Stations, by Derek Lind (New Zealand)

In 1994, an editor let me review this album for his Christian magazine “Reality”. I hustled him to review The Winans “All Out” but I did not succeed. He really wanted someone to review Derek Lind’s Stations album, so gave me the job. I was not that enthusiastic to do it. However, I pretty much liked Lind’s previous album Slippery Ground so had a connection. Lind is known in Christian circles for his unapologetic content.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers. 1994.

When leading New Zealand ‘underground’ artist Derek Lind performed at last January’s Parachute Music Festival he gave us a taste of his not-yet released new album. That Saturday night at the festival the atmosphere was electric, charge with anticipation—an atmosphere reflected in this album, which bubbles with poetic honesty.

As with his previous releases, Stations has a distinctly New Zealand flavour. Here that flavour comes through most strongly in “My Grandfather,” Derek’s engaging recollection of his personal heritage, marvellously captured, while “Ukulele” also embraces his Rarotongan wife Ra’s family heritage.

Yet Lind’s vision is international too. His travels with Tear Fund around parts of Asia have resulted in a number of powerful, poignant songs throughout the years.

Most of this continent’s inhabitants live with violence, oppression and poverty, making Derek’s lifestyle, as he says on the album jacket, seem “petty” and very comfortable. This is indicated in the beautiful song “Nothing Looks The Same,” written in Manila: “I get to fly away/You get to stay”—a powerful reminder of our privileged global position which digs deep at the soul. What could I do in their situation? Can I help them?

The song “Lightening Strike” adopts another familiar Lind line: the angry, voice-in-the-wilderness prophetic denunciation of the American Christian music industry, of people living double lives. Yet this voice is heard less often on “Stations”, which opts by and large for a quieter, more intimate atmosphere, more akin to the song “Picture” on his Slippery Ground album.

In “Ukulele” Derek sings, “This was going to be a picture, but it turned into a song.” Derek Lind, once an art teacher himself, paints a number of deftly sketched, sharply realized pictures on this album, portraying real life situations in a thoughtful, stimulating and challenging way.

A very accessible album with warmth, backbone and integrity.

Reviewed for Reality magazine.

Shouldn’t

I hate it when I get an infectious albums of songs but I don’t really, really like it much at all. That just flies in the face of all notions to actually buy the album and call it part of my collection. But one comes down on the side of common sense. My mind was wandering as I heard it, so I am adamant I shouldn’t buy this.

State

State of the world

Without you to say so would make a better world

What lies behind those words of yours?

Describing the effects of the fall in today’s world

Can you say it more honestly?

Until I know you mean it

And the hints of sincerity become

Soulful rhymes.

Maybe I should listen to a soul album instead.

One out of the bunch

Thinking I was some kind of expert on U2, with reviews of their early albums posted about two years ago, I realized that I did never like that much their early albums anyway. It’s okay for those kind of reviewers who can appreciate their early material, but it was The Joshua Tree (1987) that made me aware that were actually other U2 albums out there, not that these early ones resonated much.