Intimate Portrait 
Artist: Caedmon's Call 
Label: Warner Alliance 
After a quick trip through the sewers, this enhanced CD takes you on a tour of a Caedmon's Call virtual neighborhood, complete with the Houston skyline. This newest release contains five songs (two brand new ones), four of them presented with complete videos.  "Hope to Carry On" has already made it to the top of the video charts and has received a 1997 Billboard Music Video Awards nomination for "Best New Artist Clip" in the Contemporary Christian category.  This can be found by clicking on the guitar case (the guitar was painted by Jimmy A) which is in front of the art gallery.  One can view the video, strum the guitar, or hear the band members talk about the making of the video.  The art gallery includes past and present pictures of the various band members.  Background material on the band can be found on the side of the art gallery building.  
The other three videos are acoustic sets.  Each song is introduced by a band member.  One is "Piece of Glass," about a young woman's struggle with bulimia, another is "The Truth," and the last is "April Showers," which orginally appeared on Just Don't Want Coffee.  These first two are new songs.  Clicking on the sewer cover in the road will get you to these gems. 
Click on the bus sign and a Houston Metro bus pulls up.  Jump aboard and you can hear the various band members discuss their struggles and insecurites, and other reflections from a Christian perspective.  Click on the bus side, and there is a new banjo version of one of my favorite songs, "Bus Driver." 
This enhanced CD is well done but not ground-breaking by MTV standards.  It will only be available in Christian bookstores, and its $8.98 price tag makes it a great buy.  Look for it! -- Shari Lloyd 


Welcome to the neighborhood of Caedmon's Call.  Here comes the Houston Metro Bus!  Should we hop on and talk to the passengers or check out that gallery across the street?  Funny, this whole scene reminds me of a song. . . 

The latest release by Caedmon's Call is an enhanced, extended-play CD that includes a CD-ROM's worth of bells and whistles to accompany their down-to-earth, acoustic, college rock style.  The main interactive screen has lots of nooks and crannies to explore.  There's an art gallery of candid shots, and be sure to check out the guitar lying on the sidewalk in front of it.  Jimmy A decorated it, and the late Rich Mullins strums it in the first Caedmon's Call music video, Mullins's "Hope To Carry On."  Back on the street, there are three additional unplugged live numbers: "April Showers," "The Truth," and "Piece of Glass."  I almost overlooked the button for "Bus Driver," inconspicuously placed on the side of the Houston Metro bus before you climb on board.  It's the only number without footage of the band, but having to stare at the mundane side of a bus drove home the  message even more for me.  

The disk functions equally well in my CD player and mid-range Pentium computer, and a suggested retail price of $8.98 makes it a real value. Despite the high tech media, this is a solid project that captures the same essence that makes their live shows such a hit on campuses.--Linda Stonehocker 



Copyright© 1997 The Phantom Tollbooth