Just when fans were afraid that Cindy Morgan might fall into that dreaded "where are they now?" category after five years had passed without any new music, the critically-acclaimed artist rings in the new year with a new album, "Postcards," on a new label, Reunion Records.

Listeners will get their first taste of Morgan's more stripped-down, organic sound (think Emmylou Harris, Mark Cohn or Patty Griffin) with the project's first single, the title track. And while there's certainly more room for writing on a song than there is on a postcard from your favorite vacation spot, Morgan and fellow songwriters Drew Ramsey, Matthew Gerrard and Wayne Kirkpatrick (who also produced the album) collaborate for 11 succinct snapshots of her life's journey away from the spotlight.

Part of what's provided the new perspective for the project was a temporary move from Nashville to Los Angeles. It was during that time away from the familiar that she gained a new vision for what she wanted to do in Christian music – and a new level of honesty that permeates "Postcards," particularly on the poignant track, "Mother," where she opens up about the rocky relationship with her own mom.

And even though Morgan's certainly not a songwriting newbie (she's had more than 20 No. 1 radio hits as an artist and penned tunes for the likes of Rachael Lampa, Mark Schultz and Ginny Owens), Kirkpatrick challenged her to really focus on the songs when putting together the disc.

"Making sure that the ‘song' was the most important and the most supported element of all was our focus," Morgan explains. "Wayne pushed me in his quiet way outside of my comfort level. To me, that is what making records [and this record] is all about … growth."

Part of that growth feels most evident in the song's lyrics, where Morgan isn't afraid to abandon the requisite happy-go-lucky tone of many other Christian music hits. Themes of frustration, longing and reconciliation resonate through the songs, but even in the most raw moments, there's still hope to be found on tracks like "Deep," "Enough," "Where You Are" and "Eternal Sunshine."

And speaking of hope, fans will be delighted to know that Morgan will also be supporting the new project with a tour, something she's eagerly anticipating. "After having a few years to write songs for others and enjoy family life, it is very exciting to go back out on the road," Morgan says. "I feel I've had time to ‘live,' and now want to share glimpses of my own living experiences with others, and hopefully, they can share theirs with me. It's kind of like the first day of school. I'm a little nervous, but I can't wait."

 
© 2005 SongTouch.com.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Shop for gospel music and Christian church music downloads at  SongTouch.com.