Michael Rainwood’s “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” isn’t an old fashioned gospel song devoid of any relevance to the palate of modern audiences. Spiked with a respectful and traditional prose, the latest single from his album Unknown Author exploits a stylish and contemporary song structure and colors it with a soothing tempo and swaggering vocals that transcend generational tastes altogether. Tailor made for listeners in search of a solid Christian jam to kick off the fall with, “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” illustrates Rainwood’s most prized passion in life and provokes a renewed sense of commitment for anyone who needs a little pick-me-up from an ethereal power.
The lyrics of the song aren’t particularly over the top. They’re personable, describing the narrative squarely from where Rainwood stands, but their relatability doesn’t get lost in the emotional translation. The backing band is shrouded in a sonic smokescreen that provides the perfect backdrop for the vocals, which splash colors of every variety upon the rhythm like wildly different paints on a blank canvas. Constructed as a subtle pop tune, “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” doesn’t try and be anything other than what it is (a rarity in today’s age of recycled rhymes and meshed melodies), which is a streamlined gospel song that has all the facets of an adult contemporary classic.
Musically this single is nice and even. The string parts never interrupt the fluidity in the percussion, which is ghostly and almost an afterthought in the final product but nevertheless create an essential foundation for the song. Rainwood struts between the verses with an undying confidence that is occasionally cut into with moments of raw emotionality that feel unscripted and real on every level. Call him many things, but one title this songwriter doesn’t deserve is “poser” – you can tell from the moment he starts to croon that his heart is in every bit of this song from top to bottom.
The texture in the harmonies between the guitar and the vocals is marred with rigidity that most of Rainwood’s peers would struggle to subdue, but then again, they don’t exactly possess the same honeysweet serenading skills that he does. His yearning is jarring, but it makes the band’s play so much more surreal and effervescent. There’s never a question as to who the star of the show is, but to say that “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” is anything short of a well-rounded and robust CCM track just wouldn’t be true.
Unpretentious, tranquil and incredibly melodious (especially in contrast to what most of the early fall and late summer have had to offer American gospel fans), Michael Rainwood’s latest release is as intimate an expression of love and respect as they come, but it isn’t so personal as to alienate his target audience. The key single from his album Unknown Author, “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” represents a big moment for Rainwood’s music, which is clearly on one of the higher tiers in the modern Christian pop hierarchy and really only needs the right platform to become a major success. He’s showing fans and critics alike that he can pen an unforgettable ballad with the best of them, and I can only hope that his future work is as captivating as this song is.