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THEM (1996)
Them - Click to view! With the exception of their "best of" album The Late, Great PFR, and their cameo in the recent Roaring Lambs project, Them was the last studio album PFR recorded before calling it quits. A milestone in Christian rock, Them features some of the best music of the 90s decade, still a fresh experience despite being a few years old. Sadly enough, the album has been overlooked by many.

The overall theme that PFR tries to pull across the span of the disc is spirituality vs. the material culture--being in the world and not of it. Many tracks on the disc reflect this theme, such as "Daddy Never Cried," which is an edgy rocker about putting away foolish pride, and "Fight," a rhythmic story about a girl who turns back to the Savior she had once forsaken. "Tried to Tell Her" could easily be the sequel, as PFR explains through crunchy guitars and stellar vocals that seeking repentance isn't as hard as many people make it out to be. The title track is astonishingly slower and carries an eerie message about how the world has manipulated the way we think: "They tell us what they want us to hear / They patronize our aching ears." In spite of this, "Kingdom Smile" offers gleeful hope, rejoicing in the fact that Jesus has already won the battle. "Pour Me Out" is the opener of the album that demonstrates exactly how hard PFR can rock and asks God to empty us and fill us with Himself. The nonchalant "Ordinary Day" is filled with an entourage of string instruments that serve some beautiful accompaniment to the not-so-ordinary message: every day is a blessing from God, so use it wisely. The remainder of the CD reveals the more passionate side of PFR and slows things down to a crawl. The mellow, country sounding "Face to Face" describes the intimate joy found in seeking God, while "Anything" serves as PFR's mission statement. The lyrics sound like a reflection of "The Heart of Worship" and carry the same reminder that a song is just a song without something behind the words. Track #5, "Line of Love," is self-explanatory, telling listeners about the lifeline that God gives us directly to Himself. "Say" is a rather abrupt break from the original sound of the disc. It resembles a Beatles-esque tune and pleads to God for words of comfort and healing in our hard times. Finally, "Garden" brings the masterpiece to a close. We as humans are the figurative "garden" with Jesus, the Living Water, bringing us life and love. The music eventually decrescendos down to one, final note, and there concludes PFR's run in the Christian music industry.
- Rick Foux
September 2000
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