The Phantom Tollbooth
B Strong
Artist: Various
Label: Audience Records
Time:62 minutes/Single in 5 mixes with interview and testimony.

On Dec. 1, 1997 shots rang out in the school halls of Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky.  By the time the violence was over, 3 students were dead and 5 more were injured.  If not for the bravery of senior Ben Strong, perhaps there would have been more fatalities.  As a tribute to the victims and survivors of this tragedy, Audience Records has teamed up with several well known artists to produce "B Strong."  Written by Everett Darren and Dwight Liles and featuring such artists as Morgan Cryer, Al Denson, Michael O'Brian, Pam Thum,and Selena Bloom, "B Strong" is an anthem calling students everywhere to stand up for their Christian faith and lifestyle.

With a nice pop melody and catchy lyrics, the single should serve as a great theme song for the B Strong movement, a movement which seeks to help young people become strong in their faith through the testimony and witness of others.

      There's a voice of thunder raging
      In the empty streets
      If you're ready to take the stand
      Then get up on your feet
      Be Strong
      Don't be afraid
      You're right where you belong
      Keep holding on
      Be Strong
The single includes 5 mixes of the song.  Unfortunately these don't vary much one from another and make one wonder why so many are included. There is also an interview with Ben Strong, the student from Heath High School. Ben's words are inspiring and uplifting and are a great example of what God can do in one young person's life.  Also included with the CD is a response card so that students and adults can get more information on the B Strong movement.

With the violence that has occured in our high schools over the past few years, it is clear that something needs to change in our country.  This cd and the movement which it endorses are a great start.  But because the five mixes are so similar this single would perhaps onlybe a good investment if you're particularly taken with the song.

By Janet Friesen (11/15/98)