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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Joshua Perahia
Label: M&K Recordings
Length: 12 tracks, 62:29
Having a roommate who can't get over '80s Christian Rock music has not been good for my taste in the formerly popular, now dead phenomenon. When I read about Joshua Perahia in another publication that compared them to Petra, it was almost enough to scare me away from this album. However, I was still curious if a band could really be serious about making that kind of music in this day and age. With this predisposed disposition I popped Something to Say into my CD player and received a very pleasant surprise.
Granted, the members of Joshua Perahia have come from the glory days of '80s rock and roll, but that doesn't mean that they can't make good music to relate to people now. Something to Say emphasizes that point emphatically. The band is comprised of songwriter/lead guitarist Joshua Perahiah (known for his bands Joshua and Jaguar), vocalist Jerry Gabriel (Wasted Angel, Tower, and Fortune), bassist Joey Rochrich (from the German hard rock scene), and drummer Eric Stoskopf (from the L.A. scene). Together, these four talented musicians have created a very impressive collection of melodic hard rock composed of strong ballads and memorable anthems of love.
The guitar work of Perahia was the first big draw for me on this album. His solos soar above everything else, yet don't distract from the rest of the music, but instead add to it. Everything seems to flow well together. The music is very much influenced by the aforementioned '80s rock, however comparisons to Petra are totally unfair. The music of Joshua Perahia is much classier than virtually any '80s band that I can think of. They don't have songs that are straight up rock songs meant to get the kids excited, nor do they have soft, quiet songs designed to settle everyone down. The band avoids this trend that I believe set bands such as Petra back and instead opt for an album of songs that flow together well. Most of the songs begin slow and soft and allow for a natural build that fits much better than a forced hard rock riff. Sometimes on the album I can even here slight blues influences, which turn out to be a very beneficial thing.
The lyrics of Joshua Perahia, just like the music, don't come off as forced and cheesy, but instead as natural and honest. Love is a key theme of Something to Say and depending on the song it could be love for a person or love for God. Some songs even express both. Either way, Joshua Perahia finds a way to express faith in their music by showing honesty and simply sharing of themselves. The songs that came off as the best written to me were "Remembering You" and "Tears of Joy," which both convey strong imagery and pictures of faith.
In thinking about this release from the new lineup known as Joshua Perahia, the key words that I'm left with are talent, class, honesty, and balance. This is an experienced band who knows quite well how to make great music. And that's all coming from me, a guy who doesn't even like '80s rock!
Trae Cadenhead 4/7/2002