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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Prodigal Comes Home
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Prime Cuts: Time, Redeem Me, Have a Little Faith in Me

It takes grace for a man to confess as English does on this album's lead single: "The only thing good in me is you (God)." After a tumultuous extra marital affair, divorce, re-marriage and English's own struggle with painkillers, English returns 8 years later with a tell-it-all autobiography and this ensuing CD. Like its codex counterpart, there is a confessional outspoken expressed in these songs. Rather than wallow in self-pity, English has used his weaknesses as a platform to bear testimony to God's grace which has the ability to manifest His glory despite human failings. Though English does not pen a single note on this CD, he has the uncanny ability of choosing songs that revealingly tell his story with honesty as well as with hope. This is thanks in part to a stellar lineup of A-listed songwriters such as Matthew West, Tony Wood, Sam Mizell, and John Hiatt who have contributed their works of art to this fray. And unlike some of English previous CDs, whereby God is reticently guised under the generic pronoun "he," here English is upfront and blatant in his references to the Almighty.

English is unabashedly frank in his vulnerability on the piano-led ballad "Redeem Me." A gorgeous tug at the heart confession to God for God's help in the midst of sin and despair, English sings with a realism that is endearing. God's sovereignty over all our days is the theme of "Time," is a knock it out of the park ballad that ought to be a classic to come. English veers close to Joe Cocker's version of the John Hiatt's soul ballad "Have a Little Faith in Me" with his gruff bluesy phrasings. Though "Have a Little Faith" is a love song, but in the context of the album it can be read as God's gracious invitation for us to return to Him. While the Sam Mizell and Matthew West's "Feels Like Redemption" starts off on a bluesy understated tone before breaking out into a 80s arena rock anthem.

On the perky side, opener "Sanctuary" finds English charging out with wailing guitars and thundering drums on this rocker that professes English's yearning to seek God's refuge. Lead single "The Only Thing Good in Me" first appeared on writer Ronnie Freeman's debut CD. Though the lyrics is soaked with the exaltation of God, the melody is not as engaging enough to be the vanguard radio single. While "Don't Think I'm Not Thankful" has a more sturdy tune that has a country undercurrent to it. This is no surprising as "Don't Think I'm Not Thankful" come from the pens of a couple of country music's finest scribes Michael Dulaney and Neil Thrasher.

Though "The Prodigal Comes Home" trumps on English's earnest delivery, there's nothing here that is revolutionary. With the ballads aside, the uptempos are pretty average, the standard fare of modern contemporary Christian pop music. However, what makes this a worthwhile purchase is that English takes themes--such as human frailty, sin, forgiveness, God's grace and sovereignty--and he presents them in ways that are relatable and believable
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Prodigal Comes Home by Michael English is a redemption story told in song. English didn't write the songs, but they fit his life since his fall from grace in May of 1994. One week after receiving four Dove awards following the release of Hope (1993), English confessed to having an extramarital affair with Marabeth Jordan, a singer with First Call. He returned the awards, and the fallout came quickly, including the breakup of his marriage.

By the time of the release of Heaven to Earth (2000), English could speak of all that God had done in his life, which included overcoming an addiction to painkillers. His restoration went a step further when on August 29, 2002, English married Marcie Stambaugh, the daughter of a pastor. In May of 2004 they were blessed with the birth of Issabella Grace (Bella).

English's new life is reflected in these songs, which give voice to what it feels like to have a second chance. The lyrical content is general enough to make it possible for anyone to relate to the songs. Those struggling with different kinds of problems should find encouragement, hope and comfort. Each song is a variation on the theme of a prodigal son's return.

Most tracks are mid-tempo in the adult contemporary style. "Sanctuary" and "A New Day" are more pop rock oriented. "The Only Good In Me" and the gospel-flavored "Have a Little Faith in Me" are among the best for their refreshing simplicity. Some of the more dramatic songs showcase English's considerable ability.

He sings his heart out throughout this release. His voice has a pleasant touch of soul--a little like Michael Bolton and Michael McDonald. It sounds so natural. The songwriting, musicianship and production are also excellent.

This may be Michael English's best recording. It's a strong return.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I believe this is the best Michael English album since "Hope" all those years ago. When God truly changes a heart, He blesses it. I know there are those who have not liked the style of the music (too 90's or not original in style) but the lyrics in these songs are so powerful and to me they are a great blessing. We all have struggled and we all have fallen, this album reminds us that God is waiting to restore us. I was truly blessed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I encourage all who can to buy this CD. It is possibly the best Michael has done, at least second to best. :o) It is not only beautiful but so touching when you realize the songs are right from the heart about his road to redemption. If you've read his book and then listen to this CD, I'm sure it'll bring tears.

