The Painted Desert
(House of Mirrors Music)
Andrew Osenga has been making music for more than 20 years with bands like The Normals and Caedmon’s Call as well as several stellar solo albums. But it’s his new release, The Painted Desert, that’s his crowning achievement.
Fraught with stories of personal loss and the observance of Christ’s redemption, The Painted Desert is a mostly quiet record punctuated with first-rate guitar playing and sweet vocal harmonies. Osenga doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects here—songs like “Cary (Where Were You),” “Give Up,” and “Mercy” plead for God’s presence in the midst of sorrow and doubt.
While The Painted Desert is absolutely a personal journey through hard things, ultimately it’s an album about God’s restoration and mercy. In “The Year of the Locust,” Andrew sings, “Take comfort and rest/ when the heart is an uncivil war and you’re taking a beating/ blood red on your chest/ He will restore the years the locusts have eaten.” This record is about God making something beautiful out of something barren. Kind of like, well, a painted desert.