The thing about Rick Cua, is that it’s hard to pinpoint which album is his best. Some may say his mid-eighties rockers You’re My Road or Wear Your Colors, while others may prefer his late-eighties’ Can’t Stand Too Tall or Midnight Sun. They are all good, but I have to admit, Within Reach is my personal favorite.
To the best of my recollection, it was a little-less popular on the album charts, though at least some of the singles did shoot to the top. And why not? It had top-notch production, thanks of course, to the dynamic duo of the Elefante brothers–their one and only Cua album. Though it did not have the same kind of standout hits as his previous Midnight Sun with his signature rock classic, “I Can, I Will” or the softer, “Young Boy, Young Girl” duet with Rebecca Sparks; there is still a solid congruity of good songs–one right after the other–which is why, for me, I say is his best.
The album starts with the groove of Rick’s bass thumping along with the drumbeat of “Message of Love,” and moves onto the nice pop/rock, “Heaven won’t stop the Rain.” The somber radio hit, “Somewhere Tonight” is next, followed by the rocking, “Stand Your Ground” and onto “Fifteen,” one of two songs dedicated to his daughters.
The second half of the album starts out with the catchy pop hit, “Power of the Lord,” and then the rocking, “Big Gun.” Next, he gives us another nice ballad, “Keeper of my Soul,” and then another catchy should-have-been-a-hit, “Do It.” He finalizes side 2 in much the same way he did with Side 1, his second daughter-dedicated song, “Diamond Girl,” a concert favorite.
Not since 1985’s You’re My Road has Rick had so many well-produced and well-written pop/rock songs on one album. I often wondered ‘what might have been’ if he had stayed with an Elefante-brothers production partnership for a few more albums.