Thursday, November 10, 2016

Rick Cua-The Way Love Is (1992)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 10, 2016

This Christian contemporary artist, whom I'd nearly forgotten was in my music collection, represents one more 'Rick' from the R' entries in my music library that I'd like to share while he's fresh on my mind. Having lost total touch with him over time since listening to select tracks from his 1985 album, "You're My Road", I had only a slight memory of what his music was like.....and what it was going to be like heading into my first ever listen to this 1992 album. That changed upon getting reacquainted with him on the opening soft rock radio-friendly jam, "What if?", which is just one in a series of very powerful and meaningful songs of forgotten inspirational quality that don't seem to be made quite like it anymore. In it, he poses many questions where, if they're fulfilled, our world would be a much better place. Making vows to leave the past behind, forgiving hearts that can rectify, letting love break through somehow—all words of wisdom that we can apply to our lives, even more than two decades later. On "Walk On Through The Fire", Rick inspires the listener with the message that every step taken is a leap of faith; on "I Believe", he promises to remain faithful no matter what comes his way (and the acoustic guitar arrangement for this song accents his vocals extremely well while giving the song a tender and spiritually moving touch); and on "Make Time For Love", my #1 favorite of all the inspirational pieces, he reminds us that we often aren't committed and don't work hard enough to truly show our love for one another, even though the words and promises are always spoken. As for the romantic side of Rick, he presents that in the way of six positive and pop/rock perfect tunes that exhibit an air of peacefulness from within himself; I felt that right away on the delightfully perky "Can't Make Me Stop". The slowed-down tender number, "Better Than I Ever", once again highlights that a song with a 'heavenly angel' theme is always a gem. "When Love Comes Home" instills comfort and happiness, particularly when his words about no hearts breaking when that loves does indeed make it home are delivered in the chorus. "I Would've Waited Forever": the opening acapella delivery of the title lyrics is an excellent hook into the song, then serves as the excellent hook that keeps me all hooked on in it all throughout—that, plus the late 80's/early 90's soft rock charm of the music on this one altogether. Then a beautiful tribute closes it all out: "Loving You Has Made It Right". On this gentle slow number, Rick confesses that, after being wrong for so long, love has finally changed him for the better. Such a peaceful and sunny way to conclude an album where optimism and spiritual deliverance shine all around:

1. What If?
2. Can't Make Me Stop
3. Better Than I Ever
4. When Love Comes Home
5. Walk On Through The Fire
6. No Other Love
7. I Would've Waited Forever
8. I Believe
9. Make Time For Love
10. Loving You Has Made It Right

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