Released in 1992, Heart of the Young by Age of Faith is very dated in its sound now. But, I love it. It's not an album that I listen to very often but when I do it's one of a handful of records that causes waves of nostalgia to wash over me. It transports me back to the time in my life when I first heard the title track and then a few years later when I'd blast the album in my bedroom on the stereo system that I wish I still had now.
While musically this is very much a product of its time, lyrically it explored some things that I've found to be timeless. The struggles and hopes, hardships and joys that comprise this thing called being human. The deep need to find love and fulfillment, overcoming past hurts, standing up for what's right. It's relatable stuff.
I've always enjoyed lead singer Jimi Ray's vocal quality as well. There are some pretty cool guitar riffs on the album too. And as a bonus, one track features vocals by Rick Elias, member of Rich Mullins' Ragamuffin Band, and great artist in his own right.
My cassette copy had gotten lost in a move many years ago and I wondered if I'd ever get to hear the album again. This was before streaming platforms. Before the internet as we know it today even. Then about 10 years ago, I found a used CD copy on Amazon or eBay and I grabbed it. And I was thrilled to find that not only was the CD in mint condition but it was also autographed! I remember the huge smile on my face as I heard the songs again for the first time in years.
Despite the 90s vibe and the fact that few people have even heard of the band, let alone this record, I'll always love it. I'll never not play it. It has become one of those things that are simply a part of my makeup. Part of the fabric of my life. Perhaps an odd thing to say about a collection of songs from an obscure band, but it is what it is. And I'm just fine with it. Excuse me while I go listen again. And yes, I'll be singing along with every song too.
Is there an album or song that you feel that way about?