336. What If – What If

WHAT IF (1986)

What If

After a short tenure for one of the greatest bands assembled in Christian Music History, The Front, the group reformed with a few new members under the moniker “What If” and released one album on mainstream label, RCA. And what an album it is!

Bob Wilson of Seawind and session singer phenom, Tommy Funderburk, formed The front with guitar great Dann Huff (Giant) and produced one of CCM’s best albums ever. They toured for a short while and disbanded. Two years later the primary members (Wilson and Funderburk) recruited a few Seawind member and enlisted young guitarist Michael Landau to join on the record. the latter was a great choice and the Toto-styled music fit perfectly with Landau’s blazing guitar work. Landua was the one responsible for the great guitar work on Leslie Phillip’s debut project.

The album is filled with straight ahead pop and rock tunes in the vein of Toto, Yes , Genesis and Ambrosia. Great hook filled rockers and stunning, memorable ballads. A great example of the latetr is the wonderful cover of Tonio K’s, Perfect World.

When it comes right down to it, though, the album, like The Front, is all about Tommy Funderburk’s voice. He is easily one of the strongest vocalist to ever appear in CCM and he carries every song with his emotive, scratchy and spot on style. He effortlessly belts out both rockers and ballads with similar passions.

One must not look for common evangelical themes here as this was an album directed to the mainstream audience. there are plenty of spiritual and Biblical themes, but one must think this is a record aimed at Christians. Along with themes of love and loss in relationships there are more social conscious and spiritual themes in One Look, What If, When Right is Wrong and Ride the Hurricane.

Funderburk later formed the band “King of Hearts” and has released a few projects under that name. he has also continued in the CCM world with appearances on several projects on backing vocals and his own work in worship music.

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  1. David
    November 3, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I completely missed this one. I’m going to have to find a copy somewhere.

  2. Tim
    November 18, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Can anybody point me to a way to hear this? I’m really interested!

  3. Brett C
    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Another great one, gotta love Tommy’s vocals.

  4. Liz
    March 29, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Aha…thanks for the tip on finding Tommy Funderberks’ music! Loved his voice and always loved the Front!

  5. November 18, 2012 at 2:08 am

    I guess the key to loving this and The Front is whether or not you are a fan of Funderburk’s voice, which I am not. Strong instrument but almost completely devoid of shades and emotion. Great back-up singer. Also…Toto and Ambrosia are the types of commercial, soulless groups that sent me scrambling to punk rock and stuff like the Talking Heads, Television, Squeeze, Costello, Graham Parker and Marshall Crenshaw..

  6. Tim
    February 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Phenomenal album that I thinks is stronger than The Front’s album. I really enjoy Funderburk’s powerful voice.

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