Michael Card - The Life: The Complete Recorded Trilogy On The Life Of Christ

Saturday 1st August 1998
Michael Card - The Life: The Complete Recorded Trilogy On The Life Of Christ
Michael Card - The Life: The Complete Recorded Trilogy On The Life Of Christ

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9976-13776
LABEL: Sparrow SPD1171
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Pippa Rimmer

Michael Card's career has spanned two decades and he has released consistently good quality albums, albeit unnoticed amid the crash of rock and the advent of dance on the CCM scene.  Although Michael had never been classed as trendy among pop aficionados, he unquestionably has the most integrity of all the recording artists in the States and has a reputation of dynamically living out what he preaches.  This latest re-release from the card camp is a must-have collector's edition of his best work which chronicles the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, all newly released on a double CD for the first time.  When this album was released 10 years age it proved very popular so it's great to see it enjoying a revival in the dance-oriented '90s.  We open to a beautiful orchestral arrangement entitle "Overture To The Trilogy", which gives a potted instrumental taster of songs featured.  With the roots clearly in classical music, MC pulls out all the stops and uses a wide range of musical expression and moods to recite the greatest story every told.  "Joseph's Song" is a beautifully poignant and human rendition of Joseph's questioning of God; "How can a man be father to the Son of God?  How can I raise a King?"  This song never fails to touch my heart every time I hear it!  As we continue on the pilgrimage, all the strands come together - the prophecies in Isaiah, the promise of Immanuel, the declarations of John the Baptist - all songs are based on pieces of Scripture.  "The Gentle Healer" is an acapella account of Jesus' visit to a town, as observed by a local - "yet he seems like just an ordinary man".  Musically, MC captures the mood and emotions of episodes in Jesus' life - from the upbeat "Spirit Of The Age" to the meditative and tacit "In The Garden" which captures the anguish of Jesus before the crucifixion and contains some stunning string arrangements.  A comprehensive study booklet with Scriptures which corresponds with "The Trilogy" accompanies this double album.  Just a few blips - there is no lyric sheet which is a shame as I feel it would help to bring the songs and the story to life even more effectively.  Neither are there any musical credits.  But if this doesn't bother you, you'll be able to overlook these slight omissions.  All in all, this is a definitive album, beautifully crafted, and if, like me, your background or passion is classical music, you will love the orchestration in this.  Forget the heretical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and tune in to the truth contained in the poetry of this much welcomed masterpiece.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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