STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 150765-22278 LABEL: Big3 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
All but the youngest of rock music fans will know that Michael is the frontman of metal and rock survivors Stryper while the legion of longtime followers of the hard rocking Californians will be able to tell you that this is Michael's fifth solo album. The opener here, "Taking On The World Tonight", with its jagged guitar riff with more bite than a shoal of sharks and some stirring contributions from Tony Harnell (of Norwegian rockers TNT), is as metal as anything on the recent Stryper albums. That is followed by a surprisingly diverse set of songs. The title track sounds a little like John Schlitt-era Petra with a lead line which weaves in and out as the lyric makes a bold declaration of spiritual intent ("I'm not gonna run and hide, lay down and die/I'm not your suicide"). The gentle, piano-led ballad "How To Live" is surprising if only for the fact that fellow Stryper men Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines guest on it while the powerful call to war "The Cause" sounds like a song made for rock radio. It could be argued that the album is a tad musically diverse for Stryper's core audience, and personally I could have done with one or two more of those high register shrieks that are part of Michael's impressive vocal armoury, but 'I'm Not Your Suicide' remains a skilfully executed set of pop rock stylings.
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