Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chris Christian - Higher Ways

I have to admit I have never been a big fan of Inspirational Pop (the notable exception being Dallas Holm.  If not for him, I wouldn't have discovered most of the CCM I enjoy now.)  By and large, I've found most music of this variety to be, well, dull at best.  That being said, I love Chris Christian's 1987 release Higher Ways.

Several of my favorite artists were on Christian's record label, Home Sweet Home (Dan Peek, Mark Heard, Whiteheart,) but I never cared for his albums. His songs that I heard on the radio, and sung in church, just didn't reach me, so I never gave him much thought.  Then I heard "Day Like Today" on my local radio station, and, although it wasn't a big stretch from what he had done before, something in me said "you needed to hear that," and as soon as I could I picked up the cassette (which I still own, and, oddly enough, it still plays.  Not bad for a 26 year old cassette.)

Every song here is a winner, even the overly sentimental "Still In Love" and the "I know I've heard this before" vibe of "White Are The Fields." (just try not to sing Toto's "Africa" while listening to that one.) It's hard to pick a favorite, because each song means a lot to me.  At that time of my life, I needed to hear songs like "Promises," "Cast Your Cares," and, especially, "He Won't Unlove You"  I still need to hear them today.

Higher Ways is a perfect little slice of 80's Pop.  While it's certainly polished to a fine sheen, Christian added a little more "edge" to it, and, as evidenced by the cover (where he does his finest Miami Vice imitation,) he was trying to market this to a younger crowd.

He Won't Unlove You

Cast Your Cares

Day Like Today

Still In Love