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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Fans of Georgia-based indie-band
wonders Filet of Soul will recognize Randy Chester's name as the same as
the band's bass player. The live album The Revolution Has Begun
marks Randy Chester's first solo effort, and further proof that Athens,
Georgia, continues to be a hotbed of creative musical
By his own confession, Chester's life has paralleled the parable of the Prodigal Son. It's always those wayward souls that have drifted away from grace, only to come back, that have the best stories to tell and the most gratitude to share. This is evident throughout Chester's work on his solo debut where strong rays of restored hope radiate. At its heart, The Revolution Has Begun is a worship album, but not quite like any ordinary worship album you've heard before. The lackluster level of musical and lyrical creativity and heaploads of schmaltz that characterize so many sub-par worship albums are all completely absent here. Instead, listeners are taken along a faith journey that is both fresh in sound and inspiring in spirit. Although not overly insightful, Chester's straightforward lyrics are nevertheless sincere and memorable. He also mixes his own melodies seamlessly alongside snippets of such Christian classics as "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace." Making the whole project work so effectively is the fact that Chester bears his compassionate heart resoundingly beating with grateful praise for his Lord and Savior so openly.
Much like the Filet of Soul
band of which Chester plays a part, his solo music also defies neat categorization.
The bulk of the work comfortably conforms to a sort of moody contemporary
folk rock. In other words, the sort of acoustic based music with a rock
edge that has catapulted people like Dave
The only song that seems out of place among the collection is Mackenzie Terrell's "Lullaby." It was very gracious of Randy Chester to share Terrell's beautiful song on his album, but it would be more at home on Terrell's own solo album, which judging from her talent as a singer and songwriter may not be too far behind.
Chester is doing his part to fulfill the great commission by demonstrating the crossroads his own personal story has taken with the Lord's story of salvation. It's a story not unlike many of our own stories, yet a variation on the greatest of all themes that truly never grows old. Chester manages to find a perfectly palatable way to serve up that theme again for a new generation with ears to hear.
Steven Stuart Baldwin 12/20/2000