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Second Hand

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Album Review

More subdued than on his zydeco-influenced Dry Bones Dance, Mark Heard returns with an acoustic record. The focus here is on the lyrics, which fall on the ear like music itself. The album is pure poetry from start to finish, with lines like "You see me like a prism sees a candle." The passionate outcry on "I Just Wanna Get Warm" turns into a real outcry at the end of the tune, backed by fiddle and guitar. "Nod Over Coffee" lyrically works like a string of striking images about the mundaneness of activity. "It's Not Your Fault" displays a passionate plea for forgiveness after an apparent explosive outburst toward a loved one. From beginning to end, this record shines light on the self and the human condition with intelligent, well-crafted songs. The Beatles cover "I'm Looking Through You" is perhaps the weakest track. The nice use of Chapman Stick player Fergus Jemison Marsh on an acoustic release complements, rather than detracts from, the acoustic nature of this record. ~ Mark W.B. Allender, Rovi

Customer Reviews

In a word: brilliant

Mark Heard is one of the greatest songwriters of contemporary Christian music, or any genre. This is his crowning achievement. Second Hand was named the #4 Contemporary Christian album of all time by CCM magazine in 2001. My personal favorite has always been "Nod Over Coffee," but "Look Over Your Shoulder" and "I Just Wanna Get Warm" are also outstanding. In fact, this is a nearly perfect album. Thank you to iTunes for making this brilliant artist available to a wider audience 15 years after his most untimely passing.

Second Hand

Absolutely Fantastic. His songs are brilliant, lasting. This album is great. One of the greatest singer songwriters of all time.

not your church basement coffee hour me-too junk

Mark Heard was a brilliant songwriter and muscian. One of the most under-rated alternative music artists ever. The Christian music scene he came out of has been held against him and his music is being lost. That's tragic. He was great. I only go to church on Christmas with my parents just to keep peace in the family. Mark Heard's music in no way triggers my irritation with organized religion. His insights and his way of wording them, rivals the best of alternative music lyricists. He's clearly one of the greats of alternative music. I personally think he should have left the Christian music scene and gone to a more appreciative audience. But he made his own choices and I respect that. If you want great musicianship and lyrics so profound they will stun you, get one of his final 3 albums. This one, Dry Bones Dance or Satellite Sky. I don't recommend the early stuff. He was holding back then.


Born: 1951 in Macon, GA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '80s, '90s

A brilliant, poetic singer/songwriter, his work displayed a deep spirituality and an honesty to the human condition uncommon in CCM. Heard died in 1992 of heart failure; High Noon recaps...
Full Bio
Second Hand, Mark Heard
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Customer Ratings