Prime Cuts: Lift Up Your Hands When You Can't, Healing in Your Hands, No Place Love Won't Go
The Biblical book of Ecclesiastes says that it is more beneficial for a man to go to a funeral parlour than a banquet. These words have become prophetic for contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter Mark Schultz. Inspired by his attendance of a memorial service of a Godly grandfather who lived a full life of Godliness, Schultz was encouraged to leave a Godly legacy. Thus, came "Before You Call Me Home," a gorgeous piano-based ballad that beckons parents to invest themselves into the things of eternal value. Rife of many such carpe diem songs, this EP's utility is not just in its deftly crafted tunes. Rather, this EP brims with insights, wisdom, as well as heart lessons coming from a man who has had drenched himself in God's Word and His eternal purposes.
Ever since his debut eponymous album in the year 2000, Schultz has had carved a niche for himself as Christian music's piano man. Just as Billy Joel is to pop music, Schultz's sensitive touch on those wooden keys is Christian music's pride. Over the last 15 years, Schultz has had set our imaginations running with his piano-based tunes such as "Letters from War," "You Are a Child of Mine," "Back in His Arms Again," and "He is My Son." However, his last record of original material "All Things Possible" tarnished his patented sound when more guitar-driven rock sounds were added to the mix. Thank goodness for "Before You Call Me Home," Schultz has gone back to his original sound. The only setback is that this EP only contains 5 songs, a smack in the face for fans who have had waited 3 years for this.
Nevertheless, the best song in the crop is "No Place Love Won't Go." If you ever think that you are so hopelessly lost that not even Jesus can get a grip on you, put this track on repeat. A song that harkens back to the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Schultz re-assures us again of God's ever reaching hands. When Schultz puts his sturdy tenor to work on the moving "Lift Up Your Hands When You Can't," you can actually feel the Holy Spirit at work bringing hope to those who hearts have been ravished by disappointments and hurts. Ditto for "Healing in Your Hands;" a ballad that sits on high on the penthouse of greatness with some of Schultz's classics such as "Letters from War" and "Broken and Beautiful." Despite the brevity, this EP finds Schultz returning back to his mother milk of great songs that features those gorgeous piano chops. Welcome back!