Lead Me On
It's not unusual to come away from an Amy Grant album with a feeling of hope and steadfastness in the world around, but, with this release, truly one of her best, Grant makes an unexpected departure. From the first notes of the album's opener, "1974," a song about her discovery of faith, one feels as though Grant has left behind the pop sounds of this album's predecessor, Unguarded, and entered territory more familiar to her Nashville roots. The music is more organic; acoustic guitars play amid mandolins, combined, at times, with their electric cousins, joined with lyrics that possess both wisdom and wondering, while the production gives this fully digital recording the warmth of an LP on a turntable. Although it's hard to single out specific songs from such a solid collection, there are certainly highlights for the listener to savor. The title track sings of a faith that calls for complete trust, while "Shadows" speaks of life choices and being cognizant of one's darker side. "Saved by Love" and "If These Walls Could Speak" are a celebration of family and the ties that bind told in haunting and somewhat melancholic ways, whereas "Faithless Heart," one of the more personal portraits on the album, talks of being drawn away from one's commitment to another in times of trouble, and finding the strength to stay. "All Right," a tune spiced with the flavor of Southern rock, plays as an anthem for the troubled soul in need of fulfillment, while the album's closer, "Say Once More," generates a longing in its lyrics for finding the love of another (not necessarily romantic), and wanting only to be enriched by knowing the person more in life, whether near or far. As much as her fans are used to finding themselves within her music, along with solutions to life's sometimes difficult problems, Grant uses this album to ask the questions, while leaving the answers to a higher power. A stellar outing that received the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance by a Female.