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Allies - The River 1990


01. Take Me to the River

02. Carried Away

03. Mule-Headed Man

04. Someone to Turn To

05. Rock and Roll Angel

06. Burden Down

07. Requiem for the Living

08. Can't Stop the River

09. Island Song

10. Come to the Family


Bob Carlisle - Lead Vocals,

Bob Carlisle - Backing Vocals,Guitars

Randy Thomas - Guitars,Guitar Solos,Vocals

Jimmy Erickson - Drums,Vocals

Matthew Chapman - Bass,Vocals


When this first was released in 1990, plenty of folks still listened to vinyl records and cassette tape, meaning so many songs on Side 1, rest on Side 2. This Allies album, coming on the heels of the great "Long Way from Paradise" led you to wonder if they'd forgotten to write some great songs for the flip side.

Everything's fine through track 6, with Bob Carlisle and band delivering 3 straight rockers before slowing down to do the mandatory ballad for Christian radio. We can forgive them because "Someone to Turn to" (#11 Christian hit) is the best one they've done yet. It's right back to the rock for the self-celebrating "Rock and Roll Angel" ("He's like a freight train to the powers that be, Like Christ in the middle of the Pharisees, Just let him be..") and "Burden Down".

Then the wheels come off. "Requiem for the Living" serves as a prelude to the biggest mistake of the CD, the title track. "Requiem" is very nicely done acappella and prepares you for something really great, but "Can't Stop the River" doesn't deliver. The main problem is it's more than twice as long as it needs to be. Trimmed to 4 minutes, even with the intro, it would be much more powerful and be a plus to the release, but as it is, it sucks all the momentum away. "Island Song" is a cute novelty, kind of like "Don't Worry, Be Happy" but it's not something you'd want to hear often. "Come to the Family" is lackluster.

Best tracks on this are Memphis/Stax tribute (complete with horns) "Take Me to the River" (#20 Christian hit), "Carried Away", "Rock and Roll Angel" (although you could cut the final minute thirty of jamming and have a better song),"Burden Down" and "Someone to Turn To" (#11 Christian hit)

A great album filled with hard-hitting early contemporary Christian rock from Bob Carlisle. Yes, that's Mr. Butterfly Kisses himself. His early years exuded a very bluesy-rock sound, and his voice a mellow shriek-ish tone reminiscent of early AC/DC tunes. The music and words are all dedicated to God's glory, and the listener cannot miss the point. God is good! Pick one up if you find it used, as it has been out of print for years. Be sure to listen to the tracks "Take me to the River" and "Burden Down". By far the best two on the album.


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