At age twenty-eight, singer-songwriter Christopher Cross literally took the music biz by storm in 1979 with the release of his self-titled, Top Ten debut. The record, Christopher Cross, went on to sell millions. It earned the San Antonio, Texas native an amazing five Grammy Awards and spawned four Top Twenty singles, including the #2 hit “Ride Like the Wind” and the #1 smash ballad “Sailing.” In 1981 he returned to the top of the charts with “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do),” the catchy theme song from the big screen comedy blockbuster Arthur. Although his 1983 sophomore effort Another Page failed to match the success of its predecessor, it still achieved platinum status — peaking at #11 and featuring the Top Twenty hits “All Right” (#12) and “Think of Laura” (#9).
Christopher Cross has enjoyed a somewhat less high profile career since his meteoric success of the early ’80s. However, in 2011, at age sixty, he’s back with a new record that’s worthy of note.
Offering exactly what fans would expect from a classic Christopher Cross record, the self-produced Doctor Faith is loaded with acoustic-based, catchy, hook-laden, Adult Contemporary ditties, but this time with a bit of an edge and definitely with something to say.
“Here’s a secret every old guy knows. Time goes by like you wouldn’t believe,” Cross offers seemingly to someone younger and with less life experience in the lyrics of “Hey Kid.” And with the brilliant guitar work of Eric Johnson, it makes for a fabulous opening track. “I’m Too Old for This” is reflective, sharing the personal social observations of an artist who’s grown and matured over the years. Other highlights include the heartfelt “When You Come Home,” “Leave it to Me” — a smooth and melodic throw-back to early ’70s soft pop — and “Help Me Cry,” which is simply a great song with a great chorus and tells a compelling story with an incredible guitar sound.
Oddly, the title track falls a bit short, despite Michael McDonald’s signature back-up vocals. And with its saccharine-like, Kenny G-type vibe, “Rescue” is another example of the record’s very few misfires.
Rounding out the thirteen-song set is “Prayin’.” With a beautifully personal spiritual message, it’s superbly written, produced, arranged, and performed, and is a powerful closer to a fantastic record.
Christopher Cross: christophercross.com