Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 110. Love In the Western World – Steve Scott

110. Love In the Western World – Steve Scott

LOVE IN THE WESTERN WORLD (1983)

Steve Scott

When Exit Records was introducing the “Sacramento scene” to the rest of the CCM world the 77’s, Vector and Charlie Peacock were the names at the top of the alternative music fan’s list. Then along came this British poet who wrote a handful of songs for those above. And, all of sudden, there was “art” in the heart of the rock.

Brilliant. Thoughtful. Weird.

Immediately labeled a Christian Bowie (which was totally unfair as only a few songs would fit that comparison) as a result of the British sounding baritone vocals, there was much more Roxy Music and Police influences to be found. The latter influence may have had more to do with producer Steve Soles (Alpha Band, T-Bone Burnett) than on account of Scott himself.

Many of the eight songs on the album delivered a very strong commercial, alternative rock similar to the sounds on mainstream and college radio at the time. Most notable in this category are Tower of Babel, No Time Like Now, Flesh and Blood and the wonderful title track.

Other songs were a bit more adventurous. “Wall of Tears” is a slow building and droning song that feel more poetic release than pop tune. Drums and keyboards create an eerie atmosphere until the second half when Michael Roe’s creative and stark guitar playing increases and ignites the energy.

Walking on Water wasn’t Built in a day is the one Police sounding number with the reggae rhythm driving the verse structure. “Safety in Numbers,” much like Wall of Tears sports limited musical support and focuses on the poetic drive of the song. All the while there is a real “musical” sense to even the most adventurous tunes.

Then there came “This Sad Music.”

Several friends despised the whole album because of this one song. Accompanies almost exclusively by the lower end of an acoustic piano, Scott recites a poem on the human condition and the Gospel’s attempt to break through the walls of hardened hearts, destined for a self-devised spiritual suicide.The Gospel is limited by a true and authentic presentation and those that embrace it are fooled into believing it is real because of the experience.

One mans junk is another man’s treasure clearly here as I am moved to contemplation with every listen. Difficult and brilliant.

Scott would go on to create even more brilliant music in his career as will be discussed later, but here it is important to recognize the significance of the artist and this particular album. Art has never been an integral part of the CCM mainstream scene and those who dare break the Nashville rule of “lowest common denominator” are often ostracized, ignored and marginalized. Scott refused to be a part and for that his fans are grateful. As a result some amazing music and art has been created.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    March 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    “As a result some amazing music and art has been created.” And ignored, which is a damn shame.

  2. Don
    April 8, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello…….

    Great album

  3. Greenchili
    January 7, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Not a half bad album!

  4. J Hanson
    April 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I got this one soon after it was released. Nothing like it at the time. Some of the songs hold up.

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