Scott Stapp: Proof of Life review

Creed frontman Scott Stapp recently unveiled his second studio effort for Wind-Up Records, entitled Proof Of Life. It is the first new solo music from Stapp since 2005’s The Great Divide and comes hot on the heels of his uncensored memoir, “Sinner’s Creed,” in which he shared his life story. Having gotten clean and sober and renewing his love and passion for Christ in 2007, the book finds Stapp dealing openly and honestly with his past in order to try to rectify it.

The new album has come out strong, debuting on three Billboard music charts, including #7 on the rock chart, #3 on the contemporary Christian chart and #35 on the current album chart, whereas its predecessor sounded much like a lost Creed record. Proof Of Life, runs the gamut of musical and vocal styles, allowing it to stay fresh, new and unexpected, at every turn.

The album benefits greatly from the various musicians and songwriters involved, giving further depth to the presented melodies contained within. At the age of 40, the album finds the frontman flexing his vocal muscles and digging deep to find vocal dynamics he had long lost or forgotten, to give the performance of his lifetime.

The album takes off like a top-fueled dragster, with lead single “Slow Suicide.” It and tracks like “New Day Coming,” “Breakout,” “Crash” and mandatory power ballad “Only One,” are all stunning melodic rockers, unlike anything he has done before, that mix elements of Nickelback, Theory Of A Deadman, Saving Abel, Shinedown and Pop Evil, all of which add a whole new facet to his songwriting and just beg for radio airplay.

The elegant hooks of songs like “Who I Am” and title track “Proof Of Life,” pay homage to classic Creed, while “Hit Me More” sounds like a hard rock version of Adele and finds Stapp exploring all new musical territory, kinda like what Otherwise did with their cover of “Rolling In The Deep.” “Jesus Was a Rockstar,” is very similar to Nickelback’s “Rockstar,” with a rap cadence, that finds Scott really stretching his creative wings.

“What Would Love Do,” is very reminiscent of the title track from The Great Divide, with an infectious little U2 guitar harmony. The whole affair closes even stronger than it began with “Dying to Live,” a powerful melodic rocker, overflowing with alluring hooks, that will thrill all those rabid Creed fans, just hoping and praying for another Creed album. It could have been on Human Clay or Weathered and does a stellar job of filling that longing void.

Here’s the bottom line- It’s not surprising that his very public meltdown left a bad taste in the mouth of many devoted fans, but you simply must get beyond his past and give his promising future an honest chance.

Credit where credit is due, this is a truly remarkable album.

Rating: 9/10

-Eric Hunker