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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Christopher Cross

Doctor Faith

Review by Gary Hill

Christopher Cross certainly had a string of hits way back when. No one’s really heard from him in a long time, though. Well, this album shows that he’s still got talent for writing music and talent for playing. I always enjoyed Cross’ music and this disc continues that tradition. There’s nothing extremely new or surprising here - just a lot of great Christopher Cross music. It probably won’t earn him a lot of new fans – this isn’t the kind of music you’ll see teenagers listening to – but it should definitely please the fans he has.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hey Kid

A balladic tune, this is tasty. It feels like the kind of sounds one would expect from Cross, but it’s just plain great music. There are links to the sounds of Lake and Steely Dan in my mind. There’s a more rocking motif later that’s quite cool.

I'm Too Old For This
This definitely rocks out more than the previous tune. It’s kind of a typical AOR song, but Cross does an excellent job with that motif, meaning it stands above a lot of similar music.
When You Come Home
A gentle and pretty ballad, this is Christopher Cross at his best. It’s all about a man seeking the return of his love. It’s a sad song that really speaks to the concept of loss of someone you love. The string section is a bit over the top, but it’s OK.
Dreamers
Here’s a mid-tempo rocker that’s quite proggy. It’s a good tune. There are some suitably dream-like elements built into the number. The guitar solo here calls to mind something from modern Yes a bit. 
November
Another balladic tune, this is pretty and quite typical of Christopher Cross’ music. While ballads are almost clichéd in terms of Cross’ musical output, and the strings risk putting this one over the top, it’s a very poignant and effective piece and one my favorites on show here.

Leave It To Me
There’s a lot more energy and power to this piece, and it’s got horns to bring a definite jazz, or at least R & B, texture to the table. It’s a good tune, but not one of my favorites.
Doctor Faith
The title track comes in tentatively and a bit slow. It’s pretty and balladic, at least at the onset. It sort of combines the standard Christopher Cross soundscape with something a bit like The Doobie Brothers. It’s a good tune that grows a bit as it continues.
Rescue
Another that’s among my favorites here, this is sort of balladic track that leans a bit towards the over-produced, but it’s got some great jazz built into it and a lot of emotion. It’s a great piece of music.
Help Me Cry
A little less typical, this is still a good tune with a lot of pop music built in, It’s got more energy than some of the other music here. There’s a tasty melodic guitar solo built in, too.
Still I Resist
A mellow tune, this is pretty and has a great groove to it. It’s very typical of Cross, but it’s also got a fresh feeling to it. It’s got a lot of jazz built in, too.
Poor Man's Ecstasy

In a lot of ways this doesn’t vary that much from the rest of the disc, but this cut really works better than a lot of the stuff that led up to it. It’s powerful AOR song that’s melodic and mellow, but still energized and vital.

Everything
The disc is really working by this point. Here’s a balladic tune that has some jazz and progressive rock built into the mix. It’s powerful, poignant and beautiful.
Prayin'
After a couple extremely strong pieces, the album ends on a very lackluster note. This feels a lot like something James Taylor might have done and it’s just weak compared to everything else.
 
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