By Michael Popke
Three decades ago, Christopher Cross won five Grammys and then seemingly disappeared.
Turns out the “Ride Like the Wind” guy was far from a one-hit wonder, though, quietly charting eight times between 1980 and 1983, releasing seven more albums, writing songs for films and singing the “Swimming Theme” for the 1984 Olympic Games.
Now Cross, 60, returns for the first time since 2000’s “Red Room” with “Doctor Faith” — a moody, melodic album anchored by the singer’s unmistakably smooth voice and perceptive lyrics. The album is his first rooted in guitars rather than keyboards, and the quirky “Hey Kid” and “Leave It To Me” along with rocker “I’m Too Old For This” may catch some unsuspecting listeners off guard. But the familiar sounds return as Michael McDonald reunites with Cross on the mellow title track, reprising a role the former Doobie Brother played on “Ride Like the Wind.” What’s more, the chorus to spiritual closer “Prayin’” echoes “Sailing.”
Softer songs such as “When You Come Home,” “November” and “Rescue,” however, reflect why Cross’s commercial success waned after the early ’80s.