Amy Lee Grant was born on November 25, 1960 in Augusta, Georgia. Her first album AMY GRANT (1977, Myrrh Records) came out one month before her high school graduation. In the liner notes she thanks Jesus, writing: “I dedicate this album to You for Your glory and praise. You are so good to Your children”. Amy performed her first ticketed concert near the end of 1978 while she attended Furman University.
Strings and electric guitar contribute to the greatness of the album opener ‘Beautiful Music’. Lanier Ferguson wrote this song of testimony: “Now there’s beautiful music/Flowin’ all through me/Just like You said/Angels singing, joy bells ringing/Inside my head/Since You came inside me/Now I am lost inside Your love”. ‘Mountain Top’ is one of two songs written solely by the album’s assistant producer Brown Bannister. It contains these words of wisdom: “Praising the Father is a good thing to do/To worship the Trinity in spirit and truth/But if we worshipped all of the time/There would be no one to lead the blind”. ‘Psalm 104’ utilizes the sound of crickets chirping and is a song of praise: “Oh Lord, how many are Thy works/In wisdom Thou hast made them all/The earth is full of Thy possessions/There is the sea great and broad/In which are swarms without number/Animals both great and small/Oh Lord, Thou hast made them all”.
‘Old Man’s Rubble’ is one of 3 songs on the album to hit the Top Ten on Christian radio. It has a strong percussive beat and begins with these words that serve as a spiritual wake-up call: “Are you living in an old man’s rubble?/Are you listenin’ to the father of lies?/Are you walkin’ with unnecessary burdens?/Are you trying to take them upon yourself?/If you are then you’re living in bondage/And you know that’s bad for your spiritual health”. ‘Brand New Start’ is one of six songs composed solely by Amy. It is a pretty song of gratitude that makes use of the flute: “I may not win all the battles, but it’s a victory in Him/So I praise the Lord for giving me/A brand new start each day/And I praise His blessed Name/For guiding me all along the way/For if He didn’t I would surely die”.
‘Grape, Grape Joy’ is the album’s shortest song at 1 minute and 10 seconds. It is a fun, quirky number that seems like a children’s song. It showcases Amy’s humor and includes laughter: “Are you a small and lonely grape clutching to the vine/Waiting for the day when you’ll become your Savior’s wine?/Don’t give up ye heavy laden/You don’t want to be a raisin/There’s a grape, grape joy in Jesus in the vineyard of the Lord”. ‘Walking in the Light’ is about spiritual baptism: “The sun woke me up real early/It’s a beautiful morn/Cause I’m goin’ down to the river to be reborn/Now me and Jesus did some heavy talkin’ last night/So I’m going down to be dipped and come up walkin’ in the light”.
Next up is Archie Jordan’s ‘What a Difference You’ve Made’. It starts as a tender ballad then builds. These lyrics testify to God’s transforming power in our lives: “What a difference You’ve made in my life (2X)/You’re my sunshine day and night/Oh, what a difference You’ve made in my life/What a change You have made in my heart (2X)/You replaced all the broken parts/Oh, what a change You have made in my heart”. ‘Father’ uses saxophone and looks at our relationship with God as a partnership: “Father, blessed Father/It’s morning again/I give You Father, myself Father/Continue Your plan/I know together we can climb mountains in the sky/No one can stop us when I’m standing by Your side/When trouble’s knocking here again/I’ll tell him Jesus has my hand/He’ll walk me through”.
‘I Know Better Now’ recalls a powerful encounter with Christ: “One day I met a man who showed me love/There standing on His head was a snow white dove/And He said/’Once I came down to this mire for you, but I’m the Son of God/He’s your Father too’/It wasn’t long until my new walk began/Since I’ve found Jesus/My life is in His hands”. Mike and Barbara Hudson wrote the calming ‘The Lord Has A Will’. It speaks of abiding in God: “The Lord has a will/And I have a need/To follow that will/To humbly be still/To rest in it, nest in it/Fully be blest in it/Following my Father’s will/Your law of love is in my heart/You wrote it there, it won’t depart/It lights my way and keeps me out of the dark”.
‘On and On’ is a love song: “I only know that the love I feel/Doesn’t come from somewhere inside me/But I see it keeps on growin’/So I guess I’ll just keep goin’/Cause I’m confident in knowin’/It’s from the Lord/And it grows on and on, flowin’ on and on/Don’t you see we just can’t hide love?” ‘He Gave Me A New Song’ ends the album on a cheerful note: “He gave me a new song/He really came down here Himself and sang it for me/In every key/Just for me/He gave me a new light/Now even when clouds hide the sun/My life is still bright/Cause everything’s alright”.
Most of the songs on AMY GRANT musically fall into the easy listening and very light Christian pop categories. Amy’s voice is sweet and endearing. The lyrics admittedly are not really deep at all. In this case though, it’s okay, as Amy was only 17 at the time. This is an album of love songs for a Savior by a young person who is a believer. It is an album of innocence. I’m rating AMY GRANT, which was produced by Chris Christian, 90%. For more info visit: www.amygrant.com.