Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"

by Bruce A. Brown

CCM Magazine April 1986

Rich Mullins, known previously only as scribe to the likes of Benny Hester, Debby Boone, and Benny Hester, has released a doozy of a debut. Titled Rich Mullins, presumably so you won't forget who he is, this LP is proof that terrific writers often keep a few good tunes in their own hip pockets.

Happily, Rich has the pipes to go with his accomplished writing skills. Although not a dazzling singer, Mullins seems to know just how far he can reach without overstepping his range. Producer Reed Arvin provides Mullins with a pop/rock backdrop that enhances his energetic style.

The album's lyrical themse are built mostly around Mullins' paraphrase of the apostle Paul - "You should be glad you're alive, and look forward to being dead." Pointing up that creed is the dance/pop delight "Live Right" that features a cameo from Amy Grant. Mullins' music is nothing if not motivational and inspirational. "Nothing But A Miracle" says quite matter-of-factly, "I Believe You Can Do Anything If You Can Love." "Both Feet On The Ground" takes a more down-to-earth approach to that same subject as Rich muses, "I'm not head over heals, and I'm not on cloud nine. And I don't think love is blind." "These Days" laments the state of the world without sounding maudlin, and "Prisoner", a great tune built on a Police-type riff, emphayically states, "I'd rather be a prisoner of your love than the champion of my doubt."

By far, my favorite track on Rich Mullins is the album's closer, "Save Me." Over a circular synthesizer setting, Mullins implores the Lord to save him from, among other things, "any calue I can put a price tag on" and "trendy religion that makes cheap cliches out of timeless truths." Armed with an arsenal of spectacular songs and holding down the opening spot on Amy Grant's current tour, Rich Mullins should establish himself as a major presence in contemporary Christian music before too long.

Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"

Red Deer Advocate in Red Deer Alberta, Canada
May 31, 1986

Impressive Debut Album

Sources have pegged Rich Mullins as the next big thing. After all, hes another veteran of the Amy Grant fold, having written material for all three of her most recent LPs, and hes assisted on his debut album by the likes of Brown Bannister, Billy Crockett, Pam Mark Hall, parts of Whiteheart, and of course Amy herself.

These factors alone would seem to assure Mullins of at least an initial listen. However, theres a drawback in too much dust-raising publicity. Bloated expectations could lead to shattering disappointment. Thankfully, this is not the case with Rich Mullins.

While not possibly as extraordinary as the debut of Michael W. Smith, with whom hes most often compared, Mullins first outing is nonetheless wonderfully bright and promising. His zest is best magnified on the pop cuts, like A Few Good Men, Live Right, and Nothing But A Miracle.

In the ballad mode Elijah is a terrific balance of wistfulness and pure eternal joy. If given a chance to shed the Amy Grant f rat-pack image, Rich Mullins will be seen on his own merit as a talented voice and perceptive songwriter.

Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"

Cash Box February 15, 1986

Impressive Debut Album

Rich Mullins’ new self-titled and mostly self-penned LP is made up of fresh musical ideas and a soft rock style. “Live Right” which features an appearance by Amy Grant is inspiring; “A Place To Stand” is sure to cheer up anyone beaten down by the world, “These Days” describes how much we need Jesus now; “Elijah” addresses death and “Save Me” sums up Rich’s message. What a lyricist!

Rich Mullins "Rich Mullins"

Billboard "Picks" March 1, 1986

Impressive Debut Album

Not since Micheal W. Smith's debut release has an album packed as much punch, excitement, and overall energy as this one. Mullins is an excellent lyricist, and the production is superb. Look for this to be a sleeper hit in the gospel world. Best cuts include "Save Me," "These Days," and "A Few Good Men." Pop gospel at its best.