Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Plaza of the Mind Album Cover Analysis Series 0001 - The Yellow and Black Attack

I never understood exactly what Stryper was trying to say with this or, really, any of their album covers. This one, however, seems to suggest that the hand of Jehovah is guiding a batch of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at the Earth just after it has been occupied by the message of Stryper. (I base this on the fact that all of the continents appear in yellow and black - the color of Stryper - much the same way that they label a state either red or blue on news reports).

Why is Jehovah so angry? Is he punishing the Earthlings with the very message that they thought would save them? Was Stryper really an agent of the Lord or were they 'Devils in Disguise' as some of the more austere would have had you believe?

Isaiah 53:5 (King James Version)

But he was wounded for our transgressions,

he was bruised for our iniquities:

the chastisement of our peace was upon him;

and with his strypes [sic] we are healed.

Stryper had reportedly taken their name from this biblical verse. I am unsure how this relates to the ICBMs on the cover of the record. I also think that they were using 777 as a way of making the Christian rock kids think that they were cool because they had a number of their own, to compete with the 666 of such acts as Mercyful Fate and Iron Maiden, though there is no biblical reference to 777 that I am aware of [if you know something I do not please feel free to comment].

Now I know that you, the reader, may get the feeling that I am making fun at the expense of this Christian rock band's arguably feeble stretch into mainstream cool. You would be right. But I would also have you know, rather than being labeled a hypocrite, that not only did I own this vinyl LP, I also walked about the streets of Grand Rapids with a Stryper patch on the right sleeve of my jean jacket and was blasting the refrains of To Hell With the Devil into my ears with the headphones on too high, thinking to myself, 'if I go deaf at least it will have been for Jesus.'

When I make fun of Stryper, I am 'honestly'[1] only making fun of myself.

[1] 'Honestly' being one of Stryper's premiere hits.


What People Are Saying About the Plaza of the Mind

...[Plaza of the Mind] impressed me in its magnificent weirdness...this sorta je ne sais quoi that you find in interesting art... ...I mean that purely as a compliment!

Stefene Russell

Plaza of the Mind is a clinamen away from the holeopathic replay by the Android Meme of the old perceptual agon of electrically-programmed youth confronting the Gutenbergian Establishment. Irresistible Force meets Immovable Object.

Bob Dobbs