From the first listen of Ed Kowalczyk’s new album, Alive, it’s clear the release is solid in its entirety. Spin the disc a few more times, though, and it becomes downright seductive. The first single, “Grace,” is an impassioned song that mixes moody chords, resounding drums, and fiery words to great effect—but there are easily five other single-worthy contenders on the 11-song disc. “Soul Whispers” is haunting, gritty, and barely restrained, while the piano parts during “Zion” bring a delicate beauty to the song’s soulful rocking structure. As singer and lyricist for the band Live, Kowalczyk penned hits such as “Lightning Crashes,” “Lakini’s Juice,” and “I Alone,” and here he again proves his formidable songwriting gift and finely tuned ear for catchy hooks. Alive is just as its title suggests, and it undoubtedly contains some of Kowalczyk’s most stirring work to date.