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Frazier, Rob - 1984 Cut It Away

ARTIST: Frazier, Rob
ALBUM: Cut It Away
LABEL: Light
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Rob Frazier - vocals, guitars, organ * Scott 'Cactus' Moser - drums * Bill Batstone - bass * Marty Walsh, Dave Mansfield - guitar * Smitty Price - keyboards * Brandon Fields -saxophone * Rosemary Butler, Steve Camp, Carol Buckley Frazier, Sherry Larson - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cut It Away * 02 Come On Elaine * 03 He Is All You Need * 04 Stolen Love * 05 You Know Whats Right * 06 Tonight * 07 Weight Of The World * 08 Train Up A Child * 09 666

I bet this opening statement would really 'grind Rob's gears', when I say who the hell is Rob Frazier? Well heavens above, you have heard of Petra? well Rob was in this group of rock angels for their 1979 album, 'Washes Whiter Than' as well as contributing on their other albums. You heard the deep praise placed on Steve Camp's 'Fire And Ice'? Yes, well take a look at the credits, Rob is all over them. Lastly, remember that catchy ditty by Kansas 'Play The Game Tonight', well Rob also had a hand in writing that classic. So you can see from the trio above, the side of the fence Rob sits on, yes add another name to the long list of Christian AOR, because I feel he is definitely in the top half of the table. On this album Rob sings a lot about sin and Jesus, which isn't that surprising with a resume like his and when you find Steve Camp has returned the favour and has produced this album and co-wrote many of the tunes, it is time to sit up and take notice.

The Songs
Like many Christian albums of this ilk and period they do always tend to mix up the genres, let's face it, listening to 'Fire And Ice' recently, Steve managed to mix in some reggae on track 2, 'It Is Good', reggae performed by anyone else who's name doesn't include the words Bob and Marley together, well we are talking about sin! Pleasingly Rob refrains from mixing it to extremes only slight changes are made in the overall direction of the album. For instance tracks like 'Stolen Love' move to The Cars, poppy, short and sweet, just banging away on the drums, guitar yes, minus any keyboard, harmless but I prefer a bit more beef. This can be found on the opening which also being the title track. Even the lyrical content is a bit more ruthless, blood splatter? Surgery is the script, cutting away all that sin, and we are not talking fat removal or stomach band surgery. Disappointment though, as Rob doesn't explain what sin, just plain and simple sin. It's a great opening, containing the bounciness of Ron Collins, splashes of keyboard and so catchy it should be viral. Some tracks entertain as a pop version of White Heart, especially as Rob has been blessed with one impressive voice, seemingly easy to perform the likes of 'You Know What's Right' which sees him fairly rip through like a hastily delivered Sunday morning sermon so to be able to catch the Arsenal at the lunchtime kick off. 'Come On Elaine' has the earthiness of Rob Jungklas and the crispness of Paul Janz, it tastes and sounds good.

Continuing the eating theme, the subject matter of 'Tonight' is a tough one to swallow, if I quote some passages, 'I was talking to a friend of mine, he said his life was a mess', you know what coming don't you, 'but I got good news for you.. I said it's Jesus, Jesus'. If only life was that simple? Nothing too much to complain about on the ballad front (well I can, see later), 'He Is All You Need' is performed well but it's a preacher moment, rather than a Prophet moment and does not deviate from what's heard every Sunday at your local Parish church. Although the second ballad with the strangely titled 'Train Up A Child' is a song you have heard and ignored millions of times already. Back in a more favourable direction is the simply marvellous 'Weight Of The World', perfect AOR once laid down by the likes of Alliance and Avalon, both of these groups seem to peep over the covers especially during the chorus. This is high board AOR diving, serene, exciting and dangerous, it's touching clouds on the way to heaven. Lastly with '666' which begins with a quick Michael Stanley Band swirl of the saxophone, it's another display of stirring AOR, think Sweet Comfort Band, but also there is a couple of additions which today sounds dated, one being the narration and the voice effects when mentioning '666', which is someway quite fun, like listening to Mr Roboto's brother who unfortunately suffers from a speech impediment. It's a good song but is not meant to be a tribute to Iron Maiden.

In Summary
If you need a double shot of God, then I will be covering his follow up released in 1986, called 'This Town' and again this is another consistent performance, even a slight improvement. Rob also continued recording albums intermittently right up to the late 90's and like some many like-minded musicians in this field has continued his activities through being a worship leader and pastor. If you view this album with an open mind then you should enjoy it, really it's a quality release and can be played and enjoyed alongside any AOR or metal album of your choice whatever the underline connotations maybe, like in the same vein as I have always enjoyed an evening listening to the likes of White Heart and Mercyful Fate.>

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#1 | Eric on October 07 2012 15:23:37
Man, does this album cover scream 1984 or what! Lol!

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