Randy Stonehill - Wonderama

Thursday 1st October 1992
Randy Stonehill - Wonderama
Randy Stonehill - Wonderama

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Myrrh

Reviewed by Tony May

Sir Stonehill lets his ever-vivid imagination run riot on this concept album combining the child like with a surreal intensity and a feather light touch of clowns pathos. As ever, the master craftsman's songs have power to cut through barriers to express the hearts deep longings. The vulnerability of it all is most moving, making this programme a sample of vintage Stonehill and when randy's in form he's devastatingly good. 'Wonderama' as a whole set combines pathos and joy, cranking the proceeds up to the heights of great drama. You might gather that I approve. The man's hardly ever put a foot wrong, and this deserves the overworked description of 'classic'.

And for a different point of view:
Don't be fooled by an album full of interesting titles, it can often be covering something up. This fella gave us "Big Ideas In A Shrinking World", "Shut De Do" and "You Are The Light Of The World" not so long back, all these tracks of far greater pedigree than you are likely to find on his latest offering. I don't doubt that a great deal of effort has gone into its production, but if it doesn't have that spark then it will not grab a listener by the ears. This one doesn't grab me anywhere. Come on Randy, keep the interesting titles, lets have better songs. I particularly liked the titles "Barbie nation" and "Sing In Portuguese". But give us something better to hear.
Chris Berry

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Scott Anderson in Simi Valley Ca. @ 02:33 on Aug 21 2015

Randy is the best lyricist I have ever heard. Every word of every verse contributes to the overall theme. He communicates better and makes more seance than Dylan or Springsteen, by far!

Posted by Dan Johnson in Michigan @ 20:19 on Jun 11 2008

This album is nothing shy of a masterpiece.
Rachel Delevoryas is touching,
Great Big Stupid World is laser accurate satire
Barbie Nation hits a little too close to home for my daughters.
This album needs to be back in production, or better yet a sequel/follow up written and recorded.

Posted by Brian Chidester in Los Angeles, CA @ 18:52 on Mar 24 2008

Like a lot of these more artistic and poetic Christian artists (Terry Taylor, Mike Knott, Steve Taylor), I feel like Stonehill's "Wonderama" benefits from the concept album appraoch. Sometimes the overly simplistic sounds like cliche'd worship music. a Style that, to my ears, seems vapid and souless next to, say, black gospel. But with albums like "Wonderama" or "The Grape Prophet" (by L.S. Undergound), you get these really creative storytellers going a bit more nuanced. They might not cite Jesus or god or the Bible as much, but they get into the details of suffering and joy and madness, and they make sense of it with fantastical worlds.

In my opinion, this album is a masterpiece.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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