Mosaics finds Mark Heard in a middle ground between some of his earlier hard rock inclinations and the acoustic rock of, say, Eye of the Storm. That means acoustic 6- and 12-string guitars overlay heavier electric guitars, synthesizers, and crashing drums.
Lyrically, Heard is almost impossible to fault. His words are passionate, angry, incisive, probing, restless, and sometimes soothing. Even when he gets carried away, you forgive him (witness these lines from "The Golden Age": "Jet-set etiquette consciousness, Monosyllabic goodbyes / ...The Golden Age, Electric Neanderthals / The Golden Age, with digital morality"), because he's really and truly trying to convey something worth saying.
Musically, there's a price to pay, sometimes, by playing most of the instruments, writing most of the songs, and producing the whole shooting match. "With Broken Wings", "Schizophrenia", "All Is Not Lost", and "I Want You", for instance, sound too much alike. When Heard does vary the attack, it makes good songs like "Heart on the Line" and "It Will Not Be Like This Forever" sounds better.
Where it all comes together in one hopeful, melodic, epic masterpiece is T-Bone Burnett's "The Power of Love". It's got commercial hooks, it's got a heavy message, and it's one of the highlights of a career that's really only just begun. On songs like these, the pieces of the mosaics come together for artist, critic, and audience alike.
Bob Darden ( CCM, October 1985 )
Copyright © 1985 CCM Magazine
Mosaics ~ Lyrics / Credits / DISCOGRAPHY