The Phantom Tollbooth

Reckless Mercy
Artist: Kevin Prosch
Label: Vertical Music
Time: 8 tracks/59:43 min

With his raw, slightly alternative edge, Kevin Prosch has become a well-known and influential worship artist in the last few years. His albums, however, have never had wide distribution in the US so I was thrilled to find he had signed to Vertical Music which is part of Integrity. Not being a fan of most ccm praise and worship music, I must admit this is my first Integrity purchase.  Reckless Mercy contains a collection of Prosch classics re-recorded in the studio with Kevin's long-time band, The Black Peppercorns - Martin Neil (drums/percussion), Rich Causon (keyboards), and Tony Green (bass) so it's an excellent place to start if you haven't heard Prosch before.

The album is a mixture of acoustic rock and gentle ballads. While the music doesn't have the creativity of the At the Foot of the Cross, it is raw. Simplistically expressive but still interesting and intelligent. The lyrics will give you plenty of things to meditate on:

Teach us, O Lord what it really means
To Rend our hearts instead of outer things
Teach us, O God what we do not see
About our hearts and Your ways
(from Break Our Hearts")
The vocals are heartfelt and passionate,  Prosch gives the impression of pouring his heart out in a spontaneous flow of words. The songs all give an intensely personal and incredibly transparent look at Prosch's heart. "I Really Love You" is a gentle rock ballad that gives one the feel that it's being composed from the very depth of his heart on the spot rather than being a re-recorded classic.

If you are looking for intelligent contemporary praise and worship, this is a must for your collection. It has that certain timeless feel to it. It would be nice if there was more artists like Prosch doing praise and worship.

By Shari Lloyd