Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 7, 2002
Lyrics stem from spiritual roots
Faith-based singer branches out into the secular world
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"There are people who aren't Christians who love these songs, who listen to them and relate to them."
- Mark Mallett
"I firmly believe that being a Christian doesn't mean that I have to sing explicitly about the cross. So long as my music reflects the human struggle, reflects reality and isn't something that tears down the kingdom or is negative towards it, then I think that kind of art is always inspired by God."
Underneath every one of Mallett's new songs is the virtue of faithfulness, of selflessness of genuine love and to him, that's evangelization. "It may not use the name of Christ, but certainly uses the character of Christ and that to me can be just as or more powerful than singing a song that's directly about Christ and uses his name in the song."
Mallett released his new CD live on national television on the TV program 100 Huntley Street July 24 and later that day at Toronto's World Youth Day celebrations, where he performed.
"The response has been far better than we had anticipated," Mallet said.
100 Huntley Street music producer Mark Masri called it "an incredible spiritual journey," while radio tracker Laurie Vincent, who promotes top Canadian Christian artists, said Mallett's album is one of the best country albums she's ever heard. Barry Allen, the recording engineer who mixed the project, called it "absolutely stunning . . . easily the best piece of work I have ever worked on."
Love Holds on was co-produced with country singer and Juno nominee Jim Witter from Hamilton. It boasts an impressive roster of musicians including last year's Juno winners Lester Quizau and Marian Dunn. Covenant Award winner Lianna Klassen makes a vocal appearance.
Mallett's debut release, Deliver Me From Me, has sold about 5,000 copies since its release in 1999. "We get letters every week from people who are continuing to tell us that this CD is being used in a profound way to touch their lives," Mallett said. "Obviously God is using it in a way that goes far beyond me and the words and the CD."
Since its release, Deliver Me From Me has been nominated for six awards, including Best Gospel Artist with the Alberta Recording Industry and Outstanding Contemporary Christian Recording with the Prairie Music Awards.
One of the musician's favourite songs on Love Holds On is the one he and Witter wrote together, Without the Pain, which was released on secular radio in late September.
The whole point of the song is that it is often through pain that we find the hope or the love that we are looking for.
What inspires Mallet? "Everything from a headline in the newspaper to my children. Some of the songs are written for my wife and some of them are just stories, stories that aren't necessarily true, but might be."
A dead puppy inspired Love Holds On, the title song.
"Two years ago I was driving on the highway to a concert in Lethbridge and I saw this puppy that had been run over on the highway and it was right beside a farmhouse," he explains.
"And so it just brought to my mind the image of a little girl leaning over her puppy and it just struck me with such a sadness and probably the love that that girl felt for that puppy and how she would have held on to that puppy.
"And it's actually a very relevant song because the second verse deals with a man and a woman who are in love with each other but separated by war and it is their love for one another that brings them back together again."
Mallett and his team will hold a CD release party at the Shaw Conference Centre Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. Mallett will perform all the songs on the CD at the event, including Mind Over Matter, which he performs with his wife Lea.
Love Holds On can be purchased by calling (877) 655-NAIL, or online at www.markmallett.com.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.