Psalms by Sandra McCracken

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After going through a difficult time in her personal life, Sandra McCracken did what Christians have done for centuries: she turned to the psalms. In the process, she gathered a new band around her—a bunch of Brooklyn-based musicians who gave her a new sound. The result is what may be McCracken’s best album yet, a gentle but powerful collection of songs that speak of brokenness and grace, of pain and healing, of trust and hope.
This album feels like it was written and recorded in community. Many of the songs were written with friends or based directly on a particular psalm. Even though the opening song “All Ye Refugees” is the only non-McCracken-penned song in the set, when she sings “Welcome Home, gather round, all ye refugees come in,” you’ll believe she means it.
McCracken’s voice is in fine form and communicates a wide variety of emotions. Her hallelujahs are strong, but on the lines “Why are you so full of heaviness? O my soul,” it is clear that she isn’t just mouthing the words.
The entire set is so strong that it is hard to pick out highlights.Psalms is a rare recording that invites the listener into a delicate moment in the life of an artist as she experiences the healing power of Christ.

About the Author

Robert J. Keeley is professor of education at Calvin College and director of distance learning at Calvin Seminary.