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Easy Like Sunday Morning

November 19, 2007

I’ve never been a big fan of what is commonly called “Contemporary Christian Music.”  Longtime readers of this blog already know that.  I find much of it to be derivative and market-driven,  lyrically unchallenging, and often kind of sappy.

But these albums are great.  I love them.

A few years back I bought Legacy (on the left up there) at a time when I needed comfort and reassurance in my faith.  I was in the process of losing a job and preparing for seminary.  And Amy delivered.  What I found was an album that dealt with real faith struggles (“What You Already Own” can be gut-wrenching if you really think about it), comfortable familiarity (if you grew up in church you know these hymns), and an easy groove.  Amy Grant and her husband Vince Gill made the musical decision that these songs should be treated with reverence and respect but approached in a lovingly playful manner.  The end result is that they settle into an easy groove that is comforting, sweet, listenable and ultimately wonderful.  “Softly and Tenderly” is haunting and beautiful.  “Nothing but the Blood” is soulful.  “Imagine” is less bombastic than the MercyMe version.  “Marching to Zion” closes out the album wonderfully, leaving the listener with an uplifting song of hope for this world transformed.

The bummer is that somewhere during one of our moves we lost the CD and its case, but it is still ripped to our hard drive and we made copies from that.  We do still have the bonus DVD for some strange reason.   This album has been a favorite for both my wife and me, especially in the car.

Amy and Vince pick up where they left off with “Rock of Ages.”  We just got that one last week.  Big surprise since we had “Legacy” since it was brand new and we love it so much.  Rock simply continues with the easy groove of Legacy, bringing forth more familiar hymns and good originals.  It really is more of the same, which in this case is a good thing.  Never overblown, its understated cool and beauty shine through, making me wish Amy and Vince would do this over and over forever – or that they would join my church and lead the worship music.

This music is just plain old good.   Alternately folky, soulful (bluesy even), haunting, and sweet, I can find absolutely no fault with either album.

Also recommended:  Hymned by Bart Millard.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2007 9:20 am

    We’ve used Legacy to inspire some of our worship music…have covered several of those arrangements as anthems, and every time we use “Fairest Lord Jesus” as a congregational song, it’s in the rhythm-guitar-driven style that they use on that CD.

    Haven’t listened to the other one, though… will have to soon.

  2. November 20, 2007 10:46 am

    I’m not a big fan of hers. I would have passed on this but based on your recommendation, I’ll check out some samples.

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