Allen Asbury
Somebody's Praying Me Through
Doxology Records

If you've been feeling down, depressed, lonely or forgotten lately, you need to get a copy of Allen Asbury's Somebody's Praying Me Through, one of the best releases of 2002. Asbury has a true gift for offering hope and encouragement through anointed songs that will connect with your spirit and soul.

Asbury, discovered by Bill Gaither, is the first artist on the new Doxology label, aiming its music specifically at the church. However, the title track, Somebody's Praying Me Through, has the potential to reach lots of people outside the church. Mainstream, secular radio stations should pick up this ballad.

Asbury's emotive, soulful vocals on Somebody's Praying You Through are reminiscent of Bob Carlisle's enormously popular Butterfly Kisses. Whereas Kisses was about the relationship between a father and daughter, Asbury's lyrics on Somebody's Praying Me Through offer comfort and hope to those going through difficult times, reminding them that somebody, somewhere, whether a parent or an old friend, is praying for you. It's the equal of Mercy Me's I Could Only Imagine and Nicole C. Mullen's Redeemer -- in other words, it could be a career-making, award-winning signature song that blesses millions of people who hear it.

Besides the title track, tunes like The Light of That City and I Will Wait Upon the Lord stand out on Somebody's Praying Me Through. City tries to capture how amazing heaven will be, while Lord is a personal prayer about patience.

Russ Lee duets with Asbury on the energetic All About Grace, while Doxology's Shannon Wexelburg lends her promising vocal talent to the hymn I Need Thee Every Hour.

If there were a stage musical dealing with faith, the tender ballad I Hear Music, sung by Asbury, could be the defining song of the show.

The well-written songs on Somebody's Praying Me Through deal with life and faith in an honest and emotional way, and they have an instantly accessible soulful pop sound. Inspirational albums usually vary in strength from song to song, but Somebody's Praying Me Through ministers to the listener in ways that will have them pressing the "repeat" button again and again.