Steve Taylor

Limelight

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Let's face it: some music lovers run for cover the minute they hear the term "Christian rock." It isn't that they're necessarily anti-religion, but they don't want to be preached at. And if they're quite happy practicing Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, or Buddhism the last thing they need is hearing some Pat Robertson disciple telling them to give up their faith. At the same time, it's extremely unfair to assume that a Christian rocker is a fanatic or an extremist simply because he/she promotes Christianity -- U2 and Bono, although not officially part of the Christian rock genre, have often promoted Christianity. But U2 has no problem with other religions and its message is universal and inclusive rather than sectarian. Similarly, you don't have to be a Christian to appreciate Christian rocker Steve Taylor, whose live album Limelight is among his essential releases. Recorded live in England in 1985, this LP boasts inspired performances of some of Taylor's best material, including "Meltdown (At Madam Tussaud's)," "I Want to Be a Clone," "We Don't Need No Colour Code," and the Roxy Music-influenced "On the Fritz." Taylor is definitely coming from a Christian perspective on these new wave songs, but he isn't in-your-face about it -- you can be a confirmed Muslim or Hindu and find Taylor's lyrics meaningful. And musically, everything on this album is solid. Whatever a person's religious views, Limelight is a rewarding illustration of Taylor's artistry.

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