Shortly before his death, Rich Mullins
recorded a demo tape on a boombox in Illinois. The demo contained the songs that would
become "The Jesus Record". Sadly, Rich was killed in a traffic accident before
he got the chance to see "The Jesus Record" become a reality, but not even death
could keep this project from happening. Its message is too important. The focus is all on
Myrrh records decided to release "The Jesus Record" as a two-part
project. Part one is the demo tape Rich recorded on that boombox somewhere in Illinois.
Its just Rich, a guitar, and a piano. A rare opportunity to hear an artist of
Richs caliber without all the fancy Nashville production stuff, and man is it a cool
"Hard To Get" is one of the most human songs to ever penetrate my ears. If I
tried to describe the meaning behind this song I wouldnt do it justice. Youll
have to hear this one for yourself.
"Surely God Is With Us" chronicles the life of Jesus from an outside observer
whos not quite sure what to make of this carpenter from Nazareth. The songs
chorus is a real faith builder. "Jesus" is a tender ballad youve got to
hear. Its so cool to hear Rich sing this with nothing but a piano to accompany him.
The anthem of the project is definitely "My Deliverer". The chorus sticks to
your musical ribs...
My Deliverer is coming - My Deliverer is standing by
He will never break His promise - He has written it upon the sky
Part two of "The Jesus Record" features a ragamuffin band performing fully
produced versions of the Jesus demos - plus appearances by Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, and
The difficult task of producing this record fell on the shoulders of Rick Elias - one
of Mullins close friends.
The best cut on part two is the ragamuffin version of "That Where I Am, There
You...". It contains parts of Richs vocals, as heard on the original demo,
singing along with the ragamuffins as if hed never left us.
But the truth is, Rich has left us. Hes in heaven now. Fortunately, he did manage
to hang around here long enough to lay the foundations for "The Jesus Record",
and well all be the better for it.
Not because Rich Mullins was such a great artist, but because of his passion to place
the focus of the record on the right person - Jesus.
Steady On - Point Of Grace / Word
Im going to be honest with you. Ive never met a Point Of Grace song Ive
ever really liked. I appreciate their vocal talent, their catchy choruses, and the quality
of their radio singles. I dont question the fact that their music is good. Its
just a bit on the bland and predictable side for me. Not exactly progressive - though,
"Life, Love & Other Mysteries" did offer some hope.
The latest project from P.O.G. walks right up to my criticism and konks it on the nose!
Its by far the best effort to date from the four former college chums.
The vocals are more creative and much more aggressive than in past projects. The
harmonies are some of the best Ive heard. The energy level is higher, and the music
tracks are not boring.
The title cut is an uptempo pop tune and the first radio release. And speaking of
radio, this project is loaded with potential number one radio hits.
"Amazing" is one of the most original songs Ive heard from this group.
"The Song Is Alive" and "Better Days" are pretty peppy little pop
tunes - the latter breaks into a P.O.G. jam session at its close. "Rain Down On
Me" and "Drawing Me Closer" are laced with harmonies that are downright
beautiful, and "Jesus Is" has one of the strongest hooks on the project.
Point Of Grace has never released a song that has not gone all the way to number one.
Dont look for that trend to change with this record.
Another thing that wont change is that P.O.G. is just not my thing, but this one
almost came close.