Definitive Collection (Alarma/KMG Records)
Michael Knott/LSU

By Robert Gruber

This 15-song CD is about 50 songs shy of being a "definitive collection," but it's still a good, representative slice of Michael Knott's musical life from the past decade-and-a-half. Knott has been a driving force in Christian alternative since way before there even was such a thing and has released his music under numerous identities, most notably under the name L.S.U. (Lifesavers Underground).

Because so many of Knott's albums are out of print, it's a treat to have songs like "The Bomb" and "Wakin' Up the Dead" on CD. There are also selections from L.S.U.'s ground-breaking '87 album Shaded Pain as well as a couple of newer songs ("Miss Understanding," "Good-byes").

Stylistically, he runs the gamut from Modern English-sounding Europop ("She's on Fire") to Cure-like Goth ("Bye Bye Colour"), folky guitar-driven rock ("Rocket and a Bomb") to funky glam ("Crash," "Tattoo"). Binding it all is his dark, emotive singing voice and unique, observational lyricism.

The true Knott/L.S.U. fan won't need Definitive Collection because he or she most likely has all the albums already, but for the uninitiated, this disc is a great place to start getting into one of rock 'n' roll's best, most under-appreciated artists. (See Michael Knott live in concert at Highland Community Church, Sat. Feb. 26)