Saturday, June 09, 2018
Mark Mitchell Schultz was born in Kansas on September 16/70 and was adopted when he was two weeks old. Around eight years of age he started teaching himself piano by ear. While a student at Kansas State University he traveled with the Kansas State Singers. Later on, he became a waiter in Nashville. For eight years he was a youth director at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. In 2000 he released his debut self-titled album on Myrrh Records. He wrote all eleven songs, while the album was produced by Monroe Jones and executive produced by Dan Posthuma.
1. 'I Am the Way' is a power-pop song that finds Christ speaking words of assurance to us: "When you're down, look around and you'll see/I am with you/Look to Me and you'll see I will be there to guide you/Take My hand and I can lead you on/For you know/I am the answer/I am the way/I am the promise/I have called your name".
2. 'Let's Go' is another power-pop song (but shorter) that encourages mission work: "Let's go to the foreign shore/Find a way to give like we never gave before/Let's go, going far and wide/Pack your bag and leave it all behind/What are we waiting for?/Let's go!"
3. Mark wrote the album's debut single, 'He's My Son', in the middle of his friend John's son's year long battle with leukemia. This moving piano based adult contemporary ballad begins with these words: "I'm down on my knees again tonight/I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right/See there is a boy that needs Your help/I've done all that I can do myself/His mother is tired/I'm sure You can understand/Each night as he sleeps/She goes in to hold his hand/And she tries not to cry/As the tears fill her eyes".
4. 'When You Come Home' is a beautiful ballad about a mother's love: "When you come home/No matter how far/Run through the door and into my arms/It's where you are loved/It's where you belong/And I will be here/When you come home".
5. 'When You Give' is a peppy pop song with gospel-like influences. It's all about Christian service: "When you give/When you love/When you serve/You do it unto Me.../He lived a life of love/Gave away all He'd been given/Sent from the One above/And then He gave His life/To love, serve/He came down from heaven to spread the word/To teach, pray..."
6. 'Fall in Love Again' is an easy listening romantic song of longing: "Never dreamed of letting go/But now you're gone/It feels so wrong.../I believe in faith above/In giving everlasting love/I believe there is a chance for us".
7. Next up is 'Cloud of Witnesses', an easy listening ballad that speaks of how our parents and teachers who go to heaven before us are eagerly watching and waiting for us: "A cloud of witnesses that would see them through the years/Cheer them with a smile and pray them through the tears/A cloud of witnesses that would see them to the end/And shower them with love that never ends/A cloud of witnesses".
8. The next song is 'Learn to Let Go'. Of it, Schultz writes: "This song was inspired as I watched a mother and father pray for their daughter as she was leaving for college". Here are some of the words: "And when I walk in your bedroom/The memories that I keep/Are bedtime stories/And rocking you to sleep/And as I held you/You'd drift off to dream/And I know it might sound crazy/Now that you are grown/But yesterday still feels like the day we brought you home".
9. Schultz says 'I Saw the Light' was written about Charles who "was a blind elderly man I met in a run-down infirmary in Jamaica". This upbeat pop song includes these words: "We met and my eyes could not hide how I felt/When I looked at him tattered and torn/But he captured me with a smile that seems so out of place/From the pain he'd endured/And he told me of a sacrifice/That had given him eternal life/He was not alone/He spoke about a greater plan/And I began to understand/My life was not my own".
10. The pop/rock story song 'Legend of McBride' was written around a campfire. It's a fun track you've got to hear to fully appreciate!
11. Last up is 'Remember Me', one of three #1 songs on the album. It's a lovely duet ballad with Ginny Owens: "Remember Me when the color of the sunset fills the sky/Remember Me/When you pray and tears of joy fall from your eyes/And age to age/And heart to heart/Bound by grace and peace/Child of wonder/Child of God/I've remembered you/Remember Me".
MARK [SCHULTZ] is a terrific debut album. It covers a variety of topics. The unconditional love of parents is praised here. We love our children when they are healthy and when they are very sick. We love them when they are still at home and when they go away to college or university. Our arms are always open to welcome them home if they go away. The importance of Christian service and overseas missions is also presented here. Christ is pointed to as the ultimate Way and ultimate Answer for humanity. God longs that we remember Him and love Him though we can't currently see Him. The main musical genres on this project are pop/rock, easy listening, and adult contemporary. Fans of Michael W. Smith, Billy Joel, and Matthew West should acquire this album which I'm rating 93%. For more info visit: www.markschultzmusic.com or connect with him on Facebook.