CrossRhythms, Issue 55 [Feb./Mar. 2000],
author: Tony Cummings (UK)
Love Liberty Disco
Sparrow 8517202 CD Book (Alliance Music)
When lead singer John James, left and the band decided to take over
the production chair from the brilliant Steve Taylor, many predicted
that the team would tumble from their huge US popularity. In fact 'Step
Up To The Microphone' produced four US Christian radio number one hits.
Now the band are back with their eighth set and it's a fine one, playing
to all the band's strengths, hooky choruses, some biting guitar rhythms
and a sound that is made for maximum pop radio plays. The title track
does indeed have some disco elements, like that Chic-like guitar rhythm
and a fussy string arrangement, without ever being a dancefloor opus.
And "Good Stuff", with a decidedly funky groove, even features a bit
of scratching to lend bite to a modern rock cut. But it's the Beatle-esque
ballad "Beautiful Sound" which is the stone killer on this set, a haunting
song exploring the paradoxes of a faith where "to have found you and
still be looking for you." The band appearantly went into the studio
with a staggering 40 songs, so not surprisingly the ones that made it
to this set are all strong. Clearly the Australian/US pop rockers have
more sanctified hits to give us.
reviewer's rating: 9/10 ["excellent"]
--Tony Cummings ««