Barry McGuire - Promise

Tuesday 1st May 1990
Barry McGuire - Promise

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
LABEL: Live Oak 7010018227

Reviewed by Norman Smith

In 1965, The Stones were No.1 with "Satisfaction" and Barry McGuire No. 3 with one of the the all time classic protest songs "Eve Of Destruction" ("Hate your next door neighbour, but don't forget to say grace...") venomous, cutting lyrics about the hypocrisy of life. What about the McGuire of the 90s? Well, if you're looking for shrewd observation, guts, passion, power lyrics, classy tunes, I have news for you.  It's not here. The artist has swapped folk protest for wimpish C & W, and it sound about as sweet as Dylan doing Sesame Street. A mixture of slow, chorus style songs, and rambling hillbilly tunes, none of them memorable. A sample of the lyrics from "Out Of L.A.": "I was born a travelling man many long years ago/I guess I've been 'bout everywhere that a travelling man can go/I sang a song for the president but he just up and he died/So I quit singin' and way I went/I was looking for a place to hide." Wow, needs I say more? The one half-decent song on the album is "Promises", a duet with Jamie Owens-Collins, but even this merely hints at what the man was once capable of (and I hope still is).  In concert the man can be an anointed minister of the gospel. But this album is... gulp...dreadful. Musically, a case of the eve of self-destruction.

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 Bill Hates in Norway @ 00:13 on Apr 26 2007

I find the reviewer here pitiful, making comparisons to a song released nearly 30 years ago and expecting the same on this album, lol, how about using your brain?

Evolving and different stages of life, heard of that? Did you take time to compare this album to his previous christian releases (which would have been more in it's place, don't cha think!?!)
SO what if the man plays more C&W thean you like?
It tells me you shouldn't have been picked as reviewer of this album, obviously.
(btw, I'm not a C&W fan myself, but try to stay ''real'' to the question at hand)

IMO, the album is not as good as, say, "Finer Than Gold", but def has a couple of good 'uns, like "Promises" preaching the seriousness of God's will for marriage's to last till death do us part (which is unfortunately seldom among christians today).
Also fine tunes are "What Can I Give To The King" and "Pilgrim".
A last note:
This album was originally called "Pilgrim" and released in 1989 on Live Oak Records / Word

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

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