Kathleen Colleen ‘Kathy’ Troccoli was born on June 24, 1958 in Brooklyn, New York. She lost her Dad to colon cancer when she was fifteen and then lost her Mom to breast cancer in 1991. Kathy gained recognition when she opened for CCM group GLAD in 1980. Her debut album was 1982’s STUBBORN LOVE. In 1991 she released PURE ATTRACTION and had a Top 20 mainstream pop hit with ‘Everything Changes’. LOVE & MERCY (1997, Reunion) was her seventh full length album. It was produced by Peter Bunetta and Rick Chudacoff. In the liner notes Kathy shares: “God is moving among His people...And it is the supreme blessing of my life to be a part of what He is doing through music...My desire is that the music on this album will move you closer to the Lord...and I also pray that you will let God so move in your heart to share His life and Word with those waiting to receive it. They will thank you forever”. At the time, Kathy was a strong supporter of The American Bible Society.
The opening adult contemporary ballad ‘I Call Him Love’ was penned by Ty Lacy, Joanna Carlson, and Kevin Stokes. It offers these words of testimony: “I call Him love, I call Him mercy/I called Him out of my darkness and pain and He answered my need/I call Him love, I call Him healing/He is the One who has filled me with hope and restored life to me/I call Him love”. The easy listening ballad ‘Water into Wine’ declares God’s goodness: “You turned the water into wine/Looking back I see the many times/You made the simple things divine/With a touch of Your hand/You changed this heart of mine/You turned the water into wine/Your still, small voice will speak the truth/Your love alone will see me through”.
‘Love One Another’ is one of four songs Kathy co-writes on the album. This one is with Bill Cuomo and Robert White Johnson. It is an upbeat pop number encouraging unity in the Body of Christ: “And I know that it grieves His heart when His people stand apart/Cause we’re the only Jesus they will see/Love one another and live as one in His Name/We must love one another/We can tear down walls by His grace/Love is patient, love is kind/Love is faithful all the time”. Guests on this great song include: Carman, Sandi Patty, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Vestal Goodman, and Kevin Smith. Jacquelyn Gouche-Ferris wrote ‘How Would I Know’, a beautiful inspirational ballad that comes from a mature spiritual perspective: “If it wasn’t for the times that I was down/If it wasn’t for the times that I was bound/For all the times that I wondered/How I would ever make it through/All of the times that I couldn’t see my way/And I had to turn to You/How would I know You could deliver?/How would I know You could set free?/If there had never been a battle/How would I know the victory?” Brad Cole plays piano.
‘A Baby’s Prayer’ is a moving song, I believe from the perspective of an aborted baby: “Cause if I should die before I wake/I pray her soul You’ll keep/Forgive her Lord, she doesn’t know that You gave life to me/On the days when she may think of me/Please comfort her with the truth/That the angels hold me safe and sound/Cause I’m in heaven with You/I’m in heaven with You”. ‘He’ll Never Leave Me’ is yet another ballad, this time penned by Dawn Thomas. It speaks of God’s faithfulness: “He’ll never leave me/I know how much He loves me/He’ll always stand beside me/Even when I fall/He’ll be there to defend me/When I’m wrong forgive me/He’ll never hold my past against me/But he’ll be there when I call/I’ll never be lonely/When the nights get long, He’ll hold me/He promised He’d be with me/And that’s how I know/He will never leave me (2X)”.
‘All Glory to God’ is a somewhat soft praise and worship tune: “All glory to God/All honor is His/No other is worthy of His Name/All glory to God/I’ll always be His/Forever I’ll live to sing His praise/Every day I know I’m blessed/Just to know my heart/It rests in the hands that gave me life”. Scott Brasher programs the strings and keyboards on the pretty ‘Faithful to Me’. It finds the vocalist intimately conversing with God: “I know that one day I will look at You/And I long to see the pleasure in Your eyes.../I’ll die for You, the One that I adore/That someday I may hear the words I hold so dear/’Well done My child/You have believed/You’ve been faithful to Me (2X)’”.
‘Call Out to Me’ written by Diane Warren and featuring Michael Thompson on guitars, is a splendid, upbeat pop highlight! It’s catchy and all about friendship: “Call out to me/When nights are cold and loneliness has got the best of you/Call out to me/When you’re feeling down/I’ll be around, I’ll be right next to you/Remember, if you need love/I’ll be right there (2X)/Just call out/Call out to me”. Madeline Stone and Allen Shamblin wrote ‘Help Me God’, a song that acknowledges need, straight up: “Help me God, I’m scared and I’m unprepared to face the night alone/Hear me, hear my prayer/My soul it aches and I’ve nowhere to go/Help me God”.
In some ways Kathy Troccoli has a voice you would expect to hear on Broadway. She sings with such passion and longing. These aren’t just meaningless lyrics she is delivering. This is an album of personal testimony. The songs speak of God’s love, mercy, healing, and faithfulness. There are also a couple of good songs about human relationships, including one on abortion that is non-judgmental. This album will appeal more to the 30 and over crowd I would say. It leans heavily towards the easy listening side of things musically, but there are a couple of exceptions. Fans of Sandi Patty may want to check this one out. I’m rating LOVE & MERCY 93%. For more info visit: www.kathytroccoli.com.