Mark Wagnercomment (0)
June 21, 2012
By Rick Sharp
Otis Alan Records
Mark Wagner released his fourth national studio album, “NeedLove,” on May 15. Wagner says the record is intended to remind listeners of their need for God’s love. The new album is available exclusively through Mocha Club, a nonprofit organization that funds relief and development efforts in Africa.
Those who partner with Wagner and with Mocha Club’s program to counsel and rehabilitate women in Ethiopia who had been forced into prostitution will receive the album free, along with a music video, lyrics, chord charts and monthly communications from Wagner and Mocha Club documenting how their contributions are being used.
While the album has gotten lots of attention for what it does, does it stand on its own for what it is? The answer is an unqualified “yes.” Well written and recorded, this is an impressive acoustic-backed collection of songs, buoyed by soaring guitar work and moving backbeats. A remake of Rich Mullins’ “Creed” is one of the best, losing nothing to the familiarity of Mullins’ powerful lyrics. Call me sappy, but “Gonna Be with You” is another standout. Written to Wagner’s wife, it’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message, a pledge of faithfulness that comes across honestly and sincerely.
Contact the Mocha Club at www.themochaclub.org.