More Power To Ya was released in the midst of Petra's "flying guitar" cover art streak. This one shows a guitar that looks like a starship, about to launch from a futuristic spaceport (very similar to the launch scenes from the Battlestar Galactica series). The picture on the inside liner notes, which would've been the back cover for the actual record at the time, is a picture of this same guitar in the midst of an attack on a dark fortress/city. Very cool stuff.
More Power To Ya was the release that marked the first high point in the history of Petra. They toured extensively to support the album and the songs really connected with the youth in a big way. Greg X. Volz's smooth lead vocals led Petra's attack, and he was backed by solid playing through the whole project. The sound on MPTY is straight ahead early 80's arena rock, with the occasional southern rock influence. The production and the sonics are strongly reminiscent of groups from that era such as Foreigner, Journey, and REO Speedwagon.
Lyrically the album is straight ahead, no holds barred Christian. Hartman generally tended to keep his songs simple and to the point, as is evident here in tracks like "Stand Up," "Second Wind," and "Disciple." The focus is on themes like encouragement, and being serious and bold about your faith. There are some stronger lyrical moments here too, though. "Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows" powerfully and poetically describes the blissful ignorance that too many Christians live in, choosing to believe that everything is as fine outside the walls of the church as it appears to be inside. The title track is one of those songs of encouragement whose simple lyric is actually its strength. And "Road To Zion" is a metaphoric description of the Christian walk with a reminder that "joy is not in where we've been, Joy is who's waiting at the end."
MPTY has its share of now-classic cuts as well. The title track, "Road To Zion," and "Let Everything That Hath Breath" are all still favorites. "Judas' Kiss," beginning with an instantly memorable riff, is one of Petra's most famous recordings. The band One Bad Pig actually did a cover of it years back that is both superb and sublime, which is pretty typical for much of the Pig's work. One of the other interesting moments in Petra history occurs on the last track, "Disciple," which features a duet between Volz and bass player Mark Kelly, who does a great job on lead.
Undeniably, the sound here is now dated. That takes nothing away from the historical significance of this project, however. It is one of CCM Magazine's Top 100 Albums, and perhaps the best of Volz's Petra projects. MPTY was integral in the artistic and commercial growth of what would become the most important Christian rock band of all time. This is a must-own for serious Petra fans and should also be looked at by those who enjoy the early 80's rock sound and those who are interested in the historical value of projects like these.
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