The very pretty desert pictures on the cover and inside this album are all taken from a photo shoot in Monument Valley, which runs through northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah and which is inside a Navajo Indian reservation. The front cover has the words "PETRA PRAISE" in huge letters at the top of the picture, and "THE ROCK CRIES OUT" in tiny letters at the bottom. The actual photo is the members of the band on top of a huge rock formation; they are so small that on a cassette you might even miss them if you didn't look closely. John Schlitt has one fist in the air. If you're just glancing through a bunch of tapes or CDs looking for this one, look for brown; there is more sandstone brown on this cover than anything else. In fact, there is more sandstone than Petra. The back cover makes up for it; it's a very cool picture of the band (up close enough to recognize that there are people in the picture!) standing by a tree. Strangely enough after all the pictures I've seen of Louie Weaver, I don't even recognize him in these pix.
This album is Petra's way of introducing their audience to praise and worship. As I understand it, they took a survey of youth groups to find out what the favorite p&w songs for teens were, and then they recorded their own versions of the winners. The sound is a little different vocally especially, because the keys were chosen for ease of use by youth groups and not necessarily to showcase John Schlitt's voice. They also used more of a variety of background vocals; for the first time some female voices show up! This album runs along the pop lines, but not as chronically as Back To The Street or even This Means War!; there's still plenty of crunchy guitar to go around. The two new songs, "I Love The Lord" and "The King Of Glory Shall Come In", might take a little learning to be usable in youth group, but the rest of the arrangements are great for a teen congregation. "I Will Call Upon The Lord" and "We Exalt Thee" were actually recorded live, which demonstrates just how usable the arrangements are with a crowd. I am a little puzzled by the inclusion of "Friends (All In The Family Of God)" (which has a fun 50's-style arrangement) since it is not especially a worship song, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun addition to the album. "I Love The Lord" is a definite rocker, and the others hold their own also; this one won't disappoint the die-hard Petra fan.
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