It's hard to believe 20 years have passed since this great CD first hit store shelves. Oh, I know her next release, Heart in Motion, would overshadow this release as far as number of copies sold. But for my money, this is Amy Grant at her best.
One reason this disc is so great is that it sounds timeless. Yes, it was released in 1988, but you have to listen close to catch the 80's influence. Yes, it is there, most noticeably on the title track or "Shadows." But it is kept to a minimum most of the time. Heck, piano is the predominant instrument in the beautiful ""If These Walls Could Speak." And there are lots of strings and guitar, too.
But the lyrics are good, too. Amy struggles here between faith, love, and how humans actually behave. "1974" opens the disc talking about the joy of her confusion. But then comes the title track that incorporates imagery of slavery and the holocaust between cries to find a place where people aren't cruel to each other. That theme is picked up again in "What About the Love" in which Amy sees how we give power to the strong and wonders where love is in our world.
True, a couple of the tracks haven't aged well due solely to Amy's personal life. I just can't listen to "Faithless Heart" and "Sure Enough" without thinking about her divorce and remarriage. Judgmental of me? Probably. But I can't help it.
When I first got this project, I got it on tape. It only had ten of the twelve songs on the CD. As a result, "Wait for the Healing" and "If You Have to Go Away" both seem odd to me to this day. Which is a shame because they are great pop songs.
And I can't leave out the one rocker, "All Right." This song of faith perfectly balances out some of the doubt.
I consider this the biggest transition in Amy's career. It's still a Christian project, but I'm not sure God is mentioned once. As a result, anyone can join her journey of exploration of the lines between good and evil in our world.
Yes, time has been good to this disc. Every time I pull it out, I listen to it multiple times in a row. I expect to keep being encouraged and challenged by it for years to come.