Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"

by Bruce A. Brown

CCM Magazine April 1986



Rich Mullins, known previously only as scribe to the likes of Benny Hester, Debby Boone, and Benny Hester, has released a doozy of a debut. Titled Rich Mullins, presumably so you won't forget who he is, this LP is proof that terrific writers often keep a few good tunes in their own hip pockets.

Happily, Rich has the pipes to go with his accomplished writing skills. Although not a dazzling singer, Mullins seems to know just how far he can reach without overstepping his range. Producer Reed Arvin provides Mullins with a pop/rock backdrop that enhances his energetic style.

The album's lyrical themse are built mostly around Mullins' paraphrase of the apostle Paul - "You should be glad you're alive, and look forward to being dead." Pointing up that creed is the dance/pop delight "Live Right" that features a cameo from Amy Grant. Mullins' music is nothing if not motivational and inspirational. "Nothing But A Miracle" says quite matter-of-factly, "I Believe You Can Do Anything If You Can Love." "Both Feet On The Ground" takes a more down-to-earth approach to that same subject as Rich muses, "I'm not head over heals, and I'm not on cloud nine. And I don't think love is blind." "These Days" laments the state of the world without sounding maudlin, and "Prisoner", a great tune built on a Police-type riff, emphayically states, "I'd rather be a prisoner of your love than the champion of my doubt."

By far, my favorite track on Rich Mullins is the album's closer, "Save Me." Over a circular synthesizer setting, Mullins implores the Lord to save him from, among other things, "any calue I can put a price tag on" and "trendy religion that makes cheap cliches out of timeless truths." Armed with an arsenal of spectacular songs and holding down the opening spot on Amy Grant's current tour, Rich Mullins should establish himself as a major presence in contemporary Christian music before too long.





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