Artist:  Michael Card
Title:  "The Hidden Face of God" 
Label:  Discovery House

Back in the day – the early 1980s to be exact – singer/songwriter Michael Card established himself as one of the church’s most talented treasures. His 1983 hit “El Shaddai” has been immortalized in countless services, regardless of the denomination, and paved the way for his 19 No. 1 hits during 20 plus years of peaceful pop with a praise bent.

Those trends continue in classic Card fashion on "The Hidden Face of God," the troubadour’s latest diary of vulnerable entries (and his first album in three years). But even with the time off, he hasn’t missed a single step thanks to an in-depth exploration that has resulted in a concept album of sorts relating to the topic of lament. Though the subject is rarely discussed on record (and perhaps light should have been shed on it sooner), the results are just as eye-opening as they are refreshing.

Culling his inspiration from the Psalms, plus biblical characters such as Saul, Job and even Jesus, the tunesmith addresses the varying emotions under the umbrella of lamentation, including anger, frustration, regret and grief toward God. Out of the seven self-written offerings, “Come Lift Up Your Sorrows” attempts to come to terms with a weary believer’s wilderness experience as “Older Than the Rain” traces the fact that human tears even preceded the earth’s rainfall.

The banjo-tipped, African-American spiritual “Walk With Me, Lord” (with lead vocals by Reverend Denny Denson) further addresses perseverance, while the hymn “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” marinates in worshipful strums. All the while, this revered artist sticks to his cozy acoustic instrumentation and soothing pipes, making for yet another inviting listen and engaging topical exploration.


    
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