B.J. Thomas

Love Shines

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Love Shines was one of the gospel records B.J. Thomas recorded after his conversion to Christianity. The Christian label Priority was undoubtedly thrilled to enlist the rangey mellifluousness of Thomas' voice, already famous for songs like "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and "Hooked on a Feeling." The album was released in 1983, just as Thomas' country western career was taking off, and Love Shines, while not overtly country, makes ample use of steel guitar, harmonica, and other Southwestern conventions. The sound is best described as country-flavored Texas gospel pop. Lyrically, the album focuses on typical evangelical themes: the desire to lead a godly life, the difficulty of living faithfully in a fallen world, and the anticipation of the second coming. "That's What's Wrong With the World Today" -- which was co-written by B.J.'s wife Gloria Thomas -- features some of the most clever (if heavy-handed) lyrics, with lines like "No one stops to hear the prophet speak/Meanwhile in the alley the salesman holds a crowd/Putting artificial comforts in their hand/A profit the salesman understands." But Love Shines isn't really a songwriter's album. It's meant to serve two purposes: to win souls and to show off Thomas' considerable talents as a singer.

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