intelligent, heartfelt rock

Touch the Ground (Absolute!)
Paul Q-Pek

By Robert Gruber

It's hard to believe that this is the same Paul Q-Pek who led the zany Christian punk outfit One Bad Pig to CCM stardom. Where that band was all about aggression (both sonically and lyrically), Q-Pek's first solo venture is a subdued affair, leaning more on keyboards and harmonies than guitars and screaming.

The message is still aggressive, but more poetic. "Bring Jesus To Me" is a beautiful plea for Christians to evangelize: "We are feet, we are hands/We must do what love demands/And the world is crying, wanting to be free/Bring Jesus to me." Two songs, "If I Were President" and "Capitol Hill" show Q-Pek's concern that Christians look too easily to politics for help rather than to the One who controls all things. A cover of the Howard Jones hit, "Things Can Only Get Better," is a pleasant surprise. "Phileo" defines the love of Christ: "It's not animal, no not instinct/That tells you to turn the other cheek/Not from yourself alone, no not intellect/It was written on your heart."

Produced by former Prince guitarist Dez Dickerson, Touch the Ground also features guest vocals from Troy Johnson (on "All Over You"), and boasts a veritable who's-who of CCM studio talent. Hardcore fans of One Bad Pig expecting more of the same will not be thrilled with Q-Pek's new, low-key ways. However, fans of intelligent, heartfelt progressive rock, along the lines of Seal, Peter Gabriel and Sting, will love the airy, percussive sound of Touch the Ground.