Musically Amy Grant has always kept one foot in the sacred world and one foot in the secular one. In keeping with that balancing act, she follows up her pop turn on 2003's Simple Things with a spiritual offering on Rock of Ages, a praiseworthy sequel to 2002's Legacy...Hymns & Faith. This quietly inspiring collection, consisting mostly of religious standards, plays to Grant's strengths; while she has seemed unwilling or unable to be as overtly sexual as some pop singers today, expressing devotion seems to come easily to her. She sounds terrific, melodic and crisp of diction as always, and she never over-sings (although she does rush the tempo a little on the "Ode to Joy" variation "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee"). Grant also had the great judgment to bring in her husband, country star Vince Gill, who coproduced the album (with Brown Bannister), and he lends his angelic tenor to a moving version of "Rock of Ages." Gill and Rich Bennett evoke Chet Atkins ("St. Chet" to many in Nashville) with their lyrical guitar support on "Anywhere with Jesus." Not all Christian music is truly musical. Grant's certainly is.
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