Dave DiMartino
August 23, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Go West Young Man

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Michael W. Smith
genre
Pop
We gave it a C+

The only way to tell that Michael W. Smith is ”the heartthrob of contemporary Christian music,” as his label calls him, is by taking a gander at the lyrics: If the capitalized Hims don’t give Smith away, phrases like ”the chalice of indifference” will. The harmless, mildly pleasant pop on Smith’s Go West Young Man isn’t really very different from much to the secular music you might hear on Top 40 Radio (as Smith’s album isn’t really very different from much to the secular music you might hear on Top 40 radio (as Smith’s hit ”Place in This World,” included on the record, has already proved). But in a way that fact makes Smith all the more subversive. I mean, a catchy song about a golden calf? If Smith leaned the other way — if he were a practicing satanist, say — he would’ve scared the wits out of Tipper Gore. And I know some un-born again parents who’d be equally horrified if their kids started using along with this in the car. C+

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