Andrew Osenga: The Painted Desert

One of today’s most consistently satisfying songwriters shows his worth yet again on this eleven song meditation on the stuff of real life.

“Beautiful Places” describes a child’s ash-scattering trek to a Canadian vista special to his deceased father. “Year of the Locust” builds on the redemptive promise of Joel 2:25. “Worry” challenges us about the times that “we hide in busyness and keep pretending that we trust the hand of God.” “Cary” describes a neighbor who broke the cycle of child abuse. “Restore to me the joy of my salvation,” Osenga whispers in “Still Waters.” Penultimate track “Mercy” rings true with the thoughts of someone who has known both failure and forgiveness.

Acoustic guitars predominate, with languorous electric lines floating intermittently over the top, free of percussion, achieving a sonic effect somewhere between The Innocence Mission and Elliott Smith.

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