Songs such as “Ride Like The Wind” had real drama and introspection and as massively popular as the three main hits from the first album were – “Sailing” and “Never Be The Same” along with “Ride Like The Wind” (“Say You’ll Be Mine” was a fourth top 20 hit from that affair as well) Christopher Cross has become a sort of an artistic asterisk in the history of popular music. AMG’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine hits in on the head noting how Cross was embraced by the industry but not the critics. Not that one has to satisfy critics but…when those reflecting on artistry across the board find a musician too bland to keep on the radar screen it is problematic.
Christopher Cross is not my cup of tea, but that being said, he impressed me in a performance at the Kowloon in Saugus, Massachusetts…it was a sterling show with jazz leanings that suited the performing artist quite well. It was my hope that his next studio release would reflect the brilliances of the stage show but, alas, Dr. Faith does not pick up on the elements displayed in performance… but it still has some merit.
A rendition of “Dreamers” from the new album, recorded live in May of 2011, is sublime and sounds like it is directly off of the record. It’s not…it’s live…and shows what a terrific musician Cross is. The album has grown on me, but it could have been much more. The guy has the chops, he has the instincts and Dr. Faith will satisfy those who fell in love with his debut. It’s a solid “hello” from the voice and craftsman who burst on the scene over 30 years ago …but it breaks no new ground. Christopher Cross can write and produce an amazing record…he has the talent, but does he want to? This album has a warm and intentionally condensed sound…it doesn’t jump out to you and sparkle, it – instead – has a slick veneer…but it will work for the fans. Notice how the All Music Guide hasn’t reviewed a Christopher Cross album in many years…some of the critics may not feel he’s relevant…but catch him live, he is…and this album will keep his following very happy.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.