Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Songs from Bright Avenue
Genres: Folk, Pop, Christian
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A candidate for the greatest singer-songwriter album of all
DD | Baltimore, MD United States | 10/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Songs From Bright Avenue" may very well be the single greatest singer-songwriter album of all time. It is absolutely, stunningly brilliant, a perfect release that rivals and may even surpass just about any great release that comes to mind, including Bruce Cockburn's "Humans"; Joni Mitchell's "Blue"; Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks"; Cat Stevens' "Tea for the Tillerman"; Carole King's "Tapestry"; Mark Heard's "Second Hand"; Pierce Pettis'"Chase the Buffalo". It is as brilliant as any of these releases, which is saying a lot, since each of these listed records are magnificent.
If you seek to pigeon-hole SFBA as a CCM record (which would be unfortunate, because it is a release filled with universal themes and completely lacking in the triteness that all too often accompanies the CCM insudstry), then it qualifies as the best CCM release of all time. With all due respect to the "big names" in the CCM industry, no single release by Amy Grant or Michael W. Smith or Steven Curtis Chapman or Jars of Clay can even come close to the artistic and thematic brilliance of "Songs from Bright Avenue".
The opening "Here on Bright Avenue" is a perfect song. Perfect. With one of the truly great opening lines of any album anywhere, Bob begins by singing:
"I hear sounds above the shuffling of my feet, as I make my way down this strange familiar street. The holy sound of families, their dinners on the wind, will I ever be able to sit at that table again?"
This invitation to accompany Bob as he journeys down a figurative and literal street that, on one hand is filled with the "holy sound of families, their dinners on the wind", yet, on the other, is marred by the loneliness of a man wounded by the separation of loved ones through divorce, is an invitation to a true work of art.
Bob then gives us glimpses of a father's love and longing for his children ("No Such Thing as Divorce" and "Angels Around Your Bed"); the mistaking of a noble thought for a noble deed ("The Doing of the Thing"); the irony of divorce-related psycho-babble (the hilarious "Our Codependent Love"); the need to be saved from our despair ("My Secret Heart" and "Save Me"); the encounters we have with our Savior by serving the least of his children ("Unto the Least of These"); hope in the midst of despair ("Hope Like a Stranger"); Death (the absolutely killer "The Place I am Bound"); and, at the end of the day, enduring real pain and real loneliness with faith and a quiet hope ("Singing for My Life" and "I'm Still Alive Tonight"). Stunning. Perfect. "Songs from Bright Avenue" should be a staple in any house with a music collection.
It should be added that "Songs from Bright Avenue" is not only thematically brilliant, it is stunningly presented, with steller production and outstanding, world class musicianship, killer vocals by Bob (one of the great singers in any genre), not to mention the warm background vocals of David Wilcox.
SFBA easily makes my desert island discs, and is a release that deserves to be heard by anyone who loves intelligent music.