Mark Farner

Wake Up/Closer to Home

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In the years since his heyday with Grand Funk Railroad, Mark Farner has stayed active, touring with the Mark Farner Band as well as appearing solo. He's also turned increasingly toward a Christian lifestyle. This particular release appears on the Nashville-based label KMG, which features "alternative Christian" acts such as the Gospel Gangstaz and Mortification. It includes two Farner solo albums on one disc: Wake Up and Closer to Home. Lyrically, the songs included revolve around themes of salvation, grace, and social commentary from a Christian viewpoint. Musically, Farner proves that he hasn't lost his way with a hook or melody, and his voice is as strong as it ever was, even if the arrangements here lack the bluesy bottom end that typified the best Grand Funk material. Farner does find time to cover the GFR classic "Some Kind of Wonderful," albeit with a slight shift of pronouns ("she" to "he"). Sure to be interesting to Farner aficionados, the release will also appeal to anyone who likes their good news sparked with a little rock & roll.

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