“Made Alive” is both the single and the name of a duo featuring Brian & Katie Payton. In fact, it’s taken from the act’s EP of the same name. Based in Minnesota, these two first at during a Christmas program at Brian’s church in 2016. So, the best present they received that year was each other. However, Katie wasn’t singing in that program, as she was a praise dancer, instead. Once Brian learned that Katie plays piano and sings, though, they hatched a plan to combine their efforts.
The song begins with Brian doing a spoken intro, before the music and Katie’s singing voice kicks in. Also, before the rock & roll part of the song, there is a somber, faux-classical section. It’s as though the song is doing a ‘before and after’ demonstration. The sadness of the song’s beginning is replaced by its happier, more upbeat latter part. This song, in particular, sounds a bit like an old Pat Benatar rocker. It’s an urgently sung lyric, placed over a classic rock-sounding arrangement of guitar, bass, drums and a touch of organ. The song also includes subtle, modern dance production elements in places, but these never distract from the song’s overall rock sound or spiritual message.
The song’s lyric is clearly evangelical in nature. It’s all about how Christians believe that those who put their trust in Jesus are given new life. Some scriptures even say that a person is dead in their sins until Christ gives them new life. Also, the song is sung from the perspective of a person that was dead in their sins, but then brought to new life by Christ. Therefore, the song can also pass for a testimony.
It should also be noted how this is not a song with a subtle message. For instance, the band U2 has Christian members in it, most importantly, its primary songwriter Bono. However, the group doesn’t write songs with blatant Christian messages like Made Alive’s new one. In many cases, you need to read between the lines in U2 songs to catch their messages of faith. Therefore, Made Alive is a distinctly evangelical act. By this it’s meant that these two artists see their music as a vehicle to share the gospel message with their songs. They’re not, like some, looking at life from a Christian worldview, and then putting that worldview into song form to discuss a wide variety of issues. No, they’re out to be clear about their Christian message.
One would imagine, at least by the nature of this song, that Made Alive primarily performs in churches. They also aim to have their songs played on Christian radio. Even so, though, much of what is played on today’s Christian radio today is mostly praise and worship music. This means this radio music is mainly geared to those that already believe the messages. In contrast, though, Made Alive is appealing to those that may not already ascribe to Christian beliefs. This song is so overt, it’s impossible to even imagine it getting airplay on a typical secular pop radio station.
With that said, Made Alive is an enthusiastically rocking track. It’s certainly lively.