STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16600-14435 LABEL: Alarma 1010 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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.
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