John McKivergan – ‘Why’
Review by Matt Wong & Staff
John McKivergan is a writer of Christian and faith based lyrics for Christian Rock and Contemporary Christian music. As a songwriter, John collaborates with studio musicians, vocalists, and producers to bring his writing to life. His songs are published and distributed on music websites, internet radio and social media. “Why” begins with two drones that swell in, before launching into a hard hitting rock groove. On top of a strong drum foundation, listeners will hear an electric guitar and bass chugging away at driving 8th notes common to rock, as well as piano, another guitar, and strings playing melodic parts to add color and vibe. Following the intro, vocalist Brent Miller enters on the first verse, and delivers the melody with confidence and attitude. Throughout the verse, the band consistently cuts off at the end of each phrase, which helps emphasize each following phrase. Once in the pre-chorus however, the phrases begin to flow into each other, providing the song with momentum that builds as it approaches the chorus. Upon arriving at the chorus, the song blooms through excellent contrasting arranging choices, such as going into half time, and having the guitars play legato, giving listeners a sense of an impactful arrival.
Following the chorus, the song goes through the form again, before suddenly scaling back dynamically and in instrumentation to vocals, piano, strings. Halfway through the bridge, the arrangement begins to build back up with the lead guitar, bass, and drums sneaking in before the full band returns for a climactic guitar solo. The song ends with one final chorus.
Through the lyrics in “Why,” McKivergan conveys that his reason for living and the source of his happiness in life is using his God given gifts in service of others. The lyrics talk about “Trying to assist those who struggle to make ends meet” and how “Smiles mean they’re good for a couple of weeks.” They also talk about the desire to “Make sure my neighbor has enough to eat” and to “Teach our youth that they belong.”
“Why” by John McKivergan is a song full of energy and meaningful lyrics. In addition to having a memorable melody and outstanding lyrics, the song connects with listeners through a strong vocal performance. Miller, with his powerful vocals was a perfect choice to bring this song alive. The vocals are in turn, supported by an arrangement that is well thought out and serves the song well, showcasing McKivergan's talent as a songwriter.
For more information on John McKivergan, please visit his website.