Review by Vaibhav Thomas
The purpose we serve defines our existence. The direction we take and the approach we adopt to realize our purpose defines us as human beings. Balancing existing responsibilities with realizing dreams is no cakewalk. Ask any musician, and they will probably have tons of anecdotes to share. Yet, the essence of any individual's purpose, regardless of occupation, lifts one out of mundanity to be a force for good in the world. Through the power of faith, this is the very essence of American Christian songwriter John McKivergan's rousing newest, titled 'You've Got Me.'
Written in the key of Bb Major, 'You've Got Me' is a song that derives its strength from a realistic expression of sentiment. It vividly depicts the challenges of dealing with the unpredictable, especially when family is involved. Despite these hurdles, the song emphasizes the need to rally oneself to make a meaningful impact for both family and oneself. The lyrics highlight the significant role God plays in one's life, serving as a driving force to march onward. Examples such as "Many constants had made life secure, Many changes now make it unsure" and "You ask me to turn my world upside down to share my faith with those around…" make the song relatable, devoid of metaphor, yet captivating.
The song is crafted with a fervent mix of firm-footed conviction and a sober acknowledgment of reality. Vocalist Kevin O'Shaughnessy, who is also the producer, infuses the song with a rousing energy that complements the lyrical themes, much like a fish effortlessly takes to water. Arranged in the contemporary pop-rock style with the familiar two-verse-bridge-chorus format, the initial chord progression may seem like a well-trodden path, but it pleasantly surprises the listener by skillfully mixing up the chords.
The instrumentation, featuring synthesizer, bass, electric guitars, and drums, performs with energetic precision. There's no inclination towards experimentation, and rightly so. Kevin O'Shaughnessy's raw vocal timbre, a blend of grunge and glassy tones, elevates the song into memorability. It manages to strike a balance between firm-footed conviction and a sober acknowledgment of reality – a feat achieved by few. The polished mix and the strategic allocation of space for each instrument contributes significantly to the song's appeal. This thoughtful arrangement is likely to draw the listener back to the song for multiple listens.
At a duration of three minutes and thirty-three seconds, 'You’ve Got Me' is a powerfully realistic testament of faith and reliance upon the Lord when the going is unsure, and a rousing example of how Christian music, when amalgamated with sheer purpose and faith, can ground you and comfort you in times of struggle.
About John McKivergan
John McKivergan is a prolific lyricist specializing in Christian and social consciousness themes, seamlessly blending his words with both rock and Christian music genres. His collaborative approach extends to working closely with composers and production companies, ensuring the music created harmonizes seamlessly with his poignant lyrics. With a passion for crafting meaningful narratives, John is dedicated to contributing soul-stirring content to the realms of both rock and Christian music.
For more information on John McKivergan, please visit Reverbnation.