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Restless
Artist: Steven Dix
Record Label: independent
Email: mail@stevendix.com
Length: 12 tracks/62:36 minutes

Steven Dix has gained himself a strong foothold on the Australian Christian music scene through work as an editor of a national magazine and a successful album called Spin Away--on which he was just known as Steven. On his second album, entitled Restless, we are treated to another taste of his capabilities.

This is not one of those contemporary albums that sticks to the same brand of music throughout. Instead, you have to admire the way Dix shifts from the reasonably fast-paced melody such as "Too Much is not Enough" to the thoughtful and tentative "Restless," then onto the delicate piano play of  "She Didn't Know," only to be followed by the soaring chorus of "Far Away." The album opens with a radio-friendly acoustic pop song, "Heart N Me," giving us glimpses of what the rest of the album will be like lyrically. Much of the album is poetical, as on "Point of No Return."

Little hands
To pull up my pockets
And bigger shoes for
The foot in my mouth
A little money
To solve all
My problems
And still I cry out
God what have I done
The title track promises to be one of those songs that is played before an altar call, with the last lines stating:
Still I haven't forgotten
The promise
Of a Saviour who lived to die
And if the pain returns
Your peace I'll find
The artwork consists of several portraits of Dix. The lyric sheet is the biggest problem to this album. If your hands are even slightly moist, you will leave fingerprints on the paper. As well, for a few of the songs, the lyrics are printed in a near-black color, making it barely visible against the black background.

I do not consider myself a fan of adult contemporary music, but Restless certainly helps me sit down and think about the lyrics, with a strong musical texture featuring layers of acoustic guitar on top of piano and even some funky organs on "Poorest Thieves." If you're looking for some creative and progressive contemporary music, look no further - Steven Dix is right up your alley.

Eric Daams 11/22/99

 

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