This week I am deviating from my normal musical interests and reviewing an album from a musician I have never listened to before this past week. Shawn McDonald is a Christian artist and has been recording with Sparrow Records since August of 2004. I did some research for some bio info, which can be found at Wikipedia, and found that his life has had an amazing turn. Shawn grew up in Eugene, Oregon. He had been abandoned by his natural parents and raised by his grandparents. He grew up too quickly and roughly ten years ago or so, he found himself in a real mess. He says “name a drug, he was either selling it or using it.” Then one day as a young man he found himself facing several drug charges. He says in desperation he cried out to God. He attributes his transformation totally as a work of God. He says that “the way I am now and the way I was then is like night and day. I was a closed shell and now God has created in me a transparency.” I found this transparency and passion for God evident in his song writing.
The album by Shawn McDonald is “Roots“. It was released on March 11th, 2008. The album begins with “Clarity”, a gentle acoustic jazz styled ear candy experience. The song has a nice slide guitar solo close to the end of the track. This is a very cool song. The next track is called “Captivated”. It is a beautiful song of worship and expression for the Creator of all. The bridge verse sweetly sings:
The blood in my veins and my heart you invade
The plants how they grow and the tree and their shade
The way that I feel and love in my soul
I thank you my God for letting me know
Track number three, “Wash Me Clean”, starts off with a neat nylon stringed riff that blends into a nicely mixed orchestral piece. The song has a great flow and Shawn’s vocals are well produced into the acoustic blend. The next song, “Shadowlands”, contains lyrics from the 23rd Psalm. The reggae influenced musical style, including the hip hop vocal style, is reminiscent of Paul Wright, another unique Christian artist.