Sandra McCracken: Songs from the Valley

One of our best modern hymn re-envisioners steps back to the album format in a singer/songwriter mode. “Nobody needs another love song… the light brings out the shimmer of what is fool’s gold and what is love,” she says in “Fools Gold,” paraphrasing the message of 1 Corinthians 13. The rest of the album continues in a similar “pressed but not crushed” vein that will resonate with fans of Sara Groves and Jill Phillips. Her raspy vocal, more Sheryl Crow than Lucinda Williams, explores upper registers rarely heard in her previous work. Twin acoustic guitar, laden with shimmer, give the predominant tone to this collection by, for, and about those going through the wringer of life. McCracken looks back over a rough season in her own life and concludes, “This is not okay, so I know this not the end.” Praise God for that.

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