Tame the Volcano

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On its last album, Crumbacher lightens up the subject matter of its unmistakably '80s-born CCM pop. Ironically, though, the album's highlight comes not from the welcome levity of the novelty numbers, but from one of the poignant moments (which are usually buried under a heavy layer of overearnestness): the album begins and ends with "Once More," Stephen Crumbacher's farewell to the band which bears his name. The first version is a typically overproduced bit of big, shiny pop music, but the second features only the singer and his acoustic piano. Thanks to the intimacy of the latter, an interesting portrait of the conflicting demands of Christianity and contemporary music emerges out of the lyrical cliches.

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