Daniel Amos - Doppelganger

Published Saturday 30th August 2008
Daniel Amos - Doppelganger
Daniel Amos - Doppelganger

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16600-14435
LABEL: Alarma 1010

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Daniel Amos are the band fronted by Terry Taylor who went from an American West Coast Eagles style country rock band and transformed themselves into an early '80s new wave rock band of great insight, lyricism and high concept. Taylor's ambitious 'Alarma Chronicles' concept covered four albums with 1983's 'Doppelganger' being the second volume. It was a metaphorical and lyrical exploration of the dual nature of man, struggling to escape the baseness of his nature and stretch into the spiritual freedom given to him by God. Along the way Taylor's songs take a shot at modern culture in a series of snappy three minute new wave songs that are satisfying both musically and lyrically. "Mall (All Over The World)" predicts the mania for materialism which seems to have captured the soul of western civilisation whilst "Real Girls" examines the way that culture treats women. A particular favourite is "A New Car!" which takes a very effective pot shot at the prosperity teaching that had begun to get a grip on the Church in the early '80s and is tragically still being toted on Christian TV today. It utilises a sample TV quiz show over an old school rock'n'roll rhythm and is, frankly, hilarious especially with the cutesy girly vocals chanting "be more specific". Elsewhere Taylor's satire is effectively used to highlight other issues that trouble the Church. "Angels Tuck You In" is the song that probably most links this album to the material covered on the previous volume, 'Alarma!'. It examines the superficial idea that when you become a Christian nothing bad will ever happen to you again. There are plenty of moments when the band goes full throttle musically on songs like "Memory Lane" and "Little Crosses" and Jerry Chamberlain's guitar really does come to the fore. "Autographs For The Sick" is a fun avant garde song the meaning of which I have never been able to fathom! But then again, that doesn't stop me enjoying it! I am sure there's some sort of deep meaning that is escaping me but hey! There's plenty more here to connect with the heart and soul. "I Didn't Build It For Me" is a frantic soul searching song that examines the dual nature of motivation. A rich man donates the money to build a church building and then wrestles with the motivation involved. Meanwhile in the album's final cut Terry Taylor takes the listener through a slide show of snapshots documenting the creating and selling of an album and again shows the gap between the perceived reality of his public life and the private feelings he holds while it's all going on. It's a clever and touching conclusion. Artistically, Daniel Amos are one of the most creative Christian outfits to ever step into a recording studio. The fact that they never managed to create more than a cult following is a travesty.

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 Matt in Bridgend @ 16:17 on Feb 26 2013

It has to be acknowledged by the world that we live in troubled times. It has to be noticed that Christ is suffering from a lack of acknowledgement. It has to be swallowed that we need saving for we have fallen so very far from the Lord above. We all are echoes of who we could and should truly be. Thank grace that the Lord forgives and loves us so much!

This above statement sums up this beautiful record by DA, its cutting edge is needle sharp and painful. There is truth brought out nearly to how Mark Heard did it when he was alive, its that powerful.

This is not a world of roses, we will have to go through pain and suffering pretty frequently,so its sad if you are guilty of the theme of "Angels tuck you In"!

"Real Girls" is certainly very true, but again of both sexes..I like how Terry gives vocal emphasis to whats happening to PEOPLE, not just women!

"New Car" is the obsession of matierialism, and definitely rings true of how so many think possessions are what life is all about.

"Here I Am" affects me quite a bit, for its so catchy and the musicality is quite stunning. Not to mention the feeling of all the things we smear over what serving the Lord should be about.

And the insights of "Hollow Man" really stick in the throat and heart.

I have to admit that this album is not for those who like the la de da approach to music. This is not for the ones who like praise and nothing more. This is for those who like their music with meat and wine!!!!

Posted by Wolfgang Elste in Germany @ 07:28 on Sep 18 2008

The Alarma Chronicles by Daniel Amos are at the top of the list of my all time favourite albums so I agree very much with this review.
Maybe Crossrhythms will release one day an interview with Terry Taylor or make an article about his work. There is so much amazing music from the Jesus People songs in the seventies to the alternative music of Daniel Amos and the Swirling Eddies in the eighties or his more personal very deep solo albums and the funny music for video games (Imaginerium) or his production work for Randy Stonehill and a lot of other artists or the americana music of the Lost Dogs. (The Lost Dogs are right now on a very special tour on the Route 66 - recording and filming their new album)

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

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