I just heard this album, you won’t believe. It’s woven with sounds like Jackson Browne, the early Byrds, James Taylor, 1930’s blues, the Rolling Stones, the Everly Brothers and early Paul Simon. O.K., maybe that is a tall order, but, well, I think I’m in love.
But it took a while. On the first hearing, Stop The Dominoes (Home Sweet Home, R2101) didn’t exactly overwhelm me. I liked the rock rhythms, but I neglected to listen to the lyrics – too busy, as usual. When I did, the meanings banged by head against that wall of tears and fears and perplexities born of living in the world. They reminded me how my Christian walk depends so much on being continually reminded of my ineffectuality, undependability, self-deception and generally imperfect nature. (Yes friend, saved but not sinless.)
Mark Heard’s rock reflects reality with irony, simplicity and poignancy. He touches the heart and hooks the memory. He knows how to use minor keys, bluenotes, changeups and soulful harmonies. He wrote, produced an arranged the album. His wife Janet took the cover photos. Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Leslie Phillips, Little Bobby Emmons and Dave de Coup Crank assisted with backup harmonies. Sans strings (oh thank you, thank you), the album is with sax and fiddle and steel guitar, as well as a plethora of electric guitars, Tom Howard on keyboards and Alex MacDougall on percussion.
But it’s lyrics! In closing, let me lay some lines on you: ”Heaven help a timid child in a trendy tide...” “Very quietly, the world loses blood overnight, without a fight...” “The masses ride their passions with throttle in their hands...” “The criminal in my skin lets out a sigh. He’d like to think he’s innocent...” “Half the world prays like the preacher, the other half don’t even pray...” “I’m too sacred for the sinners, and the saints wish I would leave...”
(Best cuts: Give me a break, will ya? I told you I’m in love.)
( CCM, October 1981 )
Copyright © 1981 CCM Magazine
Stop The Dominoes ~ Lyrics / Credits / Liner Notes / CCM Interview / DISCOGRAPHY