I enjoyed the cover art, as I think it's stylistically one of the more original covers I've seen. Another poster likened it to something from Monty Python, and although I hadn't initially thought that, I agree.
I've been a Petra fan since Not Of This World, so I've experienced a fairly well-rounded representation of Petra through all its incarnations. I only heard Farewell for the first time a few weeks ago, and I was generally disappointed with the result.
Now before you stone me, let me explain.
I believe that when a band records a song and releases it, they have an obligation to the fans to perform it live more or less the way it was done on the CD. Now I'm not talking about saying "Mark Kelly recorded on This Means War!, and I refuse to accept Ronny Cates playing his parts." No, I understand that sometimes a band will change members, and Petra has certainly done its share of that, especially in the post-Hartman era. And I'm not talking about doing little change-ups in the song, like the little pushes in the live version of Dance. Those are cool. I'm talking about dropping an instrument from the lineup, re-arranging all the songs to eliminate or cover the parts, and expecting us not to notice or care.
From the beginning, with very few exceptions, Petra has featured keyboards as a staple of the band's sound. From John Slick's Minimoog and B3 work on the GXV-era Big Three (Never Say Die, More Power To Ya and Not of this World), to John Lawry's contributions on Beat The System and the Glory Days records (Back To The Street through Wake-Up Call), keyboards have helped define the sound and helped make the Petra the great band they were.
Now lest anyone think I'm a keyboard fanatic, I bought Jekyll & Hyde, which I enjoyed immensely. It reclaimed the Rock genre for Petra, which they had strayed from in the past few albums as they flirted with AC, P/W, INSPo, and CHR formats. Remember, I'm all about playin' it the way it was recorded. But when I heard the intro to the Farewell rendition of "Creed", I nearly shut the CD off. It simply wasn't the same song. As a long time fan, I felt my loyalty insulted. I don't have that problem with Jekyll & Hyde, because that record was recorded largely without keyboards. That's fine with me. In fact, J/H is one of my favorite records.
Now if I'd never heard any of these songs in their original forms, I'd probably have loved the record. I just don't feel that it accurately captured Petra musically.
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