John Michael Talbot

The Cave of the Heart

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After 25 years of recording, John Michael Talbot still finds new ways to express himself, as 1999's Cave of the Heart illustrates. Without abandoning his Christian beliefs, he re-emphasizes the folky soft rock at the core of his sound, funneling it all into a record that feels like a concept album, even if it isn't. With guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Phil Keaggy assisting in the sonic coloring, Talbot has crafted perhaps his most musically complex and satisfying record in years. The songs are straight-forward, direct, and well written, recalling earlier works, while the music shows a sophistication beyond even his recent efforts. Consequently, it's one of the stronger CCM efforts of 1999 -- and one with crossover potential, as well.

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