Since the band was mentioned briefly a couple of weeks ago when we looked at Geoff Moore’s A Place to Stand, and we had looked at Whiteheart’s 1986 effort, Don’t Wait for the Movie and their 1989 masterpiece, Freedom, it might be time to take a closer look at the album sandwiched in between the two: 1987’s Emergency Broadcast.
The album begins with the catchy guitar, then drum and bass opening to the rocking, “Urban Renewal.” The next song is the pop hit, “Key to Our Survival,” which, when the album was released in November of that year, worked as the perfect radio companion to the advent season. The next track, “No Taboo,” was one of the songs that for myself, at least, was just a plain old song, but was used as the only track from Emergency Broadcast on the band’s Nothing But the Best–Rock Classics greatest-hits album. The next song–the only track from Emergency Broadcast on the Nothing But the Best–Radio Classics album–is the beautiful “Montana Sky,” and definitely one of Whiteheart’s most powerful ballads of their career.
Though the middle songs (“Fashion Fades” and “Sold Out”) somewhat date the album a little lyrically, “Fashion Fades” does point out that as time goes by and things change, the Gospel is timeless; and after 30 years, both songs have remained album highlights.
From there, Emergency Broadcast moves onto another strong ballad, “Somewhere in Between,” and then the energetic, and perhaps the most underappreciated song of the band’s career (probably the song that influenced the album’s title), “Speed of Sound.”
From there the album ends with bassist Tommy Simms helping out on vocals with “Lone Ranger” and then another strong ballad, “Edge of the Dream” to close.
In all, this is one of Whiteheart’s strongest albums, and fits nicely in the middle of what was, in my opinion, the band’s best period.