The World as Best as I Remember It, Vol. 1

by: Rich Mullins

This dynamic album comes marks the beginning of Mullins' collaboration with the one-named Beaker. For the most part, this is a great album with wonderful hammered dulcimer passages ("Calling Your Name") and brilliant songwriting ("Jacob and 2 Women"). But clocking in at just over 36 minutes with one song that is practically on there twice leaves the listener wanting a little more -- particularly when there is obviously a Vol. 2 somewhere else. Also, the string arrangements here are unusually sappy ("The River"). Still, the great moments far outweigh the weak ones, so the overall feel of this album is positive. "Jacob and 2 Women" is rich with great wordplay and a passion for human emotions -- easily the strongest moment here. It probably would have been best to trim the fat from Vols. 1 and 2 and issue one big, strong album. ~ Mark W.B. Allender

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