Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Audrey Assad: Heart Review

Dove-nominated artist Audrey Assad’s debut project The House You’re Building was received with open arms by Christian radio and contemporary Christian fans. Audrey quickly shot to the front of the Christian music scene, garnering an impressive fan base in the process. After much anticipation from Audrey’s diehard fans, she is finally back with her sophomore project Heart. It’s Audrey’s stunning vocals and honesty that shine forth from Heart, as a new treasure can be found in every track with each listen through.

Based on Matthew chapter 5, “Blessed are the Ones” speaks of hungering for more of God. The contemporary track and light trombones make a nice backing for Audrey’s absolutely amazing vocals, already apparent. The piano-flavored “Even the Winter” offers hope to those who feel “lost in winter,” encouraging them that the sun will soon shine – to keep going and not to lose heart. I can totally relate to the right-on lyrics of this track, and I’m sure that Audrey’s listeners will too.

With a catchy drumbeat comes “The Way You Move,” speaking of how no pride or other attempts will stop God from getting through to us. Audrey also covers the beloved hymn “His Eye is On the Sparrow,” changing the melody to a more upbeat and happy sounding hymn and abbreviating the title to “Sparrow.” Fans who heard Audrey Assad’s Live in SoHo album, released by Apple, will most likely appreciate the fact that this version is more upbeat and polished.

“Breaking Me” speaks to the heart of a depressed individual, challenging them to lift their head and know that help is on the way, while the piano ballad “O My Soul” is a modern-day psalm, speaking to the soul: “Don’t lie to yourself, oh my soul/ love your God…” Most noticeable, besides the fact that the track is almost entirely piano, is Audrey’s fantastic vocals, even better than usual through this serene track.

“Won Me Over,” a celebration of how God grabs our hearts, starts a set of more upbeat tracks. Following, “No Turning Back” speaks of resolve to follow Christ no matter what the cost. It does use a portion of the hymn “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” which makes the track a highlight off the album Heart. “Lament” has an ecclesiastical twist to it, complaining about the fact that we run away from God so often.

“Wherever You Go” builds very nicely throughout and is a resolution to follow God wherever He goes: “Fathers and mothers don’t always come through, but I’m never gonna stop following You…” “Slow,” mostly piano, but also having a supportive drum beat, speaks of God’s quiet voice and His gentle peace that can be hard to feel, but how it’s that quietness that’s just enough to give us hope. New Song” is the last track on the record, but is certainly not the least of them all. Audrey’s vocals, higher than ever, sing a prayer that God would put a new song in our hearts that we can use to glorify Him.

I can confidently state that fans of Audrey’s will not be disappointed at all by this project. In fact, Audrey’s stunning vocals and poetic songwriting are even better than ever. Some parts left me breathless by the peacefulness and honesty that Audrey Assad combined very well. Heart will very likely end up at the top of my year-end review list – it’s that good!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: February 14, 2012

Track listing:
1. Blessed are the Ones
2. Even the Winter
3. The Way You Move
4. Sparrow
5. Breaking Me
6. Oh My Soul
7. Won Me Over
8. No Turning Back
9. Lament
10. Wherever You Go
11. Slow
12. New Song

1 comment:

  1. I really need to listen to more of her music. From the songs I have heard by her, I can tell that she has a great singing voice!


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