Tag Archives: Audrey Assad

Levv – Arrow

original-arrowep_cover
I was really excited when Audrey Assad announced a more pop oriented project. I’ve loved Assad’s voice and music and the thought of her taking her music in a different direction sounded exciting. So when Arrow hit Noisetrade, I downloaded it immediately.

Levv sounds like Audrey Assad. And that’s not a complaint. The music is less organic, more lush and digitized, but still very much an Assad record. I don’t know why I thought a more pop oriented project might mean a shift in lyrics, but it doesn’t. It’s not a worship record, which her last couple of solo outings have leaned towards, but it’s still a spiritual record.

Arrow, the title track, is so cinematic and thoughtfully scored that it’s completely compelling from the first minimal notes all the way through the bombastic drum track that builds and builds over the four minutes. It’s a masterpiece of songwriting and composing! Dream is more subdued and less dramatic. But it is in no way less beautiful of moving.

There are two remixes of Arrow. Both are nice reinterpretations of the song.

The two songs are the perfect preview, and I can’t wait for more to come!I love Audrey Assad, and while I’ve enjoyed her worshipful side, I’m looking forward to more pop music from her. 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

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Review Wrap Up

It’s been a while since I’ve really sat down and written a quality review. My wife and I expecting our first child soon and getting our house and lives as ready as possible for our new addition has taken a lot times. But I’ve been spinning all the new releases with the intent on reviewing them. So here’s a quick snapshot of a lot of records!

If you didn’t pick up Beartooