10 Albums, 10 Days: Go West Young Man

I got tagged on Facebook to do this project – share ten albums that greatly influenced my taste in music. One album per day for ten consecutive days. In theory for the Facebook version this is supposed to be without explanation… but I want to explain! So I’m going to blog the explanations here.

This one’s kind of embarrassing so I’ll get it out of the way early in my series. As I noted yesterday, my early music was mostly classical. But 1990 was a significant year for me. I turned 13. My family moved from Nebraska to Texas. And somewhere along the way, I bought my first Christian pop album – Michael W. Smith’s Go West Young Man.

Listening back to it now, it’s not great. Definitely not MWS’ best record, and not my favorite of his as I look back on his discography now. But for 13-year-old me, it was groundbreaking to get into pop music. Electric guitars. Power ballads. An inadvisable rap verse to Love Crusade. I learned the ballads on the piano. My mother despaired for a while that I would just try to sound like MWS instead of finding my natural singing voice.

Sooner or later I’d get past the singing voice, but 30 years later I’m still singing at the piano. And if for some reason I stumble across the unmistakable first two chords from Place In This World, I’m suddenly back in 1990.

Listen to the album on YouTube

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