Amy Grant returns with a plethora of NEW music for 2010! Somewhere Down The Road is a unique album full of brand new songs, previously unreleased songs, re-recordings of classics, and rounded out with 4 of her best loved story-songs.
The theme for the album is stories & journeys. Amy has always been a great storyteller and many of her most impactful songs have come from her own journey as she sings about the honesty of life, it’s joys and struggles, and ultimately the hope she has found in faith and love. The songs on Somewhere Down The Road read like journal entries that will resonate with anyone who grapples with wanting answers to life’s toughest questions. Topics range from being honest with yourself & God ("Better Than A Hallelujah"), learning to waiting for answers to questions ("Overnight"), learning to listen to people before ‘fixing’ them ("Come Into My World"), assurance that you are not forgotten ("Arms Of Love" NEW RECORDING) and much more.
There is something for any Amy Grant fan on Somewhere Down The Road from brand new recordings, previously unreleased studio recordings, concert favorites that have never been released, and new versions of classic Amy songs.
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Welcome Back Amy| Posted March 24, 2010
I've been a dedicated fan of Amy Grant for almost two decades. I had "Angels" on repeat and the intro to "Sing Your Praise To The Lord" captivated me to no end (and still does, although it's a little dated). The Collection remains one of the most solid "Best Of" albums I've heard. Without any embarrassment at all, I embraced her barrage on the pop music world with "Baby, Baby," "Heart In Motion" and "Lucky One," even going as far as to sing "Big Yellow Taxi" at the state fair (and yes, it bombed horribly, although Casting Crowns made the song even cooler a few years later). I was working in Christian retail when the divorce news broke and customers shied away from her emotional Behind The Eyes album only to embrace her all over again a few years later with her return to "Christian" music on Legacy: Hymns & Faith. I still bust out her last album, 2003's Simple Things when I need to refocus, slow down and enjoy the day.
For as long as I've been listening to Christian music, Amy Grant has been there. And as long as I've been working in Christian music, I've had the opportunity to meet her twice. Once was a GMA sponsored event at her and her husband's (country superstar, Vince Gill) home, and the other was at a label dinner where I sat right across from her and had some of the best artist conversations I've ever had. I say that not a public "look at me," but to be able to attest to you that Amy Grant is one of the last real artists with strong roots recording today. She's a wife, a mother, a songwriter and anyone who overlooks her raw talent is missing out.
I'm always anticipating a new Amy recording, and even more so today, when the majority of Christian music coming out is overproduced, ready for the big stage light show and from younger artists still finding their voice. Amy's music shines bright as simplified, polished, honest stories that you can embrace, and her first new album in seven (7!) years is no different.
Somewhere Down The Road combines piano, acoustic guitar and electric highlights with that touch of country home flavor and it's easy to get lost in this album as it trades glitz and glam for peace and tranquility. The album contains four new songs, previously unreleased songs, re-recordings of classics and is rounded out with 4 of her best loved story-songs, but this beyond a B-sides collection. The album flows and feels very fresh.
Highlights include the first single, "Better Than A Hallelujah" and her first duet with 17-year old daughter Sarah Chapman, "Overnight," channeling a very current Colbie Callait. Amy is at her best, in my opinion, in a raw vocal accompanied by an acoustic guitar or piano, like on the honest "Somewhere Down The Road," the negro spiritual tinged "Third World Woman" and the new version of "Arms Of Love." The timeless "Imagine - Sing The Wondrous Love Of Jesus" (which tweaks a few words of "I Can Only Imagine," a song she handed off to MercyMe, and closes the album with the classic hymn).
Amy continues to sing from a very comfortable place, encouraging us to enjoy everything life has to offer and to pull from life's experiences while always returning to Christ's arms. It's a place full of love, forgiveness, appreciation and reflection--not forgetting where you've been, but keeping your eye on where you're going. It's a message that some of her forgotten fans need to embrace, realizing that life and the choices we make along the way may not be perfect, but the God we serve is still the same today, as He was in our past, and will embrace each and every one of us as soon as we're ready. I for one, welcome Amy back to music. Let's hope this is the start of renewed passion in her illustrious career.
Amy Grant [Somewhere Down The Road]| Posted March 25, 2010 [MAIN REVIEW]
Amy Grant returns with Somewhere Down The Road, a unique album full of brand new songs, previously unreleased songs, re-recordings of classics, and rounded out with 4 of her best loved story-songs. I’ve been listening to Amy Grant for over 25 years as I first heard “El-Shaddai,” “Thy Word” and “Tennessee Christmas” when I was in high school in 1985. Like many avid Christian music collectors, I agree that 1988’s Lead Me On was one of the most influential albums in the history of Christian music. Amy truly paved the way for all female artists and today I hear her influence in some of my favorite artists including Sara Groves and Bethany Dillon, who released two of my top 10 albums of 2009. So, where does that put Amy today in 2010? That’s the main question I’ve been asking myself as I’ve been thoroughly enjoying her first new album since 2003’s Simple Things.
For me, the beginning of the album completely reminds me why I’m such a long-time fan of Amy’s music, as first song and single “Better Than A Hallelujah” addresses the topic of being honest with yourself & God. Her vocals are still stellar and the poignant message behind this song has me hooked again, similar to Amy’s classic songs “Lead Me On” and “Saved By Love,” both in catchiness and transparency. Next song “Overnight” really grabbed me as Amy’s vocals are complemented by her first ever duet with her 17 year old daughter Sarah Chapman. The song is about learning to wait for answers to questions and is a wonderful song with great relevance in passing down advice from mother to daughter. Having 3 young daughters myself, who all love Amy’s music, this is a great new song that really moves me.
