Greg X. Volz

The River Is Rising

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The 1984 album Beat the System was Greg X. Volz's last as the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band Petra. Volz's departure sent the band in a new, more rock-driven direction, but fans of Volz-era Petra didn't have long to despair. Two years later, Volz's solo debut, The River is Rising, picked up where Beat the System left off, displaying a keyboard- and guitar-based pop sound that varied little from the singer's work with Petra. The similarities are remarkable when you consider that Volz was not a songwriter on either album; the Petra songs were written by guitarist Bob Hartman, while Mike Schmitz was the primary songwriter on The River is Rising. Volz's liner notes explain that "this album is the result of a dream and a relationship that started twelve years ago between a singer and a writer...Now, finally we have an opportunity to share some of the heaven that is in us." How much heaven is there in Volz and Schmitz? Well, "heaven" is a pretty strong word. There are a few memorable pop tunes on the record, most notably "Livin' for the Bell" and "The River is Rising." But let's just say they've probably got better music in paradise.

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