Cover of "Angels of Mercy"

CCM artist Susan Ashton is perhaps one of the most underrated artists of all time. Not only has she worked in Contemporary Christian music but she has also worked in country music: she is an occasional backup vocalist for Garth Brooks and has even released a country album, 1999’s Closer.

However her better moments were when she recorded 1992 album for Sparrow RecordsAngels of Mercy. This masterpiece has one theme that flows freely throughout the album: mercy and how it plays into the various aspects of life with Christ. Ashton wastes no time in singing God’s praises about how he never leaves or forsakes his children with the rockabily-fused CCM classic Here In My Heart.

One of the most gut-wrenching (and convicting) tracks is the country-tinged Started As A Whisper, which tells the story of a teen mother being turned away from a church because she’s pregnant. It’s a track that almost foreshadows the current state of the church in America, which is in a state of decline. Ashton points out in her own poigniant way “The chance we have today just maybe gone tomorrow and when it comes down to the soul, time may not be borrowed.”

Ashton’s strong points are her penchant for country-rock. She does this well on Walk On By, which speaks of the subject of temptation. Ashton even alludes to her own past struggles in the Trisha Yearwood-fused Walk On By.

This Grammy-nominated album is a little hard to come by these days unless you are able to get it used. If so, I highly recommend it. This album is anything but cheesy.

 

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