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Leslie Philips

January 6, 2007

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Most people’s impression of the Christian rock scene is of squares attempting to make hip music for squares, ending up with square music anyway. With Leslie Phillips’s second album Dancing With Danger on Word’s Myrhh label, that notion can be thrown out.

Leslie Phillips is on the cutting edge of the New Music. And she’s no square. If ever there was a Queen of Christian Rock, she’s it. She’s twenty-two, blond, hazel-eyed, lovely, and single, and her hair and clothing are in up-to-date California youth style – sort of a conservative Stevie Nicks. She’s definitely a rock scene person. Yet she has an innocent quality about her, just what you would expect of a young Christian woman.

Phillips, the sole author of every song on the new album, displays a considerable command of the contemporary rock idiom. “I write lyrics that mirror reality and cut to the heart of people’s problems. They don’t just give pat answers,” she says.

The music is right, and it’s recorded with the right people. Dancing With Danger, produced by Dan Posthuma, was engineered by Jeremy Smith, known for his recent work on Phil Collins’s single Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), on the Jacksons’ Victory album, and with the Commodores and Neil Diamond. Dancing With Danger was mixed by Bill Schnee, one of the busiest mixing engineers in Hollywood. Schnee has worked with Toto, the Pointer Sisters, Chicago, Carly Simon, Boz Scaggs and Ringo Starr. The resulting sound is an avant-garde pop New Wave sound, similar to that of the Eurythmics and Pat Benatar – heavy on electric guitar and synthesizers. It is every bit as compelling and competitive as anything on the market.

According to Phillips, Dancing With Danger, is about “how people flirt with sin.” Sin? Many would argue that rock music, particularly New Wave music, is sin itself, and even more so if it sounds like something kids will listen to.

“Honestly, you don’t have to be weird to sing rock,” says Phillips. “Just because I do Christian rock, that doesn’t mean I eat nails for breakfast. Most people’s conception of Christian rock is based on their ideas about non-Christian rock bands and performers, particularly the hard, or `heavy metal’ bunch. My music isn’t like that at all. I’m into communicating God’s love to young people in a way they can understand.

“I’m using the New Music form to deal with issues that concern young people. Dancing With Danger refers to the way young people, particularly Christians, dabble in sin. For example my song I Won’t Let It Come Between Us deals with keeping sin from separating us from God. Light of Love deals with premarital sex, and offers a totally different solution than you’ll get from today’s records or TV. My music encourages 100 percent dedication to the Lord.

“I plan to spent the next several years traveling and performing,” says Phillips, “until the Lord says ‘enough’ and moves me on to a different ministry.”

Harpers

Similar Artist : Stevie Nicks

Sam Philip’s Myspace

Audio Sample : 90 seconds

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2 comments

  1. Sam Phillips is fab. I love her Entertainment record (i think thats what it was called)


  2. The Turning, her last recording as “Leslie”, is truly one of the underappreciated gems of 1980’s Christian music, or all of Christian music in my opinion. An unflinching look at the hypocrisy in the Christian world and music industry, it is musically and lyrically complex and at the same time draws you in to some beautiful moments. Give it a listen if you haven’t heard it.



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