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Alabama’s “Songs of Inspiration II” album starts with a wonderful spiritual posture: “I’m a pilgrim and a stranger, travelin’ through this wearisome land.” Then comes the familiar country gospel refrain: “I gotta home in that yonder city, good Lord, and it’s not made by hand.”
If you like your Christian contemporary as country gospel, this collection is safe and will work for you. If you don’t have that place in your heart for the Christian gospel, country choruses, or anything that makes frequent references to the sweet “by and by in the sky,” this may not be for you.

Alabama sings with passion about their memories of going to church as kids, and they offer their versions of several of the hymns they probably sung there. If you like a hymn and it wasn’t on the first “Songs of Inspiration” CD, it’s probably on this one. (“Down By the Riverside,” “Lonesome Valley,” “Love Lifted Me,” etc.)

Always laudable, of course, is anytime a well-known band chooses to express their faith in music. While this album may not be everyone’s taste, it will warm the hearts of those who like Alabama and who seek to have their faith gently encouraged. And listening to a track like “When It Comes My Time” is a good reminder for us all to spiritually consider what happens to each of us when our time comes–and what happens after that.

–Douglas Howe

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