In spring of 2009, Jake and I were on a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico with our youth group when our worship leader for the week, Kevin Toqe, was inspired to write a song one night after a girl from our group shared a powerful testimony of God’s grace and salvation in her life. Musicians can rarely write a song so quickly; nevertheless, as far as I can remember Kevin performed a (more or less) finished version of “What’s Done Is Done” for us at the end of the week. That wonderful song is now finally ready for the world to hear along with nine others on Kevin’s new album, What’s Done Is Done, and it’s also positioned to help in the fight against human trafficking as $1 of every record sale helps victims of that abominable trade. The back of the album cover says, “Kevin Toqe Music: Soundtracks for life,” and that’s definitely a fitting description of this excellent record that encourages listeners to rest and trust in the Lord.
Kevin’s style has remained fairly constant throughout his three albums, but his sound has become increasingly more compelling with each record. His folk/R&B style is still distinctly different from anything else I’ve heard, and his sound remains easygoing and natural. Kevin’s smooth voice and friendly acoustic guitar or piano make up the core of each song’s sound, but there is a lot more built on that foundation than in the past, especially with the Magik*Magik Orchestra’s stirring embellishments as well as contributions from other skilled instrumentalists sprinkled throughout the recordings. The title track of What’s Done Is Done definitely offers the fullest sound, and it is also the best song Kevin has ever recorded in my opinion. There are mighty strings, particularly strong vocals, and moving piano parts, so the recording altogether delivers a captivating and triumphant tone unlike anything Kevin has released before.
I have always been a huge fan of Kevin’s lyrics, and here his songwriting is as strong as ever. The themes on What’s Done Is Done focus largely around resting in the finished work of Christ and trusting the Lord in all of life’s joys and struggles. “Trail Blaze” opens the album very well in that regard as it walks through some painful situations and responds by singing, “When you can’t go back home, follow the Son,” then finishes off on a hopeful note. “What’s Done Is Done” closes the album by remembering the finished work of Christ and letting that be the unshakeable hope that cuts underneath all else (“You said it was finished / Though I still break Your heart / You fought ’til You finished / To show that You are love”). In between, Kevin sings of how the Lord takes care of us day by day in “Flow” and “You Know,” recalls how God never leaves us despite our sin in “Always Around,” and looks to our heavenly home as a source of hope and joy in “Sunset” (“I’m just travelin’ along / Finding my treasure in forever /…In forever, I’m sure as the Son”).
What’s Done Is Done is indeed a beautiful “soundtrack for life” because it points listeners to look to the Savior both in issues of daily life and eternal consequence, and it’s all wrapped up in ten sweet folk/R&B songs that are simply a great pleasure to listen to. In case you haven’t gotten the message yet, here’s what I’m trying to say: buy this album right now! Purchasing this album supports not only a great cause, but also a talented artist and his excellent music. You really can’t go wrong with What’s Done Is Done; I highly recommend you make this record part of your “soundtrack for life.”
Standout Tracks: “What’s Done Is Done,” “Sunset,” “Flow,” “Always Around,” “You Know”