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Greg X. Volz - No Room in the Middle (1989)


Published on may 5th, 2023 | by Jeff Miller

Style: AOR
Release date: 1989
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cassette
Tracks: 10
Label: River Records (US) | Spark Music (Europe)

1. Walk Toward the Light
2. No Room in the Middle
3. Love Moves in a Different Circle
4. The Carpenter
5. I'm Yours
6. Servants and Witnesses
7. Feelings
8. Frontline
9. Gethsemane
10. Waiting on Someday

There are many albums out there that have not gotten quite the credit they deserve, and Greg X. Volz’ third offering, No Room in the Middle, seems to fit that category.

At the time it was released, it had gotten some recognition, a decent place on the charts and some songs that got good airplay; but when it comes to “what’s your favorite Greg Volz album?” rarely is this even mentioned as a contender (it’s usually either his first, The River is Rising or his second, Come Out Fighting album may be ). But this oft-forgotten due to a somewhat independent and short-live label, River Records (if I remember correctly, it was Greg’s brother’s label), which probably didn’t have the promotional or distributional push behind it that Volz’ former Myrrh records had.

Regardless of being a smaller label, No Room in the Middle has a good production quality, in-part due to former Petra producer Jonathan David Brown once again at the helm (he produced Volz’ first solo project as well). This 1989 release is a little more toned down than what some Petra fans might have wanted for a Volz album, perhaps another reason why it’s not often the biggest fan favorite. In fact, the album starts with a ballad, “Walk Toward the Light,” then onto a mid-tempo stomp for the title track.

Track three gives us true 80s pop with “Love Moves in a Different Circle,” and if it were polished a bit more, could have been a contender for secular radio. Side 1 closes with two nice ballads, “The Carpenter” and “I’m Yours,” both ripe for Christian radio, but with a somewhat odd (but in a good way) melodic flair.

Side 2’s opener, “Servants and Witnesses” is another pop song that grooves along pretty well, and then we get another oddly melodic tune (in a good way), “Feelings,” which has sort of a funhouse feel to go with the circus lyrical imagery:

Been on this rollercoaster too many days
Riding in a circus of emotion
I get up on the high wire
Then down in the lion’s cage
My feelings have been ruling my devotions

I feel like a strong man, I feel like a clown
I let my feelings push me up and down
Who can help me off this merry-go-round?
And tell me what is real?
Can I trust what I feel?

Feelings come and feelings go
But feelings are so deceiving
I’ll place my faith in the Word of the Lord
Nothing else is worth believing
Oh, nothing else is worth believing

From there, we get the album’s most rocking tune, “Frontline” which seems a bit toned down from what it could have (or should have) been, but it was probably done so on purpose to blend in with the rest of the album. And speaking of lighter side, the rest of Side 2 closes with slower songs. The CD version includes the bluesy “Gethsemane.” I have to admit, I had the cassette tape, so I never heard this song until just now. Had it been on the cassette, I’d bet a lot of us would have fast-forwarded through it. Not that it’s a bad song, but at 7 minutes in length, it doesn’t quite move.

But the closing, “Waiting on Someday,” is just as nice of a ballad as the one that starts the album, and is a good push to fulfill our calling,

Haven’t you heard
That it was done so long ago?
But you’re still waitin’ on someday
The Son of Man that is inside you
Has so much to show
But you’re still sitting on the runway
There is a multitude that needs your love
There is no better way to rise above
The chains that bind you in an iron glove
And this can be your someday, someday

For Volz fans, or Classic Petra fans, this is one to definitely add to the collection if you haven’t already.

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