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
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.
Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"
Red Deer Advocate in Red Deer Alberta, Canada
May 31, 1986
Impressive Debut Album
Sources have pegged Rich Mullins as the next big thing. After all, hes another veteran of the Amy Grant fold, having written material for all three of her most recent LPs, and hes assisted on his debut album by the likes of Brown Bannister, Billy Crockett, Pam Mark Hall, parts of Whiteheart, and of course Amy herself.
These factors alone would seem to assure Mullins of at least an initial listen. However, theres a drawback in too much dust-raising publicity. Bloated expectations could lead to shattering disappointment. Thankfully, this is not the case with Rich Mullins.
While not possibly as extraordinary as the debut of Michael W. Smith, with whom hes most often compared, Mullins first outing is nonetheless wonderfully bright and promising. His zest is best magnified on the pop cuts, like A Few Good Men, Live Right, and Nothing But A Miracle.
In the ballad mode Elijah is a terrific balance of wistfulness and pure eternal joy. If given a chance to shed the Amy Grant f rat-pack image, Rich Mullins will be seen on his own merit as a talented voice and perceptive songwriter.