Opposing forces have come together in the new release by Thrice’s lead singer Dustin Kensrue, whose style has risen from the dark side of heavy bass and fast drums to embrace his softer side and his roots as a singer-songwriter. The result is Please Come Home, a soulful and melodic collection of songs that bring his music back to its truest and purest form. Debuting at #1 on Billboard’s New Artist Chart, it’s truly a leap of faith for Kensrue.
Kensrue is the new tambourine man, singing songs of inspiration and faith. The change in his sound is monumental. Kensrue’s new collection of work is inspired by his desire to return to a more natural sound. From screamer to singer-songwriter, Kensrue’s more intimate side will surprise his fans. The album – a mixture of dark and introspective acoustic sounds – effectively combines various genres of folk, blues, country and even soul. The album is stripped to the bare essentials, dealing with faith and love by using an acoustic guitar and harmonica to guide simple but stirring melodies.
As a fan myself of Thrice’s screaming antics, I find it incredibly refreshing to hear music this sincere and honest coming from the band’s frontman. Kensrue himself calls the music on his new album “less complex,” and indeed, the music is very clean and the instrumentals are strong. Kensrue’s new music is approachable, and places greater emphasis on his lyrics, like the guitarist strumming at a coffee shop. Influences such as Cash and Dylan are obvious, especially in the infectious song “Blood & Wine.”
Kensrue’s entry into the acoustic arena came when he realized he was writing songs that did not fit with Thrice’s musical styling. The songs were written as blueprints, enabling Kensrue to change them live or play them with just an acoustic guitar. This acoustic-based record is just the right length to get a taste for Kensrue’s future endeavors. Fans of Thrice will be amazed at the versatility of Kensrue’s voice, as it travels from blues to folk and beyond. While many might believe his solo work is the antithesis of Thrice, the lyrics still possess the same power and strength of his previous works, just minus the screaming.
The song “Consider the Ravens” is a great example of this. An intimate song about faith, “Consider the Ravens” features simple guitar, beautiful lyrics and a soothing simplicity – encapsulated by lyrics such as “between oblivion and places I’m there, so Father give me faith, providence and grace, between the river and the ravens I’m fed.”
Unlike other singer-songwriters, Kensrue’s songs are realistic and hopeful, not just whiny anthems about self-destruction. And, amazingly, his voice is still beautifully intact despite six years of serious screaming. From spin kicking to foot tapping, when it comes to Kensrue, get ready to expect the unexpected. Check out Dustin Kensrue on Feb. 16 in the Hub, and get a taste of this transitioning talent for yourself.