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Because He First Loved Us

Cheri Keaggy

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Album Review

In the second half of the 1990s through 2001, the CCM charts belonged to this amiable and worshipful Amy Grant sound-alike, as she broke through with six hit albums, countless number one genre hits, three Dove Award nominations (and one win), and several worship songs that have become part of mainstream church repertoire. Then, apparently waiting for God's inspiration, she took an extended break to, as she said, "marinate in all kinds of stuff...The Christian life can be quite an adventure!" She chronicles that adventure admirably on her long-awaited return, her faith reflected exuberantly in lively love songs to Jesus like "Now I Can Sing" (featuring a glorious front-porch harmonica line by veteran producer Tom Hemby) and midtempo energetic light blues-rockers like "Speak (The Listening Song)" and "Rain or Shine Friend." Her music has always come across like different types of prayer, and sometimes that leads to more contemplative pieces like the opening "Stay to the Middle," "The Reason I Stand Tall," and the gorgeous title track, which reminds listeners to show love "Because He First Loved Us." Her famous uncle-in-law, guitarist Phil Keaggy, makes a notable appearance on the passionate declaration "This Is the Love," and the singer duets beautifully with Marty Roe of Diamond Rio on the sparsely arranged bonus cut cover of "You've Got a Friend." This is middle-of-the-road, cheerful CCM inspiration at its mid-2000s finest.

Biography

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The niece-in-law of gospel legend Phil Keaggy, Cheri Keaggy has become a major artist in the Christian music field without using her famous relative as a crutch. She started her career as a worship leader at her church, then in mid-1993 decided to turn recording artist when Sparrow Records offered her a contract. Her debut album, 1994's Child of the Father, became quite popular on the Christian charts, leading to Keaggy's nomination for a Dove award as New Artist of the Year in 1995. Her singles...
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Because He First Loved Us, Cheri Keaggy
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