new songs for Only Ever Always, the Rademaker family faced a dangerous situation as Nashville experienced severe flooding. Jodi and Chris barely made it out with their two sons before their road was completely flooded. While they were able to flee to safety, their home was so damaged it was unlivable. They also lost almost all of their music gear and many personal belongings. Facing that kind of trial is what inspired many of the songs on Only Ever Always, as the couple experienced in a new way how rain precedes the rainbow.
The overwhelming theme of choosing hope in the face of hardship is loud and clear in the songs on this album, including in the encouraging “End of the Day.” “Moving On” shouts the message that we can move on from the things that have weighed us down for so long. And in “Look What God Has Done,” we’re prompted to reflect when life gets challenging: “And now I look more like faith and less like fear / Not living in the past, now I’m right here / I’ll never stop singing loud and clear / Look what God has done / I’ve lived through many trials / I’ve never understood / But pain is never wasted / He works it all for good / Always faithful.”
Knowing that King and Rademaker faced such a difficult trial before recording the album adds credibility to their message, as they are still testifying to the faithfulness of God even after such a big loss.
Only Ever Always is produced by Seth Mosley, Mark Campbell and Colin Munroe and follows the band’s typical style, which is a keyboard-centric pop sound. The band balances upbeat tracks like “Start From There” and “Need U On Repeat” with ballads like “I’ll Find You” and “Moving On.”
Fans of Francesca Battistelli, Mandisa or Natalie Grant will thoroughly appreciate the sound and style of this album. Fans of Maverick City Music are in for a treat as Stefan Cashwell leant his vocals to “Nothing Surprises You,” a standout track on the project.
When it came time to release Only Ever Always, Love & the Outcome decided to not just let their music testify to God’s faithfulness, instead they also started a social media campaign with the hashtag #imnotluckyimblessed, a nod to the first single from the project. Using the hashtag they asked fans to share stories of how God has been faithful through trials and then turned around and shared these stories on their own social media channels.
Proving that they are about more than their music and are serious about using any method they can to share the truth of a good God who is there for us in both the peaks and the valleys: “There’s always something to be stressing about / It’s gonna work itself out / At the end of the day / The sun still sets in the colours of a thousand promises / The beauty of it all I won’t forget / Nothing’s gonna change a word You’ve said / Hey if the stars still shine / Then maybe everything’s gonna be alright / Even in the dark there’s just enough light to say / We’re all gonna be okay.”
A much needed and appreciated reminder from Love & The Outcome.
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