343. In Your Face – Shout

IN YOUR FACE (1989)

Shout

Ah, when the world was all spandex and Aqua Net. Those were the days!

In the midst of a deluge of mediocre big hair bands on both the Christian and mainstream ledger, there were a few stand outs with exceptional songwriting, musicianship and production. Unfortunately the odds were never in the favor of the quality groups. For every impressive band like Shout there were far too many Strykens.

Ken Tamplin, the voice and mind behind Shout, will appear twice on this list with two different incarnations of relatively the same sound. No one in CCM came even close to duplicating Tamplin’s big voice, big guitar, big production or big hair. The second of the two Frontline released Shout albums, In Your Face was a tour de force for the genre and a true “Guitar Hero” fans wet dream.The inclusion of Joshua Galetta (Joshua) helped solidy the guitar chops and bring more consistent top notch lead guitar work and a blazing speed unmatched in CCM.

Nothing groundbreaking song wise as it fit in perfectly with all that was happening in music at the time with bands like Cinderella, Poison, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Van Halen’s more commercial sound that was developing. The memorable hooks and the band assembled and guest appearances are stunning. The title track features 400 of the greatest guitar gods in music history. OK, not quite 400, it only seems that way. The song does feature many of the LA scene’s finest guitarist performing quick leads lasting from 5 to 15 seconds. Make sure you listen with both headphones as the solos bounce back and forth between channels.

Tamplin set himself apart from the pack by being the finest songwriter in the genre and producing albums that were HUGE sounding. Layers upon layers of guitars and vocals were the trademarks for the band and this album was no exception. Tamplin never broke new ground topically, but that is not the point. he wrote memorable songs with strong messages for his particular audience while never sounding as simplistic and trite as his contemporaries.

Also unique is the absence of any real ballad that was almost a necessity in CCM. Rather the band simply featured what it was best at and ignored the limited radio play it would have received anyway. Waiting On You is the closest thing to a ballad and it is much heavier than what Christian radio at the time would ever touch.

When a particular style goes our of vogue and the pundits ridicule it based on the “cool factor” too often many great artists and their albums receive a critique clearly not deserved. Shout, especially here, deserves the recognition for creating great music, far above the level of their contemporaries, for the genre they are a part of. For that they are clearly worthy.

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  1. June 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I’m sure there are tons of negative posts about where a particular album should be placed in the list. And this one is no exception! I love this release from Tamplin. I remember buying it in high school on tape, and then buying a second copy of the tape that I kept in storage for when my first one got played to ribbons. Now, I have it on CD…and it’s in my itunes library.

    It’s one of my all time favorite albums

    • low5point
      June 7, 2011 at 6:15 am

      I liked Shout better when they were called Bon Jovi….

      Hence the placement

  2. John Rodermond
    March 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve always had a penchant for the loud guitars and big vocals of heavy metal as a genre but looking through my music collection, there is a noticeable lack of representation. Perhaps I never found a band that put it together in a way that I found engaging or if it is more of an indication that I am simply a cursory fan of the genre.

    What remains in my collection today from this period of music is the first two nationally distributed albums by Holy Soldier with the unhearalded Steven Patrick on vocals. I think his voice is why I’m still hanging on to them.

    I’m curious to see if either of those even appear on this list.

    Maybe if I had encountered Tamplin and Shout in the day, things may have been different.

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