In barely three years, Steve Taylor had cut an EP, two full-length albums, and a short live album. He was known throughout the Christian community (and to some degree, outside of it) as a young, witty rock star who combined clever lyrics with an ability to turn his satire on targets within and outside the church.
However, by 1986, Steve was ready to take a slightly darker approach to his music and recorded the album I Predict 1990. However, his record company at the time, Sparrow, decided that the album was not exactly what they wanted out of Steve and graciously let him out of the contract. Finally, after a year's delay, I Predict 1990 was released by Myrrh Records in 1987.
The album starts off with one of the most controversial songs in Christian music history, "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good," where Steve sings from the point of the view of a disgruntled ice cream truck driver who wants to bomb an abortion clinic because he is afraid a lack of kids will eventually push him out a job. The song was misunderstood and hated by almost everyone. Many (who probably did not listen to the lyrics), thought that Steve was advocating bombing abortion clinics. Apparently these critics missed the crucial line "the end don't justify the means anytime." The song and the surrounding controversy caused Steve to take a few years off from the music business.
The rest of the album, while not as controversial, is just as stellar. "What is the Measure of Your Success?" and "Since I Gave Up Hope, I Feel a lot Better" criticize the contemporary attitude of business and academia. WARNING: many of the songs are sarcastic, that is written from someone's point of view in order to discredit that point of view. For instance, the song "Since I Gave Up Hope, I Feel A Lot Better" contains lines like, "Ideals? Uncouth! / Fatalism needs youth. And don't forget the best advice / Everybody's got a price." Personally, I find the satire and humor a quite refreshing alternative to most CCM lyrics, but it might not be for everyone.
The final song on the record, "Harder to Believe Than Not To," takes a shot at those who discard faith as soon as they begin to doubt, and reminds the listeners that discipleship is not easy; there is a price to paid for following Christ, but in the end, it's worth it.
Musically, the album is steeped in the 80's synthesizer rock, but incorporates horns, punk, and elements of alternative rock that would define the albums Chagall Guevara and Squint. While it may sound a little dated, it is certainly more accessible than I Want to Be a Clone or On the Fritz. It is out of print, but Steve has said in public that he has no problem with people getting his stuff off the internet, so a quick search should turn up quite a few links.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 2/24/05, written by Robert Gibbs for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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