In 1980 Randy Stonehill released THE SKY IS FALLING (Solid Rock Records). Randy wrote all ten songs, while Larry Norman produced and arranged.
The album opens with ‘One True Love’, a great pop song with Norman on harmony and backing vocals, a role familiar to him throughout the album. The song admits that we need a relationship with our Maker: “Don’t try being a loner/Cause that’s your first mistake/Go on once and admit that you need a break/Well, we all need a break/You need One True Love/Someone who’s always there/Don’t try to act like you don’t care.” ‘Through the Glass Darkly’ is a light pop song that includes these unfortunately too often realistic depressing lyrics: “All our superstars are suicidal casualties/And our heroes die in motel rooms and motorcades/Well, it seems like all our dreams turn into tragedies/And I wonder if we’ll learn from the mistakes we’ve made/Now I’m waiting at the bus stop for the bus to arrive/And I know there must be more to life than staying alive/Well, I don’t know where I’m going when I climb in/But it can’t be any emptier than where I’ve been.”
‘Teen King’, if written today, could be about Justin Bieber: “Well, you made yourself a name and you’re sitting on top of the world/And you smile like a heartbreaker shaking up little girls/And every night when you walk on stage/It’s always just the same/You’ve got 20,000 people screaming out your name/They come to see the teen king/Now they call you the teen king/And all the crazy nights/And the flash of the lights just leave you blinking.” ‘Venezuela’ is a song that longs for a renewed friendship with a brother: “My best friend’s in Venezuela/And he sent me a letter and a photograph/Well, I miss him so you know/His letters always make me laugh/We’ve gone our separate ways to see the world/But I can still hear him say/’You go north and Randy I’ll go south/And I’ll meet you for a song in L.A.’/And I believe/Oh I believe/I’m gonna meet that boy halfway.”
‘The Great American Cure’ is a humorous indictment against our fascination with the boob tube, and features electric guitar and mouth organ: “I went to the doctor all nervous and crazy/I told him the way things were/He smiled quite nicely and without thinking twice he said/’Just try the great American cure/Put your brain in neutral/Turn on the television set/Kick off your shoes and don’t worry/They haven’t cut the power off yet.’” ‘Jamey’s got the Blues’ speaks of how seriously depression can affect individuals: “And I remember nights Jamey and I would do the town/But now she never leaves her room and whenever I’m around/There’s just not much to say/It’s almost as if we were strangers there/Just filling the room/And it looks like Jamey’s blues became her tomb.”
‘Counterfeit King’ takes aim at the devil: “So beware of the words that he’ll whisper to your heart/For he’ll burn you with his twisted tongue of fire/And the song that he sings, it’s like poison/To the soul/He’s the counterfeit king and he’s a liar/He’s just a liar/A beautiful liar.” ‘Bad Fruit’ has a calypso feel to it (think Boney M). It encourages us to hunger and thirst for righteous things: “We’re all born with a hunger we just can’t seem to feed/Yet all the things we struggle for are not the things we need/But the man who seeks the Lord of life will find his life indeed/Satisfaction guaranteed/Don’t eat of that bad fruit/Don’t drink of that sweet wine/It may look great from a distance, but it gets you every time.”
‘Emily’ is a terribly tragic song that begins with orchestration: “I will not forget my sister’s face/The day that she died/Such a frail little girl/I remember how I cried/When she reached out to squeeze my hand/I knew her time had come/And when her fingers slipped from mine/I knew that it was done/Oh sweet Emily, you’re going Home/Sweet Emily, and I can’t go.” ‘Trouble Coming’ an urgent rock number, closes the album and reminds us that our earthly abode won’t last forever: “I see trouble coming on silent wings of death/There’s a fevered hand that’s crushing out our breath/I see trouble coming closer every day/Like a vulture circling its prey/I just gotta get away (2X)/I keep having these falling dreams/And I wake up screaming/I don’t really know just what they mean/But my nightmare never ends/Over and over and over and over/The sky is falling!”
Fans of pop/rock male artists such as Rick Cua and Bryan Adams will like this album. Though it is not Stonehill’s most creative batch of songs ever, as the album seems to try a bit too hard to fit into the Larry Norman formula, there are several good songs here. The songs here present faith as relevant to everyday life situations. I’m rating THE SKY IS FALLING 84%. For more info visit www.randystonehill.com.