From the first time I played this album through, it's been one of my absolute favorites. It digs deep into an array of feelings, thoughts, questions and sentiments that most everyone can relate to in one way or another.
There are so many great songs on here, one of them being Mitch's cover of "When You Love", a song originally written and recorded in 1985 by Rich Mullins. It's very different from Rich's version but still has that catchy pop sound.
"Burning The Fields" - described in concert as Mitch's "prayer for renewal" - compares the burning of the fields in his homestate of Kansas to the re-shaping of our souls and spirits at the Hand of God, great analogy and definitely one of my favorite songs.
For those times when we feel completely alone, vulnerable and oh-so small, "Watch Over Me" is a plain and honest cry towards Heaven, comparable to Rich Mullins' "Hold Me Jesus".
"Upside Down" talks of how the things of the world can take over our image and our perception of what's truly important, and "Where Did It Go?" keeps along the same lines, talking of how the things of the world will fade away but "faith, hope and love remain".
If I had to choose a single favorite song off this project (an impossible task for me), it would probably be the last track, "Kingdom of the Heart". I absolutely **love** the country-rock sound of the music. It's one of the best and most catchy tunes I've ever heard and the lyrics are just incredble. I think my favorite line is: "there are things that you hold with your hands, things that you hold with your heart, I pray I could learn to tell the two apart". The first time I heard those words, it was as if something just clicked in my mind; they're so simple yet the meaning behind them is so profound, it just floored me.
The most touching song of the project has to be "Rich's Song". Mitch wrote this one while recovering from the 1997 car accident that badly injured him and marked beginning of the everlasting life Rich Mullins' had spent nearly 42 years dreaming about, writing about, singing about and longing for. To me, the song is kind of an open letter from Mitch to Rich, talking of how he cherishes the time they had together, how it ended much sooner than he (or anyone) ever thought it would, and that while he misses Rich he rejoices in knowing where he is now. Two parts of the song really stand out to me, one being the little "Rich-ism" "do you know what I mean is?" that Mitch uses a couple of times; the other being the beautiful hammered dulcimer solo at the end (played by one of Mitch's band members, Brad Layher). It's such a free and joyful sound, I can't hear it without thinking of how the angels must have rejoiced the day Rich went home.
This album has so much to offer, to miss out on it would be a real shame. The listener can tell in almost no time that Mitch writes and sings from the deepest places in his heart, something many performers today just don't do. His goal is not to become the most famous face in Christian music, it's not to sell more CD's than the next guy or to sign the most amazing recording contract in the world. His hope and desire is that his music will reach people and that through it they'll see the Love of God - that's what matters most to Mitch McVicker.
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