CCM Magazine 1984
Vox Humana, the eagerly awaited third LP in Daniel Amos' Alarma! Chronicles,
paints the "voice of the human" on a canvas of modern studio technology, with
surprisingly warm and emotional results. "The Incredible Shrinking Man" is the
cornerstone of Vox Humana in the same way "The Double" was in the previous Doppelganger. We're
reminded that in the face of technology"s dominance and society's depersonalization of the
human being, we're welcomed as unique individuals into God's presence.
by Bruce A. Brown
In "Travelog" we meet a Person whose only communication with the outside world
is through TV. "(It's the Eighties, So Where's Our) Rocket Packs" asks why,
when we've progressed so far technologically, we haven't mastered the art of
love. "Live and Let Live" attacks our complacency in the face of impending technology,
decrying the church's willingness to conform to the world system. "When World's Collide"
works on two levels-as a love song from man to woman and from the Heavenly Father to
A catchy, pop tune destined to bring D.A. its highest radio recognition, "Home
Permanent" ironically contains one of Terry Taylor's most stinging indictments of
the way Christians perceive their personal witness. "As the World Turns" reminds us
that "against the grain One often stands alone."
"It's Sick" reprises thoughts from earlier D.A. tunes such as "My Room." Taylor
mentions examples of persecution recent enough to be fresh in all our minds--and
chastises us for our apathy.
Danish reformer Soren Kierkegaard, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, and Britons Malcolm
Muggeridge and William Blake are all quoted on the inner sleeve of Vox Humana. Taylor's
obvious affection for writers a bit ahead of their time comes through on the touching
tribute "William Blake." The allegorical "She's All Heart" speaks of the conflict
between the intellectual and emotional sides of our human nature.
Cleverly disguised as a trip to American Bandstand, "Dance Stop" condemns the nuclear
arms escalation. "Sanctuary" makes a simple, concluding statement about entering into
the peace of God.
D.A.'s liberal use of synthesizers and drum machines make Vox Humana difficult to
categorize musically. The LP is rife with quotations from the Beatles, Beach Boys,
and Buffalo Springfield. Taylor's quirky melodic hooks are reminiscent of Lindsey
Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) and Ric Ocasek (The Cars).
Daniel Amos will inevitably be shoved into the broad classification of "new wave,"
with artists like the 77s and Steve Taylor. But call Vox Humana a classic pop album
with state-of-the-studio production smarts. Innovative in scope and imaginative in
execution, Vox Humana is a highly entertaining package from a band one step ahead of
the cutting edge.