Pray Naked, The Seventy Sevens

The Seventy Sevens have released several critically acclaimed albums throughout their long history, including 1987’s The 77’s and 1990’s Sticks and Stones. I like those albums well enough; they each have little gems like the former’s ​“Do It for Love” and the latter’s ​“The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life.” However, 1992’s Pray Naked has always been my favorite Seventy Sevens album.

Pray Naked — which was released, without the band’s knowledge, with altered packaging and a new title to keep from offending Christian music stores (the Christian music industry is/​was weird, man) — runs the gamut of musical styles. It has bluesy rockers (“Woody”), jangly pop (“Phony Eyes”), stormy alt-rock (“Self-Made Trap”), and a couple of truly heartfelt, beautiful ballads (“Kites Without Strings,” ​“The Rain Kept Falling in Love”). But thanks to the band’s stellar musicianship and performance, and Mike Roe’s soulful voice, they all feel part of a cohesive whole.

All told, Pray Naked is one of those albums that’s only grown in my estimation since I first heard it over two decades ago. Unfortunately, like so many great Christian ​“alternative” albums from the ​‘90s, it’s been overlooked and essentially out of print for years. However, Lo-Fidelity Records has launched a Kickstarter campaign to reissue Pray Naked in an expanded format on CD and vinyl. The Pray Naked reissue is currently planned for a September release with the Seventy Sevens hitting the road in October to tour in support of it. Via