It's no secret that music soothes, inspires, excites and entertains. In the hands of some artists, music becomes a method of self-discovery and even healing.

In the three years since his last album, Kenny Loggins has seen his stable world with wife and three children come crashing down. His newly released album, "Leap of Faith," is surprisingly acoustical and intensely personal, reflecting the pain and growth of major changes in his life.In ending a 12-year marriage, trying to heal the anguish his children felt in the divorce and finding faith to believe that love would come again, Loggins the songwriter has plumbed the depths of his soul. In a telephone interview from California, Loggins said, "There's more of me in this album than ever before."

In liner notes Loggins tells how some of the songs that emerged were a surprise. "I sat down to write a song for my daughter's christening. But what came through was something totally unexpected and completely knocked me off my feet," he wrote. It took a year before he could write the song to his daughter telling her that while he will never really leave her, "your daddy doesn't live here anymore." During the interview Loggins said, "Songs will show me things before I'm ready to acknowledge them. Creativity is a scary process. We're not exactly eager to know when our lives are falling apart, but we need to know."

Loggins acknowledged that some people might not like this openness. "When you take a swing at my music, you take a swing at me because this is who I am and what I believe in," he explained. "I think the deepest problem we all face is a lack of spirituality." In the title song, "Leap of Faith," he describes stepping out of the known into the darkness and trusting that something is coming, revealing the spiritual side of his nature. "If you don't have trust in a compassionate God, you can't make any kind of leap of faith," he said. "There is exhilaration in knowing that you've done something. It is an act of courage and it shifts who you are."

Several of the songs on the new album are homeward themed. Loggins described this as "finding home." "It's all psychological. It's being comfortable in your own skin. The path home is in a relationship. Psychologists say that you must love yourself before you can love another. But I don't think that's true. We learn to love ourselves through loving another."

In the middle of writing the songs for this new album, Loggins fell in love. "She was by no means what I thought was my type, but Julia is acomplete open heart, a sweet, nurturing female," he said.

As a lyric says in one of his songs, Loggins has gone out on a precipice by opening up his heart for strangers to view. He said, "I did expect someone would take a shot at me for the content, but what the hell, what are we made of? There is the polarity of the cynical mind and the intuitive heart. The cynical mind deadens feelings and doesn't act - the heart/intuitive mind can feel things and when things are intolerable then we act," he said. "Cynical minds won't clean up the environment let alone work on a relationship."

As one listens to this new album, the intensity and fervor of his love for his family and the world he wants to leave for his children come vibrating through. "The record has been out for four weeks and has already outsold my last album," Loggins noted. A sure sign he has succeeded in a goal he once set for himself: "The closer I can come to expressing myself, the better the songs are . . . I'm not really trying to say anything to anyone but me. And the more I can touch me, the more I can touch others."



Where and when

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Here's the performance and ticket information for Kenny Loggins' two-night "Leap of Faith" tour stop in Salt Lake City:

When: Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City.

Tickets: Available at Smith'sTix or charge by phone at 467-5996. Reserved seats $20 in advance.

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