Randy Stonehill - Celebrate This Heartbeat

Published Wednesday 27th June 2007
Randy Stonehill - Celebrate This Heartbeat
Randy Stonehill - Celebrate This Heartbeat

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Myrrh SPCN7016765067
FORMAT: 12 inch vinyl Album

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

By the mid '80s Randy Stonehill had hit his stride and established himself as one of the major Christian music artists of his generation. Perhaps his record company were just a little too pleased with him as this album starts with a rather overblown idea of a classic overture with different themes from the songs explored but to be honest it makes me feel like screaming "Get on with it!" Thankfully after three minutes the real business begins with the chiming, beautiful "Still Small Voice" which highlights everything that is great about Stonehill's songwriting. It's a song that encourages intimacy and is packed with gentle melody. The title cut is a fabulous rocking celebration of every minute, a musical seize the day moment with Byrds-style jangling guitars. "Modern Myth" is another of Stonehill's series of songs that gape with incredulity at the world like "Big Ideas In A Shrinking World" and "Great Big Stupid World" which feature on other albums. Closer to home the sentiment is immediately continued on the brilliant "Stop The World" where Stonehill highlights the idiocy of modern life with a series of juxtaposing statements. It's a very effective style of observation and Stonehill is a master of it. At the other extreme the sensitive Stonehill duets with Phil Keaggy on "Who Will Save The Children" marking the beginning of his relationship with the American Compassion organisation. One other highlight is the old fashioned rock'n'roll love song "Watcha Gonna Do About That?" Like a lot of Stonehill's '80s output, this is a mixture of class songs and then a few bits and pieces of filler. Like McCartney, Randy is capable of moments of sheer brilliance and stunning songs that take your breath away. And like McCartney he's also capable of recording sentimental pap and sometimes it seems that like McCartney he's incapable of telling which is which.

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 Don in state of Delaware @ 04:58 on May 20 2010

I have this original vinyl lp; luv it! This album contains a lot of great material that Randy recorded. The songs opening title overture to the next "Still,small voice" , and then the title song, to the last song on side 1, the duet with Phil Keaggy "Who Will Save the Children". Side 2 begins with "When I Look to the Mountains" (a favorite), the last # on side 2, "I'll Remember You" is destined to be a classic signature if not already. If you listen to Randy's music and do not have this lp, I urge you to buy it lp or cd. GOD Bless! - Don

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