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POP CAPSULES

Amy: Painless Gospel

May 05, 1986|STEVE HOCHMAN

The fact that Christian popster Amy Grant could fill the Forum is itself a milestone, even if the crowd's politeness seemed strangely disconcerting in this rock 'n' roll setting. But the commercial success of her mixture of modern gospel lyrics with secular pop proved the only truly ground-breaking element of Friday's show. The best spiritually based artists (Van Morrison, Al Green, et al.) lay out the pain of their struggle as well as the joys, taking you on the journey through the hellfire that led to their salvation. Grant's array of personal crises of love and belief, however, seemed more like heck -fire.

That aside, Grant's eloquent testaments of faith gained strength from her cheery, down-home persona and versatile voice. With solid backing from her seven-man band and three female singers, Grant showed she is as adept at mainstream arena pop as she has been at radio styles on her recent records.

Steve Taylor and Some Band opened with a spunky, clever set of new-wavish songs dealing with earthly as well as heavenly matters. Unfortunately, the sound mix obscured many of his pointed lyrics.

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