MercyMe

The Hurt & the Healer

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Award-winning, Texas-based Christian rockers MercyMe's eighth studio album, The Hurt & The Healer, is billed as a "celebration of that moment when these two worlds collide... the deep need for healing and the God who provides it." That sentiment is most affecting on the title cut, a soaring, midtempo ballad that ponders "I'm alive/even though part of me has died/you take my heart and breathe it back to life," but it's not the only sure-to-be fan favorite to be found here. The emotive, reverent "You Are I Am" and the bluesy "Take the Time," the latter of which features guest vocals from Bear Rinehart of fellow CCM superstars Needtobreathe, are both first spin highlights, and the propulsive, upbeat opener "You Know Better" sets the pace and mood with a road trip-ready chorus set against a driving, alt-rock backbeat. The Hurt & The Healer may not deviate much from the fairly predictable, anthem-heavy template of previous outings, but few bands in the genre are as adept as MercyMe when it comes to implementing that sound effectively.

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