A life full of experiences put to song is what Amy Grant has accomplished with her 17th studio album. How Mercy Looks from Here is Grant’s first full studio recording released in 10 years. After a decade, she shares experiences that have come with a lifetime of living in God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.
She describes the process of living as beauty in even the most tragic of lives. In her newest project album, she expresses laughter, tears and all the things that make life worth living. She hopes the album reflects the celebration of the journey of life.
The idea of the album’s title came to Amy after thinking about how mercy looks from her vantage point, as a Christian icon star. People tend to open up and talk to her, sharing stories they don’t feel comfortable sharing with others.
On the album, Amy pulls out the stops and shares vocals with some very well-known artists. On “Don’t Try So Hard,” James Taylor provides backing vocals. Carole King shares “Our Time Is Now.” Sheryl Crow and Eric Paslay join in on “Deep As It Is Wide.” Will Hoge sings on “Shovel in Hand.” Her husband, country music star Vince Gill, is part of the album as well.
The 11-track album includes:
- If I Could See (What the Angels See)
- Better Not to Know
- Don’t Try So Hard
- Deep As It Is Wide
- Shovel in Hand
- Our Time Is Now
- Not Giving Up
- How Mercy Looks from Here
- Greet the Day
The Digital Bonus Deluxe Edition includes two additional tracks: “Free” and “Faith.” There is also a Target Edition, sold exclusively by Target Stores, that includes “Threaten Me with Heaven.” This exclusive track’s title stemmed from a comment her older children’s grandfather made after receiving bad medical test results.
During the past 10 years, she has cared for her aging parents suffering dementia. The album is dedicated to her mother, Gloria Grant, who passed away in 2011 and asked Amy to sing something that matters when she goes out on stage.
Thrust into the spotlight as a young lady to represent a Christian record label and becoming the first Christian artist to achieve Platinum sounds glamorous. However, during her 35 years on the road and six Grammy Awards, Amy Grant was attempting to live a real life of faith off stage while singing about faith onstage. She admittedly has made mistakes, but has always sung songs that came from a truth within. Now in her fifties, she sees value in holding onto that faith and allowing God to be present to take charge of imperfections.
Her divorce from Gary Chapman and remarriage to Vince Gill was well publicized. What wasn’t front page news were her private struggles and joys along the way that were sculpting her life. On the album, Amy openly expresses her life that has consisted of performing, marriage, motherhood, divorce, remarriage, aging parents with dementia, prayer, grief, joys and all of the stories behind the music.
She refers to her music as faith music and doesn’t segregate between Christian and secular. Her lyrics have always come from deep within.
When referred to as Queen of Christian Pop, she responds with a scripture:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. —Romans 12:3, KJV
The songs on the album have been instrumental in helping Amy put things into perspective in her own life. Every song has a story behind it. Marshall Altman produced the album and was instrumental in changing a line in the lyrics on “What the Angels See” to, “death’s goodbye is love’s hello.” “Shovel in Hand” is a song she wrote in response to her son losing a friend as a young adult.
The CD album was released on May 14, 2013 on the Amy Grant Productions and Sparrow Records label.