During his time here on Earth, Rich Mullins conducted both a career and a ministry. His career produced classic praise and worship songs, sung in churches all across the country, and has inspired a wide variety of artists from Amy Grant to Third Day. His ministry touched the lives of thousands of people across the country as he traveled around leading Bible Studies and preaching the Word.
The World as Best as I Remember It, Vol. 1, is the first of a two-part project, which is at the center of his musical library, and showcases both his understated musical approach as well as his grasp of scripture. Book-ended by the two part classic "Step by Step," with its bagpipes and solo vocals in the beginning track, and choral production at the end, World covers similar musical ground in between. Lyrically, this song leaves no doubt where the artist's heart lies, as he sings: "Oh God You are my God, and I will ever praise You/I will seek You in the morning/And I will learn to walk in Your ways/and step by step You'll lead me/And I will follow You all of my days."
Lyrical highlights include the times in which Mullins uses his sly sense of humor to showcase the humanity in well known Biblical events, such as the song "Boy Like Me/Man Like You," in which he asks Christ to describe his childhood: "Did You wrestle with a dog and lick his nose? Did You play beneath the spray of a water hose?"; or when he paints a picture of Jacob's home life in the Old Testament: "Now Jacob got two women and a whole house full of kids/And he schemed his way back to the promised land/And he finds it's one thing to win 'em, it's another to keep 'em content/When he knows that he is just one man."
Musically, World often relies on the artist's considerable talent with stringed instruments such as the hammered dulcimer, to compliment guitar, piano, and percussion. The opening of "The Howling" is especially well done in this way, giving the song a true feeling of fast-paced movement. Other musical approaches work well within this album such as the echoing call and response between Mullins and a background choir throughout "I See You."
The World As Best As I Remember It, Vol. 1, is an excellent example of what simple, stripped-down acoustic music can sound like at its best. The album is especially poignant due to the solid scriptural backing found in the lyrics. Anyone wanting to know who and what set the stage for today's favorite artists, from Bebo Norman and Andrew Peterson to Caedmon's Call and even Kevin Max, will find listening to this album to be a rewarding experience.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 10/14/07, written by Jason Hill for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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