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Michael Gleason - Children Of Choices 1990 / HTF


01. Children of Choices

02. Western World

03. Feeding The Fire

04. One Breath Away

05. Don't Give Into The Night

06. True to Myself

07. Life On the Line

08. Nature of The Beast

09. Front Page News

10. Heart of Stone


Michael Gleason - Lead And Backing vocals

Michael Gleason - keyboards, Guitars

Sonny Lallerstedt - Lead Guitars

Scott Meeder - Drums

John Elefante - Backing Vocals

Terry Brock - Backing Vocals, Additional

As much as I enjoy Lofcaudio , the second Mastedon release on Pakaderm , this Children of Choices CD by Michael Gleason (co-produced by Mastedon 's John Elefante and his brother Dino) is my favorite Pakaderm label release. If you took the more mannered side of Mastedon ("This is the Day", "Living for You", "Life On The Line", etc.) and added elements of Halo and mid-80's A.D. , the end product would be this AOR masterpiece from 1990. EVERY song on this CD is brilliant, and the backing vocals of Terry Brock ( Strangeways, Giant ) on "Western World" only put polish on an already perfect diamond. John Elefante's backing vocals are very prominent on this CD as well. Easily in my Top 5 Christian AOR CDs ever... right up there with Lofcaudio , Battle Cries ( The Brave ), Beyond Belief ( Petra ), and the aforementioned Halo debut.

Michael Gleason's first solo effort after the demise of AD, Kerry Livgren's post-Kansas Christian band, is very solid yet eclectic in approach. After sharing lead vocal duties on AD's 1984 Time Line and 1985 Art of the State, Gleason became the sole vocalist on AD's 1986 Reconstructions with the departure of vocalist/woodwind player Warren Ham. Those that expect the same smooth, fullness with Gleason's voice from his AD days are in for a pleasant surprise, as the songs on this CD are more edgy and approach more of a jazz-pop feel. The song, "One Breath Away," comes closest to the AD sound, whereas the rest of the songs vary from pop, jazz, and even light "metal." Gleason plays keyboards on his album, and he is accompanied by John Elephante (former Kansas lead vocalist), who shares both backing vocals and production duties.

If you are a die-hard AD or Kansas fan, you will want this release in your collection; however, if you are unfamiliar with Gleason's work, you will want to give it a few listens to let the message behind the music sink in, I already had 2 of Michael Gleason later produced CDs and was now happy to learn about an older Gleason production Children of Choices. This artist is really underestimated. His texts, music and singing brings much joy and blessing to me / This is absolutely fantastic stuff!! Michael is a world class singer, and the songs are brilliant. You wouldn't know it to listen to the songs that this is actually a Christian cd. The lyrics are not in your face religious. The songwriting is so good here, and the musicians are so tight and right on, that it just took my breath away. Truly a very talented singer and songwriter. I wish there was more from Michael.


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