In a society that has tried to keep death and grief at arms length, we are being confronted with it on a daily basis whether that’s through the war in Ukraine, death of public figures, loss through the pandemic, or our own very personal experiences of grief. The arrival of Michael J Tinker‘s latest album “When There Are No Words” feels timely. It’s an honest exploration of the sadness and pain of loss, whilst always holding on to the hope of the gospel.
Michael has been in the music industry for over 10 years, working both in the folk-world and also creating Christian music for children, which he is perhaps best known for. However this, his 10th album, marks a significant moment in his writing career.
“I wanted to make sure that this album didn’t ‘skip to the end’ too quickly, giving cheap and shallow answers to the struggles we face”, says writer and singer, Michael. “I wanted to sit in the uncomfortable space of grief, both with my own sadness after the loss of my Dad and also artistically, allowing genuine reflection on the questions death raises.” Of course Michael isn’t the first artist to confront grief, however, ‘what the gospel offers, which other philosophies and ideas cannot, is a sure hope through that sadness, knowing that Jesus has also walked that road and come out the other side.” It’s this that permeates the album, not in a preachy way, but in the same vein as the psalmists who battle through the brokenness of this world, holding firmly to God.
The album is in part reflection on his own journey of grief following the death of his father in 2021, but also a stewarding of the stories he’s heard from others. A very personal journey, yet one shared by us all at some time or other. “I want this album to be an opportunity for those who are struggling, for them to be able to walk the road with me through the songs and see hope, even through the prism of tears.”
The album is currently available as a digital download and CD, on all streaming services (5th May) and on vinyl (23rd June). Michael will be touring this show throughout the year.
Connect with him on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram || Download/Stream the album “When There Are No Words“