Michael has a unique and wonderfully amazing voice and has indeed been blessed by God. Praise God for Michael English!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This cd is awesome. I'm a huge Michael English fan and I'm very pleased with this album. I just saw him in concert three days ago, and he is still a great singer. I am so proud that he is back on his feet. I have waited a long time for this cd and was not disappointed in it. I don't care if he didn't write any of the songs. They tell his life story and what God has brought him through. Great job Michael!!!!!!!!
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on September 22, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Wow! This man can sing!!!! He doesn't just have a great, multi-octave, multi-versatile, can-sing-anything he wants voice. He really SINGS in a way that moves anyone who listens! He sings every WORD out of every song as if the words are a song in themselves. His diction is incredibly unique, with total class and perfection! When he sings live, even better.
Catch him on a TBN show he did after the release if "The Prodigal Comes Home" release (book & CD). Go to TBN.org and search his name. Pick the show with Donny McClurkin and Gary Oliver. If you're not a Michael English fan, you will be after watching him sing "Blessed Assurance" live!! By their own admission he blows away even the most dynamic singers like Donny McClurkin and Gary Oliver on the stage that night. As Jan Crouch quoted, Hearing Michael English sing, "You're hearing One of the GREATEST SINGERS this side of Heaven"! Amen Jan!
I'm so proud of Michael English! With his voice, meekness, power, and looks, he could have topped any pop singers of that time, like Michael Bolton, etc., and could also top them today! But Michael CHOSE to sing for Jesus because "That's where my passion is" Michael says. And it sure is! The greatest singer ever! Extremely gifted beyond belief at times! And now things are coming back around for Michael because he stayed true to The Faith, and God is keeping His promises and blessing Michael for his choices to sing for Him. Even with another NEW "The Michael English Show" on TBN! Who greater to host a gospel music artist show than the man who knows them all! Singing gospel with his dad and brothers since he was 5, knowing all the gospel circles, to singing with Bill Gaither for many, many years, no one knows gospel music like Michael, AND can bring singers and musicians together, with Miichael's sweet, so humble hosting! And we fans get to see and hear Michael English sing every week!
You'll never be disappointed with anything Michael English because he's the real deal and talented beyond description.
Enjoy, new Michael English fan!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I remember Michael from when he first started doing solo work. His voice was smooth, with a beautifull wide range, & sounding good in every register. "In Christ Alone" is a good example of what I mean. There are many more examples of beautiful vocal quality on his first three albums. Then Michael went through a lot of grief, depression, sunstance abuse and trauma. During his first come back, he seemed to be imitating heavy metal & black R & B singers. Something has physically happened to his vocal quality. On Prodigal, it sounds like he's forcing it. My ears don't like this new sound. He's turned his life around with a family and a second chance with the GVB. He's paid for his mistakes. He doesn't have to prove anything to anybody. I wish he would relax, be himself, and go back to the beautiful singer I remember.

Musicman1947
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on March 15, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This book was tough to read. Only because, Michael exposed his inner-self and his deepest secrets fighting demons all the way. He reveals his long journey back to Jesus; he found peace with God and victory through Jesus Christ, knowing that he was forgiven for eternity. Now he truly gives God glory through that beautiful voice of his. I would recommend this book to those who were Michael's fans because some of us who followed him through his music ministry a couple of decades ago embraced his signature songs and when the news began to pour out about his personal life, many of us were deeply hurt.
This book not only reveals his personal life and his personal journey back into the arms of Jesus, the book can speak to others who are struggling in their own path of destruction. Again, this is a passionate writing, as passionate as the songs he sang!
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on July 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Well finally this is the one ! You know when they ask you wich album you would take to a deserted island, if you only could take one (and there would be a cd player on the island). Well I would take 'the prodigal comes home'. I play it every single day.
What's so great about it ? The texts are great, for a starter. Every text is like a poem or a prayer or a quote you could use to lift someone up.
I like the music ! And I like Michel's voice. His voice has that somewhat rough honesty, with a passion coming through that gives me goosebumps.
I couldn't possibly say which song is may favorite. There is a song for every mood and every struggle. And every song is uplifting, hopegiving, encouraging, heart opening ...
I hope a new CD will come soon. Or a dvd, that would be great !
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on March 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
its been a long wait but well worth it. from the first track (sanctuary) which rocks out , and then immediately followed by (feels like redemption) which sounds like another classic in the vein of (in christ alone, heaven to earth, midnight cry, and i bowed)- love the entire cd. the words tell the story of his redemption - i have followed him from the early days , the triumphs , the fall, and the comeback. he is a true talent and once again i believe he will be used by God. dont just go buy it, buy 10 and spread the message of redemption.
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