The Green Room Serenade, Vol 1

Album Reviews

TrueTunes Vol. 8 Issue 2 1996

S.B. Patrick

Yeah, actually. It's every bit as good as you'd expect. Mike Roe, Derri Daugherty, Terry Taylor, and Gene Eugene have done it again. And it is saying a lot when I tell you: this is the best of the litter.

The Green Room Serenade Part One brings us 15 songs, and more than one hour of some of the coolest American music you've ever heard. While they still dabble in country, blues, and folk, it seems The Dogs are snarling this time 'round. "Cry Baby," "Mexico," "Sweet Work of Love," and "Hey, You Little Devil" are the cuts with the rock-o-meter turned up to 11. There hasn't been a cruisin' song as cool as "Mexico" since Bad Company.

Then you've got the anthems: "Reasonable Service" and "The Prodigal Bride (I'll Wait For You)," which fill the shoes of "Pray Where You Are" and "Breathe Deep" (which is reprised here as a bonus cut with some new lyrics).

"Close But No Cigar" swings with the rhinestone verve of a hotel lounge singer who just made a dinner date with the prettiest waitress in the joint. "I Don't Love You" is the sweetest and most romantic blow-off song in the history of Christian music. Actually, it may be the only blow-off song in Christian music history. Mike Roe delivers the bad news with the same tear-eyed sincerity with which he delivered "Treasure in You." I can just hear all the radio request dedications now, and all the heartbroken youth group kids who had such high hopes. The problem is, this record is just too much fun.

Well, I suppose no less can be expected from the talent pool that's brought forth no fewer than 50 of the best Christian albums of all time. (Yeah, I did the math.) They say more's coming this fall. Yipee!

TLEM 1996

by Andy Soell

When I heard that the Lost Dogs were working on a new album, I was genuinely excited. There are few groups about which I can say that I literally can't wait for them to come out with a new album, but this band is one of them. The rumors I had heard about the upcoming project ranged from it being a two-disc boxed set to it only being a couple of previously unreleased demos. The truth is closer to the first--however the second album will release this fall.

Green Room Serenade, Part 1 is the third project from the collaboration of Derri Daugherty of The Choir, Gene Eugene of Adam Again, Mike Roe of The 77's, and Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos and The Swirling Eddies fame. With this combination, fans have come to expect not only a variety of great singing voices, but also quality lyrical content from Taylor and amazing guitar work from Roe.

From the R.E.M.-sounding "Cry Baby" to the Elvis-esque "Close But No Cigar" to the remake of their own "Breathe Deep" off of their first disc, Scenic Routes, this effort covers a great range of musical styles. It is next to impossible to classify the Dogs as a certain style of music, but all the lyrics on the project are of the same quality as those of the individual bands, such as these from "Sweet Work Of Love:"

Who told you Jesus was a rich man
That he stayed in the best hotels?
Who sold you living water, then put poison in your wells?
No, your wealth could never save you
Can't fill a river that's run dry
You can't bribe a camel to go through a needle's eye

This is followed by a sentimental, slow-paced cover of Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will" and a great praise song, "Reasonable Service." Another track on this album that stood out in my mind is "Waiting For You To Come Around," which is the story of the unconditional love between friends, even when they drift apart:

When times are tough and they make us cry
We've lost some friends and we don't know why
Some pass away, some grow apart
And though I haven't seen you lately,
You still own my heart

The only downside of the album is the remake of their own "Breathe Deep," which sounds pretty much like the Scenic Routes version. The only reason I can think they included it here would be due to the rarity of their first release.

There are very few discs I own on which I don't skip any songs, but this is definitely one of the exceptions, despite the diversity of styles. It has not been unusual for this disc to go in my CD player and not leave it for days.

(Copyright © 1996 Polarized Publications and NetCentral, Inc. )

Reviews provided thanks to the writers, magazines and newspapers listed as well as fans that have helped us collect them - Richard Towry