Introductory Note: In appreciation of Petra’s fortieth year in music and ministry, I am ranking their albums from least best to greatest. You can read my opening post here.
Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus (1997, Word Records)
Lineup: John Schlitt, Louie Weaver, Lonnie Chapin, David Lichens, Bob Hartman
This is the highest ranked Petra album which I never really listen to, because it just doesn’t do anything with me, other than the title track, “We Need Jesus,” which has a special place to me because our youth choir had done the song while I was in high school and I had liked it then.
Part of the reason I’m not a big fan of this album is because (1) it signaled a dramatic shift in Petra’s sound away from the rock of the late-80s and early-90s into a softer sound, and (2) because, in general, praise and worship albums are not my preference, and I lament the impact they have had on the corporate worship of the body of Christ.
That said, it’s not like I hate the album. There are some good songs. I’m just not in love with it. Probably not ironically, my favorite song other than the title track is “Be Of Good Cheer,” which has one of the more rock sounds on the album and lyrics by Bob Hartman. The majority of the tracks were written by others.
“I Waited For the Lord On High” is another of the rocky tracks that is pretty good. “Ancient of Days” is also worthy of mention. The rest just don’t do much for me. I’m not a fan of this rendition of “I Love You, Lord.” Overall the album just leaves me flat, so while I’ll take it over their first album and over “Double Take,” I can’t go any higher.