Sunday, September 20, 2015

JERICHO ROAD-What Matters Most (2002)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 20, 2015

Now that my easy-listening music trek has seen me journeying back into the Christian contemporary genre, I thought I would take another drive down JERICHO ROAD and reacquaint myself with this four-piece Latter-day Saint boyband and their fine vocal harmony. Except this time out on their third album, "What Matters Most", the delivery of their inspirational messages through music and song are delivered in a slightly different format than on previous studio albums I've heard by them. I would notice this shortly after taking in the soft piano ballad of a opener that is the title track, where one of the guys of the group gives his spoken testimony entitled "Remember Who You Are", before a live audience, possibly for a special program called "Inspirational Fireside Of Youth", which appears on the album's cover artwork. And that's how the album flows: an inspirational testimony, followed up by a solo piano piece to reinforce that testimony. "Remember" has some very humbling words of wisdom to live by. Being faithful and honest and remembering His promise: one of my favorite lines from the song that stuck to me. "Not Too Far From Here", a cry that somebody somewhere in the world is troubled and confused, is quite moving, particularly with the somber melody accompanying the lyrics. Something about the title "You Melt The Madness" sounds very familiar, and I was hoping that I'd capture something in the lyrics to reinforce that, but I couldn't. Perhaps I couldn't recognize it in its piano ballad format? If nothing else, it's definitely a comfort to hear the words to this one, and it's also the first song here where the guys join in together to show off some of that sublime soulful harmony, albeit towards the very end, as the soaring voice of the guy performing solo pretty much is front and center all throughout. I like the message on Bret's testimony of "Never Give Up". It's something that we should all live by day after day, although it's not always easy living by those words and not listening to that inner voice that tells you to quit, is it? The message embedded in "Following The Lord's Game Plan" has even greater purpose, and illustrating that message is a humorous short story about a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes that was supposed to be the solution to stepping up the speaker's literal game on the courts. Following the final solo piece, "Face To Face", and the concluding prayer of the live program, it was nice to finally hear all of the guys joining together for their calming performance of "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing", highlighted by the harmony in the acapella break partway through the song. Though it didn't matter that I had to wait until the last track before I got to hear the true JERICHO ROAD that I'm accustomed to hearing; the things they have to say matters the most:

1. What Matters Most
2. Remember Who You Are
3. Remember
4. True Disciples Of Jesus Christ
5. Not Too Far From Here
6. You Melt The Madness
7. Never Give Up
8. Let Him Heal Your Heart
9. Following The Lord's Game Plan
10. Face To Face
11. Conclusion
12. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

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