Daniel Amos - Songs Of The Heart

Thursday 1st February 1996
Daniel Amos - Songs Of The Heart
Daniel Amos - Songs Of The Heart

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Brainstorm

Reviewed by Peter Bate

The Story Of Bud And Irma Akendorf (the album's subtitle) signals 20 years of Daniel Amos with typical Terry Taylor eclecticism. Musically harder edged than the songwriter's enjoyable meanderings with The Lost Dogs, 'Songs Of The Heart' retains the Dog's eccentricity. Humour and painful irony mix in this reliving of the Akendorf's struggle with life and faith. The tale begins with Bud's youthful yearnings for Irma in "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" - high octane ballad from the top drawer. Scenes then quickly flit as the now retired couple visit a dubious faith healer (where Bud meets Jesus!) and a mysterious stranger at an organ bar. Amidst the bizarre storyline lie some poignant comments on the trappings of cultural Christianity, while Bud's last thoughts before death are stirring. Not likely to sell by the bucket load but well worth a listen, if only for the oddball Himalayan flute introduction to "Our Night To Howl, Time To Go Dancing".

Also reviewed in CR40:
'Songs Of The Heart' can best be described as another concept album purporting to be the story of Bud and Irma Akendorf and various encounters/discussions which take place. Recorded in 1995, lyrically and musically this is more akin to the 'Alarma Chronicles' than other '90s recordings with plenty of quirky Jerry Chamberlain guitar and those brilliant vocal harmonies lo keep every fan happy. There's also the opportunity to spend plenty of time pondering what Taylor is getting at! Oblique, searching, interesting, challenging and creative. Daniel Amos continues to deliver the most enigmatic music in Christendom and in Terry Taylor they possess one of the finest songwriters. The blink-and-you-miss-it "Turn This Off" and the wonderful "Sins Of The Fathers" are fine examples of an on form DA. If Terry Taylor was ever asked to write a Bond theme it would sound like "Loveland". Finally, only Taylor could pen a song with the title "Donna Nietche And Her Super Race Of Kick Boxing Uber Parrots". Surely the wackiest title ever for a song by a Christian artist, unless you know better!
Mike Rimmer

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, Wales @ 11:15 on Apr 13 2011

Songs From The Heart is a treasure trove of the highest order. It follows on the heels of the grungier guitar orientated style of Bibleland, with perhaps just a slightly lighter tone. And it works so very well for what is basically a theme album of sorts. We follow the touching story of Bud and Irma, and there are so many songs I can connect to along the way. And as usual, Terry Taylore presents a myriad of different themes with the songs. Theres the brilliant "Glory Road" os travels on the path of life and appreciating the land. Theres the honesty and relevance of a lump in throat of someone who may not actually be as honest as he thinks in "Uneasy lies the Head of The Confidence Man", Theres the brilliant and totally with it glower at the state of most CCM of today in "Turn This Off" although you need to have the lyrics with you to catch a word of this, as Terry zooms along like some crashing carraige over a mountain. "The Organ Bar" and "Evangeline" dwell on some ratherm interesting points too, like the wondering at the genuineness of proclaimed Faith healers. "When Everyone Wore Hats" has a beautiful tune, which Terry sings amazingly.

"Loveland" may be a little too explicit for those who feel there should be no deep kind of love and respect between man and wife. And DAs brilliant cover of "Cant Take My Eyes Off Of You" is excellently done, the guitar hooks are astounding and make you really want to bop like some demented weirdo! This album never seems to garner much enthusiasm, and I for one cant see why at all. Its a brilliant theme album, refreshing and insightful, and musically varied which is all one would come to expect from DA and Terry Taylor!

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

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