Keith Green

Songs for the Shepherd

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Green's most mild-tempered record, Songs for the Shepherd, was released only two months before he and two of his small children were killed in an airplane crash in 1982. Earlier in his CCM career, Green had made a reputation for himself as something of a fiery prophet, condemning religious hypocrisy and compromise wherever he felt he saw it. In his last months, though, he had begun softening his approach (he published an essay warning Christians against developing a prophet complex, and confessed that he had been guilty of that arrogance himself). This album reflects that newfound softness. Billed as a collection of songs for praise and worship, the music alternates between childishly bouncy Sunday School melodies and soothingly gushing MOR string arrangements. In an unusual bout of eclecticism, Green has also included one twangy country & western tune ("Draw Me") and one darkly moaning black gospel number ("O God Our Lord"). With the exception of the unsettling hellfire imagery of the latter track, Green's lyrics are at their most relaxed and grateful here.

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