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SOUTHERN CROSS: "Take Me As I Am" from Christopher Cross like a summer dream

Christopher Cross Records
The latest album from recording artist Christopher Cross.
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ALBUM REVIEW: Christopher Cross – Take Me As I Am (Christopher Cross Records) 2017

It would be an understatement to say I was surprised when I came across a story in The New York Times yesterday regarding a flamingo, nicknamed “492,” that was discovered in a bay on the Texas Gulf Coast a month or so ago after having “flown the coop” at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita Kansas some 13 years earlier.

It seems that ol’ 492 made its way to warmer climes, and not too far from the coastal area of Texas where singer-songwriter Christopher Cross was inspired to write the 1980 classic “Sailing,” following a sailboat cruise out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, it was a bit of synchromysticism for this mad hatter. But hey, Christopher Cross has an undeniable magical quality, even if the Yacht Rock dudes imply in their online series that Cross is afraid of ghosts. I don’t think Cross is afraid of anything, really. And his upcoming gig with fellow Yacht Rockers Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald are evidence of that.

And why would I say that? Because he is true to himself, not following trends or expecting people to go with him down some experimental rabbit hole that leads to a proverbial, musical dead end.

Nope. That’s not our Chris. In fact, on his recently-released Take Me As I Am, the smooth-pop singer/guitarist even features a flamingo on the cover of this fantastic new record, one of the top albums spinning on repeat here in the offices of Red Dirt Report.

The native Texan, on guitar and vocals, has assembled a crack studio band that hearkens back to the salad days when "Sailing," "Arthur's Theme" and "Ride Like The Wind" were ruling the charts and his '79 debut Christopher Cross (the "flamingo" album) was practically everywhere, Take Me As I Am stays true to to the early, radio-friendly CC era without being too polished or cautious. 

Cross - along with bassist Will Lee, drummer Keith Carlock, keyboardist Eddy Hobizal and a host of backing vocalists including Gigi Worth ("Truth"), Erin Ivey ("Down To The Wire"), and Britt Savage, Kim Parent and Marcia Ramirez ("Baby It's All You") - offers up a musical buffet of smooth soft-rock and his trademark guitar and vocal style. 

As the press release attached to this new record notes, this album is a "hybrid of sorts," where the songs are essentially spacious and dream-like instrumentals, but with choruses that "create the lyrical landscape." And you know, it works! The entire album works as a single entity. It flows from beginnign to end and you don't want it to end. 

And from the first notes on "Haila," to the opening title track, the listener is immersed into Cross's distinctive musical style. All I can say is that a huge smile came over my face as I took in "Take Me As I Am." These songs will join the Christopher Cross classics we all know and love. Yes, it's that good!

Cross's mentor, Joni Mitchell, is in mind on "Roberta," which is a dedication to the Canadian singer-songwriter. And tracks like "Down To The Wire," "River of Tears" and "Alvah (In Memory of Rob Meurer)." Meurer was a longtime friend of Cross and it was his late friend who told Cross that singing, writing and recording is "what we do" as musicians. So despite the experience of recording Take Me As I Am was bittersweet for Cross, it was all a real blessing for the beloved singer and recording artist, known around the world.

Christopher Cross recorded Take Me As I Am at Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas, operated by former Contemporary Christian recording artist Billy Crockett, a native of Guthrie, Oklahoma. It was released in December 2017.

For more information on Christopher Cross's full discography, tour dates and what he's up to, go here.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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