STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161-6 LABEL: Forefront 252062 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lukas Willcocks
Thinking man's pop rock from an American team much liked by UCB Cross Rhythms. But the themes and lyrics hit the open heart with a surgeon's precision. The Smalltown Poets describe common Christian predicaments and prescribe Biblical wisdom in a mature and subtle way. Not the "come to Jesus and all will be dandy" attitude for these boyz. One theme is the cost of following Christ - this threads it's way through "Call Me Christian", "Anything Genuine", "48 States" and "Hold It Up To The Light" - making choices that mean we will miss out on a few worldly pleasures - not denying their attraction but emphasising the eternal perspective and the joy that awaits us that far exceeds what we presently experience. Then the dilemma of longing for intimate fellowship with God while at the same time clinging to our own agendas and life plans. We know the answer: surrender to our King - the only option, but so often we struggle! "Long Long Way" includes this with a reference to Psalm 139 - "where can I flee from your Spirit, you know me too well" and in my humble opinion it's as good as anything R.E.M.'s produced. "Quasar" has a peculiar intro that would have suited an early Cross Rhythms tape! - but we won't hold that against you lads! Finally, the hymn like "One Of These Days" could be sung in any traditional church setting without embarrassment and along with "The Gospel Is Peace" is particularly poignant in these days of "Good Friday Agreements" and the very real pain in Kosovo.
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