Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heart of Courage - Amy Douglas

A satisfying, ministry-minded listen

Heart of Courage
Artist: Amy Douglas
Label: MissionHouseMusic/iWitness Records
Length: 10 tracks/

On Heart of Courage Amy Douglas is equally at home singing country, inspirational and adult contemporary pop. She has the voice for each of them, and her music encompasses all three.

Her songs are pleasant, in that they soothe in music and word. The lyrics are a blend of affirmation, encouragement and challenge informed by faith. Those who want to apply Philippians 4:8 to their music choices will find plenty of truth to think on here.

In “Choices” she challenges by reminding that, “We’ll never end up where we want to be just by chance.” “Hero at Home” is a poignant country tale of a mom that must carry on while her husband fights abroad. She dedicates this CD to all the Troops, their spouses and their families. This CD would be an excellent gift for the spouses who must go it alone while their husbands or wives complete their service to our country.

I can’t help thinking of Dr. James MacDonald when Douglas prays for, “A boldness with the truth” on “Heart of Courage.” It’s a subject that the latter has preached on, making it clear that “boldness with the truth” is something that we need in our day. I think he would also applaud the rest of the chorus that asks for an “Ambition to do all that You have created me to do / Give me a heart of courage / For I’ve only one life to be / Everything You know that I can be / Give me a heart of courage.”

If conveying the reality of life in a compelling way is part of the truth that we are to dwell on, Douglas especially succeeds on the last three songs. They are among the most striking and set her apart. The arrangements are richer making the music more interesting. These are songs that musicians have fun playing. The lyrics seem more heartfelt and portray life in a slightly darker hue. This is the Amy Douglas that I want to hear.

Another noteworthy song is “Keep on Walkin’,” where Douglas sounds a lot like Susan Ashton. The encouragement to never give up is carried along by a captivating groove.

Overall, I think Douglas succeeds in producing a satisfying listen that is ministry-minded. Women in particular will find comfort and hope in this release.
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