Reviewed by Phil Thomson
This is entertainment with a capital 'E'. Safe to say, Miss Assad won't push you to extremes, either emotionally or creatively. Of course, it is well turned out - word perfect, note perfect - and (and here's the problem) market perfect. No offence, no challenge, no risk, just professionally crafted musical observations in feel-easy settings: "Everything is Yours" (Assad/Wilson), "For Love of You" (Assad/Glover). The voice is assured but relatively expressionless most of the time, making it a technical experience; the lyrics, either arbitrary, convenient "...highway I travel/sand and gravel" - that sort of thing, or convoluted, as in "Pain is a forest we all get lost in/Between branches hope can be so hard to see" ("Carry Me", Assad/LaRue). There are various (confessed) allusions to Gerard Manley Hopkins, St Francis and C S Lewis, but if there is search, angst, fear and pain in her life, we really do not get any sense of it in her delivery. The closest is "Restless" (Assad/Maher), but the lady has precious little emotional range and the song does go on a bit. I blame the fact that almost every song credits Assad and a different co-writer. There is no really owned title that is lived in. It means, no vulnerability, no believability. And that's the key: discernment. Hopefully, Audrey Assad has more to offer. She should let herself go. That's what I'd do with this one.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
Singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, originally from New Jersey, weaves her captivating voice into a thread of contemplative yet accessible music and lyrics on her upcoming debut release.
A true songbird and songsmith in one, Audrey Assad weaves lyrics that inspire, challenge and encourage with melodies you’ll want to sing over and over again. Audrey’s gifted vocals and songwriting have recently been featured on Matt Maher’s new album and Chris Tomlin’s Christmas album.