Top 10 Of 2011 - Best Album Of The Year! | Posted December 26, 2011 Staff Reviewer
A few years back, Phil Wickham recorded my favorite album of the year, Heaven And Earth. The songs unlocked that connection we all feel with our eternal destiny and created a real sense of longing to leave this world behind and join our heavenly Father. Brandon Heath's latest album, Leaving Eden, returned me to that sense of longing with the opening title track, a beautiful telling of how we continue to move further away from Eden while closing the distance to Heaven. I love that picture because it's not a hopeful song until the end, when we realize that the darkness around us actually has purpose when we look for the light ahead. Brandon doesn't stay on this theme long, unlike Wickham did, returning to the topic only once more at the end of the album with the spectacular song "Now More Than Ever," but the music and lyrics are layered in the same vein. They are catchy enough to sound comfortable and familiar, but different enough of stand apart from the crowd of other Pop/AC artists out there.
Released in the first few weeks of 2011, I can still easily breeze through this release without hitting skip once. From the polished, best driven radio hits "Your Love," "Might Just Save Your Life," and most recently, "The Light In Me," to some of the deeper tracks like "Only Water" and "It's Alright", which pull back and rely more on acoustic guitar, piano and strings, this album is full of hit songs. "It's No Good To Be Alone" even brings in an island/beach vibe complete with horns.
Lesser artists would get lost in this variety, but Brandon's vocals handle all styles beautifully, you get a sense that he and the producers took a few extra steps on each track, and he's never sounded better. Don't miss this fantastic release from one of Christian music's rising artists.