Andrew Osenga ‘The Painted Desert’ Album Review
5.0 Overall Score


(House of Mirrors Music)

For Fans Of:

Andrew Peterson, John Mark McMillan

We Like:

“The Year of the Locust”

Andrew Osenga ‘The Painted Desert’ Album Review

Andrew Osenga
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.

–John Barber

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About The Author

John Barber

John Barber has been listening to CCM music since the mid ‘80s, and he’s passionate about the good stuff. He interviews and reviews have been published at, PledgeMusic, The Rabbit Room, and others. He’s been a featured presenter at Hutchmoot, a Nashville-based conference, speaking about U2’s The Joshua Tree. Mostly, John can be found with earbuds in, listening to everything from Steve Taylor to Andrew Peterson.

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