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Idol Chatter

Amy Grant’s New Album Clears Space for a New Road

amygrantpic.jpgTouted as her first new music in seven years, Amy Grant’s new album, “Somewhere Down the Road,” is something less and something more: only six of the record’s tracks are new songs, mixed in with previously unreleased tracks, old songs represented and a cover of MercyMe’s “Imagine.”
But among the six new releases are some of her most personal and beautifully crafted work, that make “Somewhere Down the Road” possibly a downpayment on a new era for the Christian singer who has been a star since she was 17 years old.

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The intimacy of the album is no accident. The record is in a sense homemade: it’s the first to be produced in the studio Grant and her husband, country singer Vince Gill, added to their home in Nashville, and the new tune “Overnight” is a family affair: Grant is joined by her daughter Sarah Chapman, who, as was first reported here, has been slowly developing a singing career under her mother’s wing.
Home is also the turf on which Grant’s lyrics play out. “Unafraid” is a song about how love gives us courage to face the phases of our life. It opens with the singer waking in bed beside her husband, wondering where he’d learned to talk so directly about their relationship. “Overnight” similarly could be a kitchen talk between mother and daughter, the parent cautioning her impatient youngster to let life unfold in its own time.
Even the country-tinged radio single from the album, “Better Than a Hallelujah,” trades on intensely private moments–“a soldier’s plea not to let him die,” “a mother’s lullaby”–sounds more welcome to God than a choir’s hymn. Everywhere on this album, Grant wants to sacralize “the beautiful mess we are.”
Most impressive and touching is “Come Into My World,” a plea to a man who might save the singer from loneliness. This time the house she inhabits is a tomb, and the friends that saw her through a crisis have moved on. “No one comes to call but you,” Grant sings, but warns that the burden is on him to break through the walls that trap her. “There won’t be another invitation,” she says. “Please be brave and come into my world.”
The music accompanying these divulging moments is aptly simple and direct, and includes the occasional sound of a finger zipping along a guitar string–the musician’s equivalent of a visible brushstroke.
Grant, by touching on growing pains for herself and her nearly adult children, seems to be cleaning out the closet, making ready for what lies ahead. In 2007, she signed on with EMI’s Christian Music Group after three decades with Word Records. Her initial releases with her new label were Christmas music and covers of hymns released to seal the deal with some easy profits requiring no original work. The half-old, half new “Somewhere Down the Road” is the next step in what promises to be a fruitful season of transition.

  • Alan Carver

    Amy Grant continues to shine in the face of an ever-changing music industry. However, through the lean times in her career, what lay ahead is the work she talks about frequently on her website and facebook page about the process of it all. From writing, to singing, to performing live, Amy Grant continues to bring her special brand of music to the fore-front and reminds us ‘veterans’ why is she still continues to be recognized as the most visible star in the CCM industry and beyond. Congratulations on the new release and the enduring career that has touched millions across the country and around the world!

  • Peggy

    Amy Grant has a special way of allowing each of us to be human and still know that God loves us anyway. Her music is inspirational, full of love and faith for God, and expresses things I feel. Her insights are deep, and I feel as if we are sisters, although we’ve never met. I wish I could touch the lives of a fraction of the people that Amy and her music has. God has blessed me by allowing me to share and enjoy her music with others. Thanks Amy. You have helped me through the most difficult times in my life, and been there through the happiest as well.

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