Washes Whiter Than (Star Song SSR-0014) 1979
Uh-oh. I’m always skeptical when something is touted as “new and improved”, especially if I liked the original just fine. So what is this new Petra formula? If I had to sum it up in one word it would have to be “smoooooooth”. This is essentially a whole new band and new sound, any similarities to the first two lps having been completely obliterated. All rough edges have been hewn away in the gloss and Greg Volz has been enlisted full-time for lead vocal duty (a good move given the weakness of Hartman’s pipes). That’s not to imply that Petra’s least heavy album is bad. Although nothing really matches the raw energy found on albums one and two, ‘Morning Star’ and ‘Magic Words’ are both sturdy guitar-based tracks that manage to throw around some rock weight. And even though melodic pop-rock tunes tend to dominate the rest of the album, the songs are usually catchy and memorable. This album also introduced the first of several adult contemporary ballads in ‘Why Should The Father Bother’. Rad rockers will probably shake their heads when confronted with such ultra-mellow string-laden tunes as ‘Mary’s Song’ and ‘(Couldn’t Find Love) Without You’. I still like the old Petra better (there I said it), but taken by itself Washes Whiter Than can be fun and in my opinion it tops all their ‘80s arena-rock output. Oh yeah, the original cover has a slanted cut corner to make it look like a detergent box. “The active cleansing agent in this product is the Good News of Jesus Christ, which washes whiter than…” (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition).
A special thank you to Steve for fixing the front cover.
|Song #||Song Title||Time|
|1-2||Why Should the Father Bother||3:50|
|2-2||(Couldn’t Find Love) Without You||4:13|
|2-3||Taste and See||3:27|
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