Geoff Moore was born on February 22, 1961 in Flint, Michigan. He released his solo debut WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? in 1984. By 1988 he was putting out albums with his band, under the name Geoff Moore and the Distance. Their last studio album was 1997’s THREADS. After this, Geoff resumed his solo career, releasing a self-titled album in 1999. Circa 2006/7 he put out a two disc retrospective project, ALL ALONG THE ROAD VOLUME I and II (Overflow, Inc). Here, I will be reviewing VOLUME II. Geoff’s website says: “Each of these songs were re-recorded and digitally remastered”.
‘Foundations’ was written by Geoff and David Martin. It is an adult contemporary ballad that will remind many of an old Sunday School song: “I will build my house upon a strong foundation/And I will set my foot upon the Solid Rock/Though the storms they blow sometimes/The Lord is by my side/The Lord is my, my foundation/He is my, my foundation”. Pierce Pettis’ ‘God Believes in You’ is up next. It is a country ballad of encouragement: “When you rise up just to fall again/God believes in you/Deserted by your closest friends/God believes in you/And when you’re betrayed with a kiss/And you turn your cheek to another fist/It does not have to end like this/God believes in you”.
‘Listen to our Hearts’ is one of three songs here co-written with good friend Steven Curtis Chapman. It is a gentle, modern Psalm of sorts: “So if You listen to our hearts/Lord, every beat will say/Thank You for the life and thank You for the truth and thank You for the way/And listen to our hearts and hear our spirits sing/A song of praise that flows from those You have redeemed/And we will use the words we know to tell You what an awesome God You are/And words are not enough to tell You of our love/So listen to our hearts”. ‘Passionate Man’ is a sincere cry for revival: “And I remember the promise that I would never turn/What will it take to rekindle the flame, the flame that used to burn?/When I loved You like the air I breathe/You filled my empty heart/And I wore my faith out on my sleeve, like a fire in the dark/I was willing to do anything/Oh, eager to make a stand/I was a passionate boy/Make me a passionate man”.
‘Heart and Soul’ is an adult rock ballad about giving God all we’ve got: “I passed a church one time where a rich man filled the plate/But he gave just a piece of what he had/An old woman that nobody saw, she didn’t have much of anything/But the little she had, you know she gave/She gave everything/She said ‘I’m giving You two hands, You can call ‘em Your own/Two feet to lead wherever You want them to go/Two eyes to see things You want me to know/Said I’m giving You/Everything (3X)/Everything, heart and soul’”. ‘Swept Away’ was penned by Geoff and Blair Masters. It is a piano and string based number about adoption, a cause close to Geoff’s heart: “We would say your name a hundred times a day/Like speaking words in faith/And with a mixture of hope and fear and trust/We prayed for strength to wait/And dreamed of how we’d feel the day/You’d be in our arms and/Swept away/Caught up in our love.../You’ll never be unloved/You’ll be amazed at how much you are loved/Life will never be the same/When you’re swept away”.
‘Thanks to You’ is a fun pop/rock duet on which Geoff and Steven Curtis Chapman celebrate their friendship “I’ve been picked up when I was low and I have never been left alone, I know it’s true, thanks to you/And I have had my burdens shared/There’ve been valleys I’ve been carried through, thanks to you.../Thanks to you, I’ve learned to laugh a little bit harder/Thanks to you, I never cry alone/Thanks to you, I know what it means to have a friend that’s true/Thanks to you”. Geoff and Jimmie Lee Sloas wrote ‘The Vow’. It is a song of commitment to God: “I will make a vow to You/It will never change no matter what I do/Right here, right now, in the midst of the crowd/I stand alone and I make my vow/Whatever it takes, I will be faithful/This is my vow”.
‘Home Run’ was the title track off of Geoff Moore and The Distance’s 1995 album. It is a terrific, contagious, pop/rock song that effectively compares the Christian walk to a baseball game: “Gotta keep your eye on the ball/Swing straight and true and follow through/Don’t be afraid, whatever the call/Because we’re never alone/Our Coach is there to cheer us on/Let’s wind up, here comes that ball/You gotta pray and swing/Watch it till it’s goin’, goin’, it’s gone/Home Run!!!/We need a home run.../We are not the first to play this game or stand over this plate/We are surrounded by their legacy/Like they’re sittin’ in the stands/I can see ‘em wavin’ their hands/Go, go, go all the way/Home Run!” Last up is ‘When All is Said and Done’, a lovely ballad that reflects on the legacy Geoff wants to leave: “Will they say I loved my family, that I was a faithful friend, that I lived to tell of God’s own Son?/When all is said and done.../You can forget my name and the songs I’ve sung/Every rhyme and every tune/But remember the truth of Jesus’ love/When all is said and done”.
ALL ALONG THE ROAD: VOLUME II is a fantastic, stripped down, intimate retrospective of Geoff’s career. The songs are very down to earth, personal, and relatable. Geoff comes across as one of us followers of Christ, just trying to love his God and his family wholeheartedly. He fully admits he is far from perfect. Fans of Carolyn Arends, Mark Schultz, Tom Cochrane, and Kenny Marks should pick this album up. I’m rating it 93%. For more info visit: www.geoffmoore.com or find him on facebook. I’m looking forward to picking up VOLUME I in the future!