Chris de Burgh

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Crusader Review

by Mike DeGagne

The title track to 1979's Crusader is not only this album's crowning glory, but also serves as one of de Burgh's finest songs. Its narrative is based on the courageous efforts of Richard the Lion-Hearted and his spirited battle against Saladin, the king of the Saracens during the crusades that took part between the 11th and 13th centuries. Broken into four separate parts, its detailed story line and moving musical passages exemplify de Burgh's talent as an intriguing anecdotist. His seriousness and passion build the song until the very end of the "Finale," in which the moral of "Crusader" is revealed through his soft-spoken final words. Even though this track bears most of this album's weight, the rest of the songs aren't without their merit. de Burgh still musters up enough romance to make "It's Such a Long Way Home" a likeable tune. The serenity and overall quaintness of "The Girl With April in Her Eyes" aptly display his gift of singing cobblestone courtyard love songs. These songs, along with "Quiet Moments," insure that his talent for singing gallant, gentle pieces has not escaped him. Although these songs house their own distinct beauty, this album's true value lies in "Crusader," his most moving and compelling work.

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