I’ve spent a lot of this last week listening to Amy Grant’s newest album, “Somewhere Down the Road.” Each day I find something new or fresh about it that I didn’t find before, and each day I love the album that much more.
Thanks to a few connections I now have the opportunity to share my review with you, and thanks to Amy’s label, EMI, one of you lucky readers will have the opportunity to win a copy!
First, the review!
Overall, this album is what Amy calls “a collection of songs about the journey of life; the roads we take, the lessons we learn, the mysteries we’ll never understand.” Most specifically, it really touches on the heart of a woman as a mother, a daughter and a believer, sometimes rejoicing and other times suffering. I think there is something for everyone on this album, wherever you are in your journey through life.
One very interesting aspect of “Somewhere Down the Road” is the variety of songs that were chosen. Many of them are new, but a few have been selected from previous albums, another one is a previously unreleased song, and yet another is a new version of a song from many years back. Having followed Amy’s career for as many years as I have, it was a journey in itself for me to see which songs she chose and from what part of her life they came from.
Right off the bat the record kicks off with the first new single, “Better than a Hallelujah.” The lyrics are a great lesson in how prayer doesn’t have to be presented to God in any special package – what comes from your heart is all you need. “God loves a lullaby in a mother’s tears in the dead of night / Better than a Hallelujah sometimes / God loves a drunkard’s cry, the soldier’s plea not to let him die / Better than a Hallelujah sometimes. We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody / Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries, of breaking hearts / Are better than a Hallelujah.”
“Overnight” is especially touching because it is a duet with Amy’s middle daughter, Sarah Cannon (named after Minnie Pearl) Chapman. I admit I was knocked out by Sarah’s voice. She has a deep and rich sound that is very similar to her dad’s, Gary Chapman, and it flows beautifully with her mother’s. The song itself carries a simple message about appreciating the things that come your way more when they don’t come to you overnight.
“Unafraid” brought feelings of gratitude to Amy as she wrote this one with the ever talented Wayne Kirkpatrick. What a gift we have when we have love, whatever form it comes in. I’m most impressed by how she honors both her husband, Vince Gill, and her mother in this song.
The song that could have been written about me right now is “Hard Times.” The first half of the song takes me right to an image of my parents. “I smile when I remember all the things we did / The worlds we discovered when I was a kid / Sitting on your shoulders I was riding high / All of life before me. I could see for miles / You gave me a life to love / Showed me the dreams I was dreaming of / Told me love was enough.” The latter half of the song brings my own kids to mind, making me want to “give them a life to love.” Heady stuff.
Possibly the most powerful song on the album is “Third World Woman.” The sound and the lyrics and the rhythm all blend together in a way that speak to me and make me want to step out and make a difference in this world. “What if I were that mother starting from my TV / What if that were my brown-eyed baby / Hungry as she could be / What if that were my family / What if that was my world / Waiting on water waiting on a vaccine / Waiting on someone to bring me a bag of beans / Lord have mercy on me.”
“Come Into My World” was a great reminder to me that I should always take the time to look in on the people I love. I have a very dear friend that I know struggles with various feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness that stem from a problem she had a long time ago. Knowing this about her, I know I sometimes need to go to her door and just knock. “Come into my world / Come crashing through the ceiling / And find the messy rooms, the scattered pearls / If you are brave then come into my world / Come into my world / So lovely from the outside / So dark in here the demons dance and twirl / And find their pleasures frightening this girl / If you are brave then come into my world.”
Amy’s faith sings loud and clear throughout this album, on songs I’ve mentioned and plenty I haven’t. Her music has such a real and honest feel to it, which I’d like to share with one lucky reader!
Would you like to win a copy of “Somewhere Down the Road”? Here are your many chances to enter!
1. Leave a comment
2. Blog about this review and leave a comment with the link
3. Twitter about this review and leave a comment that you did
On Monday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m. PDT I will randomly select a winner who will receive a copy of the album directly from EMI!