Barry Ross

The Solution Under Cover (Rising Phoenix)

Just what audience Barry Ross is after is not clear. Unless it's to expose fans of contemporary Christian fare to a highly diverse selection of oldies, the mix of tunes on this disc by the West Side singer-keyboardist-engineer-producer offers no solid clues. Laced with Christian songs, The Solution Under Cover is primarily synthesized Spector- and Springsteen-style workups of tunes from all over the charts of yore. Among the oldies covered here: Nilsson's "Without You," Dion's "Runaround Sue," Roger Miller's "King of the Road," and the theme from the musical Hair. Surf-era hitmakers Jan & Dean are saluted twice, with "Linda" and "New Girl in School." By the time Ross gets to the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," the seemingly improbable addition is no longer even a surprise.

Any connection between the pop classics and the half-dozen inspirational tracks never registers. As an add-on sale to a live gig, perhaps this disc makes more sense.