Save the Humans
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Sep
- Solid Rock
- Save the Humans
- Into Your Arms Again
- American Idle
- Throw It Away
- I Love to Tell the Story
It's not surprising that many aren't familiar with Ian Eskelin, but his voice and music have been prominent in Christian pop/rock for more than a decade. Some might remember him as far back as 1992, briefly playing with the dance rock band Code of Ethics. Shortly after that, Eskelin began a short-lived solo career as a synth-pop artist along the lines of Erasure and Howard Jones.
Then in 1997, he formed All Star United, embracing more of an upbeat British rock sound—best described as "Oasis meets The Monkees." ASU enjoyed a string of radio hits through the late '90s, but roster changes yielded the stale
Most welcome are Eskelin's sarcastic and provocative lyrics, which challenge and entertain in the same way that Steve Taylor and the Newsboys do. My favorite comes in the title track, a clever riff on humanity's fall from grace as an environmental issue: "We can purify the oily seas/We can empathize with manatees/Even chit-chat with chimpanzees/But we're still dyin' from a sin disease." With the bouncy "Throw It Away," Eskelin humorously reminds us that nothing else on earth is worth occupying our time more than God: "It's like the currency of Argentina/It's like the buzz about a dot com stock/I bought a lot of things to make me happy/I bought a lot of ways to belly flop."
"American Idle" satirically asks us what we're really worshipping in a culture often driven by fame and greed: "Disney's renting out my head/Hefner redesigned my bed/My conscience chimes in like a prize announcer/To tell me good times are ahead/I snuggle with my credit cards/I pray 'God bless the mega-stars!'" And in "Taboo," Eskelin takes a justified stab at the politically correct notion that faith shouldn't be discussed openly: "The ACLU say, when we sneeze, could we please drop the 'God bless you?'" It's a great song, though it becomes a little much when it steps into the absurd for the sake of a silly rhyme, like "I could kiss a kangaroo/Sic my Spitz on your Shih Tzu/No one blinks at anything I do/Until I claim the resurrection is true."
Fans may also notice a slight maturity in some of Eskelin's songs (but fortunately not