Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lazarus Heart

Randy Stonehill, has been a pioneer of Contemporary Christian Music since the 1970s and his signature album, Welcome to Paradise will always be the definitive collection that changed Christian music. Randy Stonehill continues to make great music and his 2011 album, Spirit Walk, is one of his best ever. Today, I want to honour the album that I would call his best.

It has been 23 years since Randy Stonehill released his Lazarus Heart album and it still holds up as his greatest music ever produced. He wrote or co-wrote everything on the album and has some great help from co-writers such as Phil Madeira, Cheri Keaggy, and Terry Scott Taylor. The album is richly produced by Jimmie Lee Sloas who makes every track sound great.

There are some great, big, rockin’ songs here with huge guitar solos that show the Jesus-infused rock-n-roll that made Stonehill who he is today. “Shadow Man” is a great example of this, but perhaps my favourite of this style is “Under the Rug.” They remind us of the secret sins we work so hard to hide and the old creation that must be constantly renewed in Christ.

“In Jesus’ Name” and “That’s Why We Don’t Love God,” speak of the corporate sins of the people of God and how we must turn back to Jesus as the source of life. “I Turn to You,” is also that reminder of the One to whom we turn for strength.

Of course, there is the quirky and brief, “Zurich In the Snow.” What was on Uncle Rand’s mind when he wrote this little diddy and decided to put it on the album? I am certainly glad he included it.

On the other end of the spectrum, the namesake of the album, “Lazarus Heart,” is a beautiful story of life, redemption, and hope. Stonehill still knows how to proclaim the Gospel in poetic ways that pull at our heart-strings.

As I said, I would suggest that this is Randy Stonehill’s greatest music ever, but then I remember his 1989 album, Return to Paradise. Perhaps I will write about that important album another day.

Lazarus Heart Track Listing:

  1. "A Promise Made Is a Promise Kept"
  2. "I Turn to You"
  3. "In Jesus' Name"
  4. "Under the Rug"
  5. "Remember My Name"
  6. "That's Why We Don't Love God"
  7. "When I'm Afraid"
  8. "Shadow Man"
  9. "Zurich In the Snow"
  10. "Troubles"
  11. "The Lazarus Heart”

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