Randy Stonehill - Paradise Sky: Official Soundtrack To The Movie Fallen Angel

Published Wednesday 13th May 2009
Randy Stonehill - Paradise Sky: Official Soundtrack To The Movie Fallen Angel
Randy Stonehill - Paradise Sky: Official Soundtrack To The Movie Fallen Angel

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 79173-15376
LABEL: Stonehillian Music
FORMAT: CD Animation

Reviewed by Haydon Spenceley

"'Paradise Sky' is the album that best defines my past and present," states Stonehill. "It's a full blown studio recording of those songs that started my career and became a musical backdrop for the Jesus Movement of the '70s." Indeed it is. 'Paradise Sky' is something of a throwback, a window into a period in Christian music's history. What we have here is a collection of re-recordings from veteran Stonehill's classic '70s albums 'Born Twice' and 'Welcome To Paradise' plus one or two songs from the later 'The Sky Is Falling' and 'Equator'. Completed as a soundtrack to the controversial documentary Fallen Angel about Stonehill's one-time collaborator Larry Norman, 'Paradise Sky' finds Stonehill in great form as he brings these songs from a bygone age to life once again. Worthy of special attention are "King Of Hearts" with its beautiful acoustic guitar work and the jangly rifforama of "The Winner". Thing is though, each song here carries enough melodic power and lyrical bite and wit to make them all worth the ears and hearts of a new audience. Randy Stonehill is, quite obviously, a stunning talent, and this collection of songs is a strong testimony to the vibrancy and consistency of his output during the 1970s. You owe it to yourself to listen, mark and inwardly digest these songs, whether they are new to you or you welcome them like old friends. Now let's see if Christian music of our day can come up with something this good.

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 Dougie Adam in Glasgow @ 20:33 on Nov 2 2009

Slightly ironic that when Fallen Angel criticises Larry Norman for his spin and self-mythologising we find Randy writing in the linear notes that, despite knowing Larry Norman and his family were 100% against the making of the film, Randy imagines Larry listening approvingly to his album from beyond the grave and giving him a thumbs up for a job well done. Am i the only one who thinks that if indeed Larry made it to heaven (despite being a Fallen Angel) he probably has better things to do with is time than listen to the latest CD releases, and that it is very unlikely given his opposition to the movie in question that he'd be happy to write a blurb recommending we buy the CD?

Posted by Benaiah in Philadelphia @ 11:53 on Aug 18 2009

I normally am not impressed with "re-recorded" versions of classic songs. But this album is an exception! I would not have believed it but these songs are even better than the original versions! Randy's growth as an artist over the years comes through and his talent has given old songs a fresh approach that makes them even more powerful than the originals! As for the film: It contains what appear to be honest expressions of people who were at one time some of Larry's closest, most intimate friends. What they say is frustrating and it would have been nice to hear Larry's response to it all. But, Wolfgang, Christianity should be about truth--not hiding from the truth. And we will never get at the truth if we do not openly listen to what people have to say. Keeping all of these allegations "undercover" like they have been for years is exactly NOT what Christianity should have done.

Posted by Wolfgang Elste in Germany @ 14:00 on May 13 2009

Randy Stonehill is one of my all time favourite songwriters (together with Larry Norman, Terry Scott Taylor and Mark Heard). This record is possibly very good. Still to me the original versions of the songs sound much better. And I think is strange to make an(in my opinion very unfair and unfriendly) movie about Larry Norman and use some (rerecorded) songs by Randy Stonehill as a soundtrack. (It is like you would make a movie about Bob Dylan and use the music of Paul Simon as a soundtrack. Very strange.) I also don' t like the idea of making controversial movies about christian musicians. Maybe you can find a lot of pain and broken marriages and mistakes if you look for it but I don't know if this is really the spirit of Jesus who said that you are only allowed to throw stones when you are perfect (without sin). I think in times like today one should make encouraging christian movies and not movies that cause pain and confusion.

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

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