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Daniel Amos

BibleLand


CCM Magazine September 1994
by Bruce A. Brown

For those of you who wondered what Christian Rock's resident curmudgeon has been up to, Terry Taylor has re-grouped both his bands to release a whopping 26 songs (between two albums). Taylor writes mostly about how he views the church (that's us, folks) responding or not resonding to society. But he's always quick to first lay blame at his own doorstep. BibleLand opens with a track called "Broken Ladders to Glory," wherein Taylor refers to what might well be himself and his wife as a "ravaged nun" and a "greasy priest;" the flaws begin at home, in other words. In "The Bubble Bursts," Taylor issues a reminder to those who would deify him that "I let you down and I'll do it again" but asks forgiveness "If my humanity causes you some pain." On the title track, Terry uses the metaphor of a dilapidated religious theme park to poke contemporary Christianity in the eye; among other things, this twisted playground includes "a leper and a Christian book store" and "a Christian rock band by the Wailing Wall." To underscore the incisive lyrics, DA offers a musical attack that's extremely raw and grunge-y in spots; excellent engineering by Gene Eugene plays up the tripple guitar attack of Taylor, Greg Flesch and Jerry Chamberlain.

Zoom Daddy - well, it's just a leetle strange/weird/unusual (insert your own adjective here). Musically, the album veers between surf music from Mars and the soundtrack to a James Bond film. I've always thought of Terry's humor as floating somewhere between Monty Python and the National Enquirerl; song titles like "Nightmare at the Elk's Lodge," "Art Carney's Dream" and "Disco Love Grapes" would seem to support that hypothesis. But Taylor never lets satire get in the way of making some serious points. "God Went Bowling," for instance, while offering a silly set-up, nails you in the last verse - "We want an infinite meddler/A fix-it-quick man/But he gets off His hight horse/Gets dirt on His hands." "Some Friendly Advice" may be the apex of Taylor's mix of puns and poignancy; over a herky-jerky beat, Terry recites suggestions like "Read the Good Book/Try a sly hook/Go to confession/Learn a lesson" and of course, "Do your duty/Shake your booty." And to what does the title track refer? It's a clever metaphor for the Rapture, with the children's cry of "Olly Oxen Free" our trumpet call. So, this musical medicine comes Taylor-made in two flavors; choose the one you like best - either way, you'll feel better for having taken it.