The cover of Petra Petra looks like a giant "PETRA" carved in sandstone, but judging from the fact that the "nomads" in the bottom right-hand corner are seen from overhead, I think we can assume that the word was formed in sand instead. The concept is to copy the ancient Biblical city of Petra, which was actually carved out of the sides of a ravine of solid rock. One temple from the ancient city, "Khaznet Firaoun" or "The Treasury of the Pharaohs", is featured as the temple in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
This album is unique among Petra albums as far as overall sound is concerned. Not that it's bad; on the contrary, it is one of my favorite Petra albums. The double guitar leads are real smokers, and the lyrics are very simple declarations of the Gospel. Sometimes they get a little on the ultra-"groovy" side: "Walkin' in the light, every day and night, livin' in the Spirit, really outta sight!" But the Bob Hartman imagination is there: "Dreamin' 'bout flyin' since I was a boy; never thought I'd see the real McCoy; I think it's safe to say, I've finally found a way; gonna fly away!" Two standout songs are "Lucas McGraw", which is a very humorous country-style "hillbilly" story-song about Lucas' conversion... "...You take a bath on Sunday if you need it or not, and you go to work on Monday, even when it's hot!" And "Backslidin' Blues", which lyrically isn't too deep, but then again, what's deep about, "God, I messed up! What can I do to get back up and live the life again?" Don't expect the same sound as the later albums (or even anything remotely similar), but do expect to enjoy it, and do expect to hear about Jesus.
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