This album is the result of decades of preparation and a lifelong pursuit of expert song craft and storytelling. Michael McLean is truly in his element on this landmark album, a collection of stories about the Savior told from the unique perspective of different characters who walked and talked with Jesus while he was on the Earth. McLean takes the listener on a journey through widely varied perspectives, from Peter as he was rescued while walking on water with Christ, to a leper who was healed, to a child in Capernaum, each song shows a different side of the divine mission of the Savior. The production combines Michael's signature lyrical craftsmanship with catchy, infectious melodies that carry unforgettable stories. This album lifts people up and points them to the Savior through the stories that we hold most dear.
In his own words, Michael has expressed this about the album: "This collection of songs came from a lifelong search for understanding about Jesus by studying the stories of those who had unique, personal encounters with Him. I didn't realize when I started this journey that the most unexpected encounter of all would be my own."
From Arizona's first viewing of Michael McLean's Forgotten Carols to today I have loved and appreciated his personal approach to Gospel Music. In "Encountering Jesus" I find a refreshing approach to the writing of both the lyrics and the music. I have sung in church and school choirs all my life and I can play the blues pretty well. I am appreciative of almost all musics from Bossa Nova to Classical to Rock & Roll and Tuvan Throat Singing. Michael uses rock, jazz and classical instruments and arrangements to attain a soulful sound that is effective to me in reaching my heart strings. Less creative writing and artistry would not move or reach me in the same way.
During this Christmas season, I attended "The Forgotten Carols" play. It was amazing ! My daughter purchased this CD for me at the Deseret Book booth at the theater. I had a long drive ahead of me after the show so I popped it in my player. I was so uplifted and actually "blown away" by how McLean personalizes the experience of encountering Jesus through songs from the viewpoint of various ordinary folks that the Bible tells us Jesus actually met. Sometimes religion can seem so abstract because we cannot easily relate to a Jesus that actually walks among us because it happened in a different time. This album made me really relate to how that actual physical meeting might have been for the real people Jesus met. I saw myself in many of the characters, as you probably will to. Over a month now, and it still my favorite CD while I drive. I simply can't get enough of it. Here's hoping McLean makes it into an Easter time stage play like "The Forgotten Carols". I highly recommend it even if Christian music is not your usual genre, I'm betting that you will enjoy it as much as I have.