Due out on Valentine’s Day, Audrey Assad’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Heart, finds Audrey once again collaborating with other songwriters and producer Marshall Altman (Brooke Fraser, Natasha Bedingfield, Marc Broussard) crafting another collection of songs that mine the depths of both heart and soul as only Audrey can.
Audrey says about the first single, “Sparrow” off her upcoming project, “I’ve always loved the old hymn, ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’. Kyle Lee and I rearranged it with a new melody and it’s become a really special moment for me, singing it live…it’s so simple and yet so beautiful a picture, to know that my life is witnessed in all its frailty and wonder by God-and all of it, even my most secret suffering, matters. It really does.”
The 27 year-old, Nashville-based singer/songwriter stepped into the spotlight with her debut album, The House You’re Building, also produced by Altman. Released in the summer of 2010 to critical and artistic acclaim, Assad’s fresh sound was named among the best of 2010 from Relevant Magazine, Rhapsody.com, Gospel Music Channel online and more and was even profiled on CNN Online.
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Audrey Assad [Heart]| Posted January 31, 2012 Heartby Audrey Assad is the 2012 sophomore album from the Christian singer/songwriter. The album finds Audrey once again collaborating with other songwriters and producer Marshall Altman crafting another collection of songs that mine the depths of both heart and soul as only Audrey can. The 27 year-old, Nashville-based singer/songwriter stepped into the spotlight with her debut album, The House You're Building, also produced by Altman which was one of my top 10 albums of 2010. Do you remember the first time you listened to your favorite album of all-time? For many years, that album for me was Jars of Clay by Jars of Clay (1995) and then Casting Crowns by Casting Crowns (2003). Add Heart by Audrey Assad to that distinguished list of landmark Christian music albums.
I can’t get enough of Audrey’s singing voice and the incredible and introspective messages of her great songs.“Blessed Are The Ones” is a wonderful opener which Audrey co-wrote with Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken regarding her expectations of marriage. The gorgeous bridge, “Love is all we need” leads to Audrey’s sensational vocals literally rising to another level. I hang on every single note. Audrey’s first year of marriage framed the entire writing process of this album as her husband learned he had treatable cancer and you can at times physically feel Audrey’s soul-imploring emotions in these twelve flawless and compelling songs. Audrey wrote “What It Ought To Be” for her husband before they were married, and God has used their trials to bring them even closer to Him and each other than they could have imagined. “Even The Winter” and “The Way You Move” each feature phrases that give closer glimpses of Audrey’s walk with God, with Audrey crying out “even the dark cannot disarm us…because we know that it’s worth it, sowing the seeds in the soil of our love” and “all my pride, it doesn’t stand a chance against the way You move.” Amen. “Sparrow” features Audrey’s flawless vocals and her signature introspective and prayerful message as she yearns “why should I be lonely…when Jesus is my portion, and a constant Friend I know, I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He’s watching me, I sing because He loves me, I sing because I’m free, He’s watching you, He’s watching me.”
As if those opening tracks didn’t rock my world, then Audrey delivers the most emotionally breathtaking song I’ve ever heard, “Breaking You.” Audrey opens with “you’ve been let down, it’s true, your pain is easy to see” which leads to the most incredible bridge, “lift up your head, help is on the way, and it won’t pass you by, you just gotta reach out your hand, love is on His way, and He won’t pass you by, you just gotta reach out a hand..” Have a box of tissues handy as I bawl like a baby every time I listen to the amazing song. “O My Soul” keeps the emotional flow going as Audrey beautifully sings during her piano-based ballad, “don’t lie to yourself, o my soul, just love your God, your worries will never love you, they’ll leave you all alone, but your God will not forsake you, o my soul.” Oh my, the tears just kept flowing. “Won Me Over” and “No Turning Back” celebrate the freedom we have in Christ, including the hymn re-write of “I Have Decided” declaration in the bridge of “No Turning Back”— “though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.” “Lament” is another standout track (they all are), and Audrey opens with the biblically based confession: “I’m Mary & Martha all at the same time, I’m sitting at His feet and yet I’m dying to be recognized.” It’s that type of transparent lyrical “gourmet” phrasing that ranks this album above any I’ve ever heard. “Wherever You Go” and “Slow” each have moments that remind me of Brooke Fraser’s stellar albums including imploring lyrical sincerity: “prophets and lovers don’t always hold true but I’m never going to stop falling for You” and “I’ve heard that faith moves mountains, I know it moves my feet to follow You, and maybe I’m a mountain because it’s moving me to follow You, Your Love moves slow, let’s move slow.” Amen. Closing song “New Song” includes another deeply honest confessional moment, “all I am is a breath and vapor, and shadow, and all I have is what I need, this I know, that I need a new song...words are failing, my melodies falter, my voice is breaking, my heart is burning, because blessing and honor, glory and power, praise and worship, they belong to You!”
Audrey Assad's new album Heartis loaded with meaningful, engaging and beautiful songs and is the most amazing album by a female vocalist I've ever heard. Heart by Audrey Assad ranks with Invisible Empires by Sara Groves and Albertine by Brooke Fraser as a flawless and emotional depiction of the beauty and majesty of our Creator's "Heart." Thank you Audrey for blessing us with your gifted gorgeous vocals and for pouring yourself into songs that deeply stir my soul. Audrey Assad is my favorite new female vocalist and this album really captures the beauty and sincerity of her incredible vocals and stirring songs. The House You're Building captivated me and Heart has completely “won me over.” From start to finish, all twelve songs weave a tapestry that is artful, engaging, catchy, emotional, and after several listens and goose bump inducing moments, I am convinced that this is now my favorite album, ever. If I’m ever stranded on a deserted island and I can only listen to one album the rest of my days, Heartby Audrey Assad is the album I’ll take with me.
Audrey Assad: Heart Review| Posted June 29, 2012
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!
Incredible| Posted February 14, 2012
From the beginning of the album to the end, I was breathtaken. She's an incredible artist. I loved her first album dearly. I played it on many rough days. I am so thrilled to love her new album already!
Wow| Posted February 14, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed Audrey's first album, but this one was ten times better! Amazing vocals and beautiful lyrics mixed in with great piano are making this CD one of my all-time favorites. If you were a fan of her first album, I think that you will be even more of a fan with this one!