John Elefante – Windows Of Heaven [1995]

JOHNELEFANTE_JE

This is more likely to suite the Contemporary Christian Music crowd than that of the rock fans who know him from Kansas, but I, despite fitting into the latter category, was curious all the same. After putting his solo career on hold to serve as producer to artists including Greg Long and Petra, singer and songwriter John Elefante recorded his debut project Windows Of Heaven in 1995. A combination of CCM, pop and rock, the album showcases the vocal intensity and passion of Elefante.

Despite being released in 1995, this sounds like it’s right out of the 80s. It is essentially an album of power ballads, only to God. Though this genre is not my cup of tea, I’ll give it to John for following his convictions so single-mindedly. The element that actually changed in Elefante’s music is his singing. He no longer sings like he’s trying to show off, but instead, gives a somewhat deeper, more restrained, and far more passionate vocal performance. Each song is carefully crafted song-orientated, sophisticated, soft rock with the fine production one has come to expect from Elefante brothers.

Musically, it skips styles from catchy pop rockers through to some of the best rock ballads you could hope to hear. One of those ballads, “That’s Why God Made The Moon”, had me reaching for the repeat play button on my cd player because it is simply gorgeous! Pure poetry, a piece of directing a drama Tech, where the sax boost the voice of John singing and moist, while piano and violin combine perfectly with the chorus. The are times when you cannot avoid being gobsmacked by Elefane’s

singing but that’s only half the story. Elefante’s songwriting is excellent. “This Is What Love Is” and “No One’s Ever Died For Me Before” talk of grace and forgiveness. The opening song “Hello My Good Friend” is a very good and catchy pop-rock tune that includes gospel and a little of the underlying colors with great string arrangements, while the title track “Windows Of Heaven” is a song of medium pitch tone. You can realize that it is great that John melody maker however, a surge in aid to show where ordinal is allowed to say things have been proven to provide music to produce a number of artists. The pop tune that introduced a bold horn section “Hold Me In Your Arms (The Prodigal)” has just launched a process, that you will definitely love and easily can be a hit in a radio station. “What If Our World” looks at how we would survive without God, with a passionate melody, while “Take Me To The River” is a stand-up melody hard to feel unique among the songs of John. “Lay Down Your Life” and the ballad “We Will Find Our Way” finish off the album, where John sings in a very simple-tone yet very expressive and heartfelt way.

This is more than a rock album because Elefante throws so many different elements into the pot, a dash of gospel backing vocals here, a dollop of horns there and it all sounds like a recipe for success to me. Any fan of John Elefante will certainly appreciate this album.

Band Members
John Elefante – Vocals, keyboards, percussion
Dino Elefante – Acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Wayne Aames – Slide guitar
J.R. Mcneely – Bass, acoustic guitar
Glenn Pierce – Guitar
John Pierce – Bass
David Raven – Drums
Harlan Rogers – Piano
John Schreiner – Keyboards, piano
Michael Thompson – Guitar
Greg Vail – Saxophone
Rick Will – Percussion
Scott Williamson – Drums
Jamie Wollam – Drums
Vangie Archer – Backing vocals
Jeff Gunn – Backing vocals
Natalie Jackson – Backing vocals
Darlene Koldenhoven – Backing vocals
Geary Lanier – Backing vocals
Olivia McClurkin – Backing vocals
Alphie Silas – Backing vocals
Rose Stone – Backing vocals
Sara Tennison – Backing vocals
Tina Vallejo – Backing vocals

Tracks
01. Hello My Good Friend
02. Windows Of Heaven
03. This Is What Love Is
04. What If Our World
05. Hold Me In Your Arms (The Prodigal)
06. No One’s Ever Died For Me Before
07. Take Me To The River
08. That’s Why God Made The Moon
09. Lay Down Your Life
10. We Will Find Our Way

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