perhaps his best yet

Everything That's On My Mind (Sparrow)
Charlie Peacock

By Robert Gruber

Besides being perhaps the coolest male solo artist in contemporary Christian music, Charlie Peacock is also one busy guy, In the past couple of years, he's produced records by Cheri Keaggy, Out of the Grey, Margaret Becker and numerous others. In the process, he somewhat stied his own musical output since l992's successful Love Life album.

Until now. For I995. Peacock has put together a masterful combination of attitude and introspection on what may be his best album yet.

Possessing a voice that falls somewhere between Rod Stewart and Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, Peacock's sound is familiar and comfortable. Always good with the turn of a lyrical phrase, this time out he paints with hues and strokes that remind me somewhat of Paul Simon — except more direct.

"One Man Gets Around," the first single, is catchy and hummable, a tribute to Christ's universal appeal. "Inside Out, Upside Down" jams on a cool roots-rock riff, while Peacock's lyric decries man's wisdom as mere breadcrumbs compared to God's, "...and still we boast."

"Climb A Tree" is an oddly captivating piece, classic-rock guitars framing a humorous lyric about perspective. "Slippery Pearls," a smoky duet with Ashley Cleveland, contains the timeless message of "where your treasure lies...."

"My Father's Crown" is a beautiful elegy to Peacock's father, as well as a touching exploration of two sides of loss: grief ("Throw my hands up in the face of it all/So this is what it's like to be the child of a man who's dead and gone") and hope ("The next time I see him/It'll be in a different light/We'll look at each other And all we'll see is what's right").

Recently losing both his father (to whom this disc is dedicated) and longtime friend and singing companion Vince Ebo has forced Charlie Peacock to acquaint himself with hope in the face of tragic loss. Maybe that's why this isn't as sad an album as one might expect. The hope of Christ is a light that chases off even the darkest shadows of despair. And with Everything That's On My Mind, Charlie Peacock is able to fashion that hope into something tangible and cathartic.