All I Need Is U 
Artist: VU 
Label: Bartholomew Productions 
by Jeremy Choi 

Holy 80s retro-rock, Batman!   Haven't heard this kind of stuff in a long time! 

Specifically, this kooky writer is describing VU's current album All I Need Is You.  This five-man outfit from Oregon first formed in 1986, broke up shortly after graduating from high school, and re-formed in 1995.  They play a brand of rock which is clearly influenced by 80's anthem & arena rock.  VU bears an uncanny musical similarity to Def Leppard, both in the vocal delivery of Bart Haferman and in the arena guitar-rock sound, and appear to have strong Bon Jovi influences.  Fans of Bloodgood and Nouveaux will enjoy this album immensely, as will anyone who enjoyed 80's rock bands like Europe. 

One of the more notable songs is "Love of Jesus."  Break out the lighters, boys and girls, this is one of those beautiful "power ballads": 

    Everywhere I go You're right by my side 
    I take all my cares to You, cause your arms are open wide 
    My troubles fade when I seek your face 
    I am surrounded by all of your grace
This is a very ministry-driven album.  Many of the songs are simple praise and worship rock songs and would fit quite nicely beside Petra and Whitecross tracks.  "Who Will It Be?", a catchy, all-acoustic number, describes making a choice to follow God.        

One of the notable weaknesses on this album is the fact that there is excessive talking between many of the songs.  Of course, some may argue that these conversations reveal the personalities of the musicians and the relationship they have with one another, but these six conversational interludes break the cohesion of the eight songs, and as a result may also detract from enjoying this album from a musical perspective on a collective level.   

However, to its credit, the production is very good, allowing for clear sonics and crisp guitars, and allowing the music to be prominent for the listener.   

For ordering information, write: 

Bartholomew Productions 
51908 SW 4th 
Scappoose, OR  97056 U.S.A. 
(503) 543-7664