Saturday, June 12, 2010

ULF - Entertainers & Soldiers

Entertainers & Soldiers
©2003 Independent

This is tough for me. Ulf Christiansson and his band mates in Jerusalem were at the very start of my Christianity. I was a young teenager first hearing “Warrior” on album. Having stated elsewhere as to the importance of Jerusalem in the history of Christian rock, not from a biased standpoint, but from the basis of their unflinchingly strong message pointed towards Jesus Christ, their relevance should stand the test of time. Sadly, the machine that ‘pumps out product over spiritual significance’ most often wins out and the history is lost on the current masses. This was originally released in 2003 or 2004, whichever source you choose to believe. It has been brought stateside by Retroactive Records (got to love Matthew Hunt).

Now, I will address my first statement. Why it is tough is the fairness of the supposed “industry” that overlooks the history for the unit of the here and now. Ulf Christiansson, Jerusalem, the 77’s, Mike Knott, Keith Green, the violet burning, Daniel Amos, Bride, Resurrection Band, etc… represent the depth of what matters in this “Christian rock scene”. Ulf matters because it was partly his lyrics that God used to speak to this snotty teenager’s heart many years ago. The industry could care less about the hearts of people being transformed. The bottom line, or the bottoms of our wallets are the true motivator. Now, on with the review…

After searching the iTunes store, I had to put this review on hold for a bit, so as to digest the additional goodies not included on the CD. Supposedly, this was going to be a Jerusalem release, but came out as a solo venture. Either way, the 18 tracks from the digital download are worth every cent. “It’s Not Easy” starts the disc with a wall of AOR with saturated effects. There’s a lot in the mix, sometimes too strong, like somebody was knob-happy mixing it, but it sounds like a mature journeyman of faith who has not gotten enveloped by the world. He has stuck to his original guns per se, meaning the gospel message. Though this is more of a saturated studio release than a band’s product, it flows fairly smoothly, with a couple minor hiccups. Favorite cuts thus far, after many listens, are “Rip My Heart Out”, “Die To Myself”, “Kings & Spears”, “Godspeed To You”, and “Fly Away”. There are some European influences, most notably U2, upon Ulf’s current work. It appears from their website that a 2010 Jerusalem album is coming. I will keep my fingers crossed.

9 of 10 clicks
June 2010