Dana Key The Journey: Walking With Jesus
This is the first solo album that Dana put out after his time with DeGarmo and Key. While D&K was one of my favorite bands and I hated to see them putting out solo albums, I must say, I was greatly impressed by this concept album. DeGarmo’s solo albums were also good but that is another story.
Looking back, I can see why they decided to do solo albums. They each had ideas and musical concepts that did not fit well into the D&K mold they had created. They made records together after the solo albums so it certainly wasn’t personal differences, I think they saw a season for making solo albums and did it.
I don’t know if The Journey was the first concept album I ever heard, but it was definitely the first one I heard and paid attention to. He started with an old song by Larry Norman and added to it until he had a well developed album telling the story of the life of Jesus.
A few years later, Rich Mullins had the very similar idea and created The Jesus Record. Hasn’t there been enough interpretation and retelling of the story of Jesus (the Gospel or Good News)? I don’t think so; every artist and writer and reader brings something unique or original to the table.
I even think Jesus Christ Superstar brings something interesting to the table when it comes to story of Jesus – why didn’t he wait until there was mass communication, wouldn’t all our lives have been easier? But I digress, my thoughts on Jesus Christ Superstar as a musical and a retelling of the Jesus story could fill several posts.
There are so many good things about this CD: the train and train station pictures to illustrate the “journey” aspect of the songs, the detailed liner notes with scripture references for each song, the orchestrations that contemplate Dana’s guitar so well, and one of my favorite songs, Bow Down, which is written from Satan’s point of view when he tempts Jesus:
we’ll change your title to assistant king
don’t you agree it’s got a real nice ring
One thing I don’t tend to like in recordings is songs with dramatic readings. Most of these always seem a little over the top. There is one on this CD for the crucifixion. It’s not my favorite song but at least I don’t skip it like I do with other readings on CD’s.
There is a short prelude of the last track, Here, There, or In the Air, in the middle of the recording. Having it in the middle of the album reminds me that throughout his life Jesus told his disciples exactly what was going to happen – the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. And yet, they never seemed to completely catch on, but he still loved them and taught them. I pray he does the same for me because I know I don’t always catch on very quickly.
It seems this album is hard to find now – $40 used on Amazon. But if you get the chance to buy it or check out the music somewhere, it is definitely worth repeated listenings.