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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Line Between the Two

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jun
The Line Between the Two
Sounds like … one of 4Him's signature singers without the onslaught of harmonies, suitable for fans of Phillips Craig & Dean, MercyMe, or Casting Crowns.At a glance … although unremarkable as adult contemporary pop, this side project from Harris is better than 4Him's recent albums thanks to more personalized songwriting.Track Listing For the First Time Carry the Light Hello to Goodbye Wish You Were Here The Line Between the Two Ordinary Life Find Myself in You Find Your Wings Speak to Me Until

4Him is responsible for Christian classics like "For Future Generations," "The Basics of Life," and "Where There Is Faith." But in their 15 years together, the four vocalists never had the chance to shine with their own individual sounds. That all recently changed with Andy Chrisman's sophisticated pop leap that stretched well past 4Him's more recent soggy outings. Now Mark Harrisis the next of the bunch to take the plunge, scoring a deal with INO Records for his personally slanted The Line Between the Two.

The lyricism distinguishes Harris here, as he sings about issues directly affecting him and his family instead of simply rehashing Christian generalities—a la 4Him. Case in point: the string-soaked ballad "Find Your Wings," written to his children as a basic blueprint for life's direction and the promise of unconditional love. Equally expository is the vibrant pop opener "For the First Time," which speaks of Harris wanting to abandon selfishness to better serve his faith and family. Another worthy mention is "Ordinary Life," a call to embrace the adventure of living the Christian experience to its fullest.

If only the music were equally strong. But much of it resorts to less interesting mediocrity. It's by no means as disappointing as, say, 4Him's Visible album, but songs like the languid ballad "Until," the slightly cheesy "Wish You Were Here," and the typical pop pretenses of the title cut just aren't distinctive or interesting; Chrisman, in contrast, found a way to liven up his sound for his solo effort. This album's messages are meaningful and 4Him fans won't be disappointed, but the overall results just don't set Harris apart from a long line of Christian AC pop soundalikes.

© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.