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237. Flowers in the Rain – Mad At The World

FLOWERS IN THE RAIN (1988)

Mad at The World

After the initial success of the debut album from MATW, the band followed up with “Flowers in the rain,” that, though still utilizing the keyboard synth sound of the debut, comes off a little more organic and rock driven with more of an emphasis on guitar. The album also featured superior songwriting and more diversity.

The first track, Fearfully and Wonderfully, sounds the most like the debut while the title track that follows uses electric guitar as the primary instruments and hints at a direction change that would dominate several of the following releases.

Lyrically the band here began to explore a common theme of reaching out to those on the fringe and disenfranchised. Self-image and the need to discover where true self-esteem comes from would dominate the messages on this album (and others as well).

“Why” deals with the above in a more questioning manner than some were comfortable with and I remember some bookstores questioning the songs ultimate message. Of course them missed the point is that the Church (and those that make up the Church) are as guilty of the sin of ridicule those who are different and causing the disenfranchising as the world is.

The album also separates itself from other MATW album with use of the acoustic piano and ballads. “No Mistakes” looks at the issue of abortion in a beautiful and haunting musical backdrop. “I Don’t Want To Go There” incorporates the acoustic guitar and Bowie-ish style that would come back toward the end of the MATW recording history.

The final track, “Dancing On Your Grave,” is more Undercover and Billy Idol than Depeche Mode and possibly one of the best songs in the MATW catalog. More aggressive vocally and heavier musically than anything else on the album, it clearly points to a musical direction that would be explored on the following releases. Ultimately it’s the diversity on the album that makes it suck a treasure and strong release.

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  1. Kit
    November 29, 2011 at 6:50 am

    As a 17 year old kid, I can remember hearing “Dancing On Your Grave” for the first time in a friend’s car. It was the first time I can recall hearing a CCM artist and feeling like I was hearing something fresh and exciting.

  2. John Rodermond
    March 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I’m not surprised to find MATW on this list. Their debut wasn’t really unique or original in the common marketplace but there was almost nothing like it in the CCM market at the time and deserves to be acknowledged in a list like this.

    But this is my first real snarl with the list because for a band that seemed like they couldn’t decide on a musical style and stick with it they always came across, at least to this listener, as trying to be somebody else. Maybe the beginning of that perception was when I learned that the British accent was simply an act. To find BOTH of their ‘techno’ era recordings here and placed higher than some more well deserved work is my first real objection to placement.

    In a relatively short career of extreme musical changes between albums they guys never seemed to have something of their own sound. The follow up to Flowers in the Rain, “Seasons of Love” is a phenomenal album but it was such a bizarre shift from what we’d come to expect that it abandoned one audience in favour of another.

    In the end, I actually prefer “Seasons of Love” and “Through the Forest” to their techno stuff and can’t bear “The Ferris Wheel” or “Dreamland Cafe.”

    I don’t know much of the Rose brothers’ story but found they came across like a couple of church kids trying to sound like bad boys, albeit somewhat reformed, and it screamed counterfiet to me. Ultimately, I get the feeling it was all an act. I found that sentiment most apparent with Randy Rose’s side band at the time ‘Rose’ which sang about a hard, wild and reckless lifestyle without any real substance revealed by an experience of and release into freedom with Christ. Much of which I couldn’t personally identify with.

    Every MATW album certainly has its own appeal but their catalog of music really doesn’t flow or have any continuity. When they ‘covered’ their own music in a new style on subsequent albums it always felt like, “Oops. We did it wrong the first time.”

    Talented? Probably. Unique? Not consistently. Legitimate? Maybe. Top 500? I think so.

    • low5point
      March 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      I have found their first two releases to be the most authentic for the band. the follow-ups were contrived at times to me and didn’t feel original. Though Randy’s later music would testify to the fact that at least he was going in the direction of darker and heavier music.

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