Larry Norman - A Moment In Time

Thursday 1st February 1996
Larry Norman - A Moment In Time
Larry Norman - A Moment In Time

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10697-22899
LABEL: Street Level SLD026

Reviewed by Dougie Adam

This is a limited edition CD released to spread awareness of the fight to stop child pornography in America. The CD booklet contains information on the widespread extent of child porn in the States and challenges Christians to be socially aware and politically active in their communities to fight these problems. The music itself is interesting, the CD contains 10 brand new songs recorded in the studio with various bands and the closing track is the solo live performance of "Right Here In America", one of Larry's early protest songs from 1970's 'Street Level' album. It should be pointed out that the studio songs are all rough mixes and rehearsals and that 'A Moment In Time' is not intended to be marketed as a polished or finished article. This is a compilation of the work in progress for a future album called 'Pushing Back The Darkness' which Larry has so far been unable to complete because of his serious health problems. Around half of this collection of songs are blues numbers and the sound is similar to Larry's earlier albums 'Something New Under The Son' and 'Live At Flevo With Q-Stone'. There's also a funky instrumental entitled "Toxic Tea And Toast"; the country blues of "Elvis Has Left The Building" while "You Shall Be Saved" sounds not unlike Dylan's classic gospel song "Gotta Serve Somebody". The first bonus track "The Children Of Nimrod" is a musical curiosity which has Larry singing in Spanish, this is then followed by a typical Normanesque rocker "The Solid Rock". From time to time the roughness does detract from the album and there is also a sense in which 'A Moment In Time' feels too familiar - the songs sound like each other and also like some of the songs in Larry's extensive back catalogue. As with other recent studio projects 'Home At Last' and 'Stranded In Babylon' there is hardly any variety in the timing or the tempo of the songs. The lyrics leave you in no doubt about where Larry is coming from and show that Larry's "return to form" on 'Home At Last' and 'Stranded In Babylon' was no passing phase. Given his three major heart attacks in the last few years and his urgent need of surgery it's maybe not surprising to find Larry dealing with health problems and facing up to the prospect of death. However, the sense of loneliness and despair which coloured most of his output in the 70s is absent and in its place there is an overriding impression that the author is going to share in the victory which Christ has already won. All in all a pretty good album considering the circumstances in which it was made. If you prefer more polished studio efforts like 'Only Visiting This Planet' and 'In Another Land' then it might be better to wait for most of these songs to reappear in a more complete form on 'Pushing Back The Darkness' which - going by the rough mixes and rehearsals here - looks to have all the hallmarks of a great concept album.

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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