Puns irritate some folks, yet there’s still fun in them. Powerful analogies can be drawn with plays on words. We were placed here in the universe for the sole purpose of returning love to God, our creator. That sole purpose needs to be our soul purpose.
Soul Purpose is part of the sole purpose I originally embarked on my quest for good Christian music. I knew there was great music out there that wasn’t being heard. I’m called to do what I can to get God’s good sounds heard. That music helped change my life, and it can work wonders for others, too. The first few bars of Soul Purpose’s CD, Starting Over, placed them firmly into that group of worthy but not well-known groups.
Soul Purpose’s musical style is mainly bluesy southern or country rock. There are flavors of funk, reggae and soul. Vocal sounds range from gravelly classic blues rock to smoother sounds similar to Blood Sweat and Tears, Eric Clapton and Sting. They’ve got the approachable sound of a local band, but also show the polish of a band about to make their big break.
Starting Over opens with a well-done instrumental that sounds like Moody Blues, Jethro Tull and Blue Oyster Cult got together for a jam session –ethereal and hard rocking at the same time, and with, oxymoronic as it may sound, some great rock flute work. I'd like to have heard more of this style. Track two changes to gritty blues rock with funk and southern flavors. The song sings a prayer of thanks to God for letting us start over again. The gravelly vocals are reminiscent of Louis Armstrong. Track three goes to a laid back piano-driven bluesy gospel sound. The message sings of faithfulness to God. Track four sounds like it’s a live recording. It’s got some nice guitar work at the beginning of the southern rock tune. It poses and answers the question, “Who are we? We are nothing but humans.” Track five gets down with more foot-stomping crunchy guitars to a southern/blues rock song expressing surrender to God and willingness to be used.
Track six is a blues song about assurance of salvation. We can know that when our days are through, we can spend the rest of eternity with God. The next song starts off bluesy, then turns into a heavyish rock ballad. Track eight is blues/funk rock, and the vocals have a strong Eric Clapton sound. On track nine, I hope the band doesn’t take offense, but I can’t help this response. You may or may not know it, but I really, REALLY like Veggie Tales. I smile as the vocalist starts to sing on track nine, because it reminds me so much of Mr. Nezzer (the zuchinni). He’s got a neat low booming voice. The music is great, too, with its southern, swamp-rock sound.
Track ten has a reggae flavor with a Clapton/Sting sound to the vocals. The message is of Jesus’ awesome love for us. Eleven sings that when we’re feeling down we can’t forget Jesus is in us, and we’re not alone. Track twelve sings a common question of, “Why me?” when there are so many other more-worthy (in our eyes) people. Thirteen gives us a reminder that our demons don’t own us. We’ve got to face them and get rid of them. The last song says it’s hard to call someone a friend if we don’t talk to him or her. Jesus is there and wants to be our friend, if only we’ll talk to Him and listen when He talks.
Soul Purpose’s message is strong and clear without being cliché. These guys would be fun to hear in concert! I hope bands like Soul Purpose hang in there and grab opportunities. As more people hear this sort of music, the demand will grow, and maybe, one day, we’ll get decent rockin’ Christian music the exposure it deserves. One day, maybe music will take on the sole purpose of singing to and about God. After all, we live in the Universe (“one verse” –one chance to get it right). Like the band's name says, Jesus has to be our Soul Purpose.