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Mercy Me The Hurt & The Healer
Posted September 25, 2012
By craigin44,

 You can always count on Mercy Me to deliver a solid power ballad and The Hurt & The Healer is no exception but Bart Millard & Co. have stretched themselves a bit on this one.  Alongside inspirational ballads like "You Are I Am", "The First Time", and the title cut (which in my opinion sounds like a "Hold Fast" clone... which is a good thing!) are a plethora of Beatles-esque pop-rockers, heavy hitting pop songs and even a foray into southern rock balladry courtesy of their duet with NEEDTOBREATHE frontman Bear Rinehart on "Take the Time". For the most part, Bart Millard's lyrics are on point doctrinally, however, rocker "You Don't Care At All", while a highlight musically, (It's probably one of the rockiest songs MM has recorded) lyrically causes a bit of concern as it seems to present the idea that God does not care about our sin.  While I understand the sentiment of the song, which is clarified in the second verse ("Old me is out the door, he won't be living here anymore") and the bridge ("When I'm so unworthy of mercy and You're Divine, still you made me holy"), the chorus line " matter what I do... You don't care at all...", in my opinion, over simplifies our salvation.  God cared so much about our sin that His Son had to die for it.  That quibble aside, The Hurt & The Healer is a solid album both musically and lyrically.  MM seems to have written this album with their live concert audience in mind as I can envision choruses and outros of many of these tracks being belted out by a sold-out audience ("You Are I Am", "Whom It May Concern", "Don't Give Up On Me"). The only other issue I have with this set is the poor album sequencing.  The record begins with one of its weakest tracks ("You Know Better") and seems to jump all over the place thematically and musically throughout.  I understand very few people care about this since most will just add this album to their ipod and put it on shuffle but it matters to me ;) Overall, I believe this is the first Mercy Me album that is solid from beginning to end and is without filler; however, track for track, aside from "You Are I AM",  I can't seem to find too many classic Mercy Me songs that will be remembered 10 years from now a la "I Can Only Imagine", "Word of God Speak", "Here With Me", "God With Us", "All of Creation", "So Long Self", "Finally Home", "Hold Fast" or "Bring the Rain".  Still this is a well rounded collection that should play well in concert and on the radio.
Radio Ready: "The Hurt & The Healer", "You Are I Am", "Don't Give Up On Me", "You Know Better"
iPod Picks: "The Hurt & The Healer", "You Are I Am", "Don't Give Up On Me", "To Whom It May Concern", "The First Time"

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