Rick Elias - Ten Stories

Saturday 1st February 1992
Rick Elias - Ten Stories
Rick Elias - Ten Stories

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Alarma FLD9246

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

After an acclaimed debut, the poor old artist then has to do it all again...but better. Cross Rhythms has shouted the praises of 'Rick Bias And The Confessions', one of the most devastating albums to ever smack its way through the protective walls of America's safe Christian music industry. Here was a voice which spoke with much of the authority of a Springsteen into the world of feelings and vision, ecstasy and pain, faith and fear that we believers call the Christian life. Here was a man with a voice gnarled and battered enough to sound believable when he sang about the twisted tracks of life without Christ and passionate and declamatory enough to sound believable when he sang of the joy of finding a pearl of great price. On Ten Stories', Rick uses the same musical framework as before, pokey rhythm and blues stylings where acoustic strums can suddenly slam into raw barroom rock, loud enough to make your speakers' woofer move. Lyrically, his words often read like entries from a personal spiritual journal, but never for a second descend to the stream of conscious artiness so beloved by some singer songwriters but which is anathema to this reviewer. Not that it's all observations on Rick's personal walk with God; "John Doe" has the man growling out a commentary on the chain of abuse while the "I Wouldn't Need You (Like I Do)" contrasts the God of hope with a hopeless world. As I write, the song is at number one on America's 'Christian rock' chart. The lyric states: "This man stares unblinking at the centre/Of the crossroads and barely withstands/That devil's curse/I am the man and more I'm afraid that/I've uttered such words and so much worse/And they tell us down here/We should save ourselves/But that isn't very good news/Because if we could have/We would have wouldn't need you/Like we do/I wouldn't need you like I do." Amen.

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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