Singer-songwriter Bebo Norman made his national debut to Christian music with Ten Thousand Days, the follow up to his indie release The Fabric of Verse. A decade later, it continues to be a classic worth revisiting. Though I remembered the radio singles “Stand,” “The Hammer Holds,” and “I’m Alright,” it wasn’t until a year or two ago that I picked this up on a friend’s recommendation and discovered just what a great album it was.
Bebo’s signature style is acoustic folk with lyrics that find a quiet center between hope and brokenness, and his first CD is filled with peaceful, introspective gems. “I’m Alright,” one of the more upbeat and better-known songs, simultaneously acknowledges the “demons in my history” and declares with hope that “I will get by.” “Where the Angels Sleep” is probably my all-time favorite Bebo Norman song. The music is focused on acoustic guitar with a delicate female harmony and just enough strings and percussion to give it a majestic swell where it needs it, and lyrically, it’s a masterpiece of honest, real poetry. The closer, “Rita,” is one of the most powerful musical responses to death I’ve ever heard. As he rails against trite responses to grief (“It was not her time / That’s a useless line”), he also acknowledges God’s sovereignty and power to heal broken hearts (“But the God that sometimes can’t be found / Will wrap Himself around you”).
Ten Thousand Days lives in the contrasts, the place between hope and despair, the ruined and the beautiful. Whether revisiting the beginnings of Bebo Norman’s career or finding his music for the first time, track down a copy and discover this classic for yourself. – Jen Rose
Ten Thousand Days (2007)
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Our synopsis: “A blend of acoustic folk and poetic depth are the highlights of this classic singer-songwriter debut .” (Recommended by JFH’s Jen Rose)
Perfect For: Hope, reflection, quiet rainy days
Song Highlights: “Stand,” “The Hammer Holds,” “I’m Alright,” “Where the Angels Sleep,” “Rita”
So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Ten Thousand Days? Do you recommend it? If so, why?