There are a few previously recorded songs including “Every Road,” “Somewhere Down The Road,” MercyMe’s “Imagine” and a new recording of the classic “Arms Of Love.” All of the songs fit seamlessly into the fabric of the overall album, which has a folk music feel and is very enjoyable. If you’re looking for circa 1991’s Heart In Motion type songs like “Baby Baby” or “Every Heartbeat,” you won’t find them here.
The rest of the album includes some other new songs, highlighted by “Unafraid,” which may be my favorite overall new song as Amy sings about her own children and her mother with a great reminder that “love can make, love will make, make you unafraid.” It is a gorgeous song and really sets the tone for the album. The remaining new songs include “Hard Times,” “Find What You’re Looking For,” written for Mary Elizabeth Chapman, the grandmother of Amy’s 3 oldest children and “Third World Woman.” Previously unreleased “What Is The Chance of That” and “Come Into My World,” which is about learning to listen to people before ‘fixing’ them, also fit nicely into the overall theme of the album: stories & journeys. Amy has always been a great storyteller and many of her most impactful songs have come from her own journey as she sings about the honesty of life, its joys and struggles, and ultimately the hope she has found in faith and love.
I truly enjoy every song on the album, especially new recordings “Better Than A Hallelujah,” “Overnight,” “Unafraid” and “Come Into My World.” If you were fond of Amy’s 1997 recording Behind The Eyes, one of my all-time favorite albums, then you will certainly want to listen to Somewhere Down The Road. For me, the way that Amy’s albums all reflect her stage in life is what continues to further establish her all-time legacy which includes over 25 million album sales, an incredible feat in any genre.
Music Review: Somewhere Down The Road| Posted March 23, 2010
By Brian Hall
LABEL: SPARROW RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 30, 2010
RATING: 3.75 OUT OF 5
Amy Grant is easily one of the most legendary artists in CCM history, right there with Michael W. Smith, Keith Green, Michael Card, Rich Mullens and Steven Curtis Chapman. She also is the maker of what most reviewers and critics and “suits” believe is the best and most influential Christian record of all time; a little album called Lead Me On released back in 1988. While some of us younger folks would love to contend that notion, I can’t help but partially agree with them. Lead Me On asked hard questions about life and even theology, but never offered clear answers; therefore opening dialogue that otherwise may not have taken place among lay people. For that, and the mainstream radio friendly sound, it easily became one of the most loved records in CCM history. While Amy has released a plethora of other albums, ranging from collections of hymns, to country, to dance pop, story songs have always her strong point. Now, it is 2010; a new decade, and a new generation of music lovers ready to consume whatever sonic goodness is thrown in our general direction. So is Somewhere Down The Road just another ripple in the pond, a wave eroding at the rocky shore, or is it that fat kid that jumps in the pool and drains it of all its water, much to the dismay of bystanders?
Well, to be clear: this is not a bad album. It is not revolutionary like Lead Me On may have been, but it is not beyond enjoyment either. The first track, Better Than A Hallelujah displays Amy in wondrous artistic form; from the songs thoughtful lyrics (“God loves a lullaby, in a mothers tears in the dead of night, better than a ‘hallelujah’ sometimes…”) to Amy’s unmistakable vocals. Musically it is forgivable that it leans more towards 80’s-90’s acoustic pop, seeing as a few of the songs were recorded during that very time, and the album would be a mess if it didn’t have continuity to its credit. Other true standouts include Overnight; a mellow duet with Amy’s youngest daughter Sarah Chapman who sounds very much like Colbie Callait, the title track that is a total throw back to Amy’s glory days, the tribal Third World Woman, a song that explores charity in a thoughtful and unique way, and Arms Of Love (not the song that Kutless made famous on their Strong Tower album).
I was disappointed in a few places; Imagine/Sing The Wondrous Love Of Jesus is mediocre at best and easily skipable and Come Into My World is another less memorable song.
If you are an Amy Grant fan from any point in her illustrious career, Somewhere Down The Road is perfect for you. If you are new to Amy’s music, this album will be hit-or-miss for you. Overall it is highly enjoyable, but hardly memorable.
Review copy provided courtesy of Sparrow Records
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
I really thought it had a lot meaning.| Posted March 26, 2010
I really enjoy the album it is great and I am glade she is back i have always like her music.
She has always had really good songs I grew up and started in christian music she was who i listen to .
Amy Grant, Somewhere Down The Road| Posted March 26, 2010
This is a great album. I believe these are all new recordings on this album. It has a very soft sound and mellow sound. Amy Grant could be voted the first woman Gospel crooner.
Sharon R| Posted March 25, 2010
Somewhere Down the Road is beautiful & gentle, just like Amy. So glad to hear this awesome voice again. The songs are very touching, I love "Arms of Love". Oh my, "I Can Only Imagine", how moving!
Somewhere Down the Road| Posted March 25, 2010
A nice album! You forget her voice is as pretty as she is."Hallelujah" will certainly do well. Amy plays it a bit safe with the vocal range on these selections but she's always easy to listen to : )
Great alternative to Ambien| Posted March 25, 2010
They say that fans grow along with the artist. I am not sure I agree with that statement. I have been a fan of Amy Grant's since Straight Ahead all the way through Simple Things and have always found her music to be happy and uplifting.
However, with this new release, I am disappointed. It is very slow and melancholy; something I would listen to while trying to fall asleep. While better than a hallelujah is a great song, the other arrangements are boring, with the second song sounding like something out of the mid 1970s. Her voice sounds amazing though.
I look forward one day to a new release from Amy of all new music with upbeat energetic positive songs. Until then, I have her old stuff to rely on, especially Heart in Motion and Lead Me On.