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Sacrifice (EP, UK)
Artist: Tony Cornish
Label: New Dawn Music 
Time: 4 tracks/

Although unknown to most North Americans, Tony Cornish is off to a bright start in his career as a singer-songwriter.  This 4-song EP is a solid introduction to the thought-provoking lyrics and Charlie Peacock-like sonic palette of Cornish's music.

Cornish, who plays guitars on this disc, moves a little bit forward sonically from his previous release, with the result being a fresher pop sound than the somewhat more formulaic sound of his debut album.  The lyrics, too, are timely, commenting on Western society with a perspective different from our often-narrow North American views.  The provocatively titled "Honest Injun" kicks off the CD with its cutting analysis of the fundamental corruption at the heart of most political systems.  "Ship of Fools" is a catchy number, and reminds the listener where we stand, as voyagers on what the world sees as the "Ship of Fools."

Interestingly, although the songs all address life from a Christian perspective, the lyrics are not overtly Christian, and the song "Swimming With Dolphins," in a fair world, would be a radio hit.

Now I want to be inspired.
I'd take it on with ease.
Now I want to be uplifted,
Out on the sea, out on the sea...
Swimming with dolphins.
The music and the words combine to give the image of someone striving towards hope, and yet not quite knowing the exact machinery on how to find such hope. "The final," title track combines the image of the canary in the coal mine with the day-to-day struggles of life.

This EP is reminds me of the venerable songwriter/singer/producer Charlie Peacock, both with regards to lyrical strength and song stylings.  If Peacock played guitar, his albums would likely turn out a lot like this one. True, there probably wasn't the sort of budget for this EP that Peacock would have had, but it stands as a testimony to the musical strength that Cornish displays.  All he has to do now is find some way of continuing in his strengths without turning into a clone of Peacock.

Alex Klages 10/17/99


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