Meltdown (Review)

The Houston Post
March 16th, 1984
© 1984 The Houston Post
Thanks to Rob Marshall

MELTDOWN, Steve Taylor, Sparrow Records.

If you're been waiting for gospel music to catch up with the times, then Steve Taylor's Meltdown is the answer to your prayers. Be warned though: this isn't the stuff you'll be hearing in church on Sunday, this is Christian New Wave at its synthesized best!

Meltdown causes listeners to think and has an unbelievable musical variety. It is also innovative in its subject matter. Who would think of writing Christian rock songs about the Baby Doe case or a Polish youth killed by police in Warsaw? Yet these cuts are two of the albums most effective and moving. The lyrics are intelligent and require more than a casual listen to fully appreciate.

And if tunes like "We Don't Need No Colour Code" and the title cut "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)" don't give you dancing feet then you should consider calling a podiatrist.

There is not a single cut on Meltdown that misses its mark, but it does have a few that stand out.

"Am I In Sync?" treads a very thin line between humor and a very serious message in a song about man's search for immortality performed with the aid of a session musician who can't seem to keep up with the music's beat. It sounds confusing, but it works.

"Over My Dead Body," the funeral dirge for Grzegroz Przemyk, a Polish youth killed in May 1983, is a haunting piece that allows the anger of the event to linger long after the last note dies.

And in "Hero" Taylor adopts a David Bowie monotone to detail the destruction of illusions and the rediscovery of true heroes. It is a subtle song that could easily have lapsed into Christian cliche, but it pulls back at just the right moment.

Meltdown is a definite must for listeners who aren't afraid to try something different and exciting.

-- By Bryan Munson