Randy Stonehill

Celebrate This Heartbeat

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Celebrate This Heartbeat Review

by Mark Allender

Uncle Rand begins to fall into the trap of an '80s production disaster on this record, which is unfortunate considering these are good songs with an impressive cast of performers. Much of the grit has been surgically removed from the mix, largely due to the production work of Barry Kaye. The opening overture is a bit much, really. "Who Will Save the Children" carries an important message which, thanks to a smarmy children's choir, undercuts the message of the song -- unfortunate. And unlike the even more anesthetized follow-up, Love Beyond Reason, the songwriting is not as strong as it can be. Songs like "Watch Gonna Do About That" and "Stop the World" are fun and more in line with what we are used to hearing, but the quirkiness of the previous efforts -- Equator and Between the Glory and the Flame, as well as the psychedelia of The Sky Is Falling -- is completely gone, leaving not a vacuum, but a dry terrain indistinguishable from other Christian music releases of the era. And Stonehill is better than that.

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