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Defying Gravity
Artist: John Elefante
Label: Pamplin Music
Length: 10 tracks - 48 1/2 minutes

John Elefante tells an interesting story about the making of his latest CD Defying Gravity.  It seems that an old acquaintance called John and told him that he'd had a dream in which the two had been walking through John's house when they noticed a crack in the foundation.  The friend thought the dream was somewhat prophetic and told John that he should check his house's foundation.  After the discussion, God showed Elefante that the crack was not in the physical foundation of his house, but rather in the foundation of his relationship with the Lord.  Elefante says that he realized that he had not really been giving his music totally to God.  The result of this revelation is Defying Gravity a collection of 10 songs in which Elefante renews his commitment to serving God and putting his total trust in Him.

Since his days with the rock band Kansas, Elefante has been making music that is bold and dramatic.  Electric guitars combine with soaring strings creating musical pictures that sweep across the imagination.  His work, however, lacks the edge of such great progressive rock bands as Yes or even Iona.  Unfortunately what we're left with is merely overproduced pop music with vocals that often sound strained.

Lyrically there is some interesting and pointed stuff here.  In "If You Just Believe," he sings "There's not a word I want to say, there's not a song I want to play if it's not for You.  There's not a step I want to take, there's not a morning I want to wake, if it's not for You."  Clearly, Elefante's encounter with God has left him a changed man.  The title song talks about about the dichotomy of lowering ourselves so that God can raise us.

     And when I kneel before You I'm defying gravity
     And when I let You take control then I'm defying gravity
     And when I stop giving in to the pull of this world then I'm defying gravity
     And when I'm bruised and I'm torn, I let you pull me up
     Then I'm defying gravity.

Elefante's lyrics continually stress the need to trust in the love of Jesus and the comfort and peace that this can bring--a good reminder for all of us.

This is classic pop--catchy tunes and jangly guitars.  The pretensions toward more spoil the enjoyment of this project.  Elefante is hoping that his next cd will be a real hard-driving rock record.  He says he misses the Zepplinesque riffs and wants to do something really edgy.  Having missed the mark here, perhaps he'll be able to cross that line next time.

Janet Friesen 2/24/2000


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