Calling Richard Marx

Orbit (Christian Records)
Jill Parr

By Kory Wilcoxson

Jill Parr must be an Eighties male vocalist trapped in a woman's body. She scored her first hit on Christian radio with a cover of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," and now gives the same treatment to Sting's "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You." For the next album ... watch out Billy Ocean!

Parr does a good cover of what was always a bland song. The rest of the album is uneven, wavering between upbeat pop-rock and more traditional Christian Contemporary fare. The album kicks off in high gear with the title track, which features a bit of techno and some passionate singing by Parr. The bookend to "Orbit" is "Another Revolution," which wraps up the album with a surprising edge, elevating Parr's sound to the realm of Avril Lavigne.

In between those two is more adult-oriented fare, which pales significantly next to the alternative pop that surrounds it. Parr's lyrics are honest and vulnerable and probe some of the deeper questions about having faith in the midst of doubt ("Feel the Scars" is particularly good). Too bad the message doesn't have a more attractive medium.