Larry Norman - 'Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: The Anthology'
I am, without a doubt, far removed from the audience for Christian rock. As close as I get to that genre is probably Johnny Cash's various gospel tunes. Given that context, I was pretty skeptical when the new Larry Norman anthology arrived in the mail. The man is called the "father of Christian rock," after all. I'll admit it was a pleasant surprise.
Rather than put the CD aside, I gave it a listen. Norman was obviously a talented man. The music on Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: The Anthology recalls a number of sounds from the 1960s and 1970s, rooted in the same ground as acts like Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, and (of course) Bob Dylan. Where sacred references pop up, they're usually incidental rather than overbearing. There's more swagger in Norman's music than I expected, and I truly wish that Christian rock had retained this direction as it developed in later decades. I won't claim everyone should run out and buy this anthology, but it's certainly worth a listen.
Larry Norman - Without Love, You Ain't Nothing (Righteous Rocker)
Larry Norman passed away in February 2008 and a documentary on his life is currently in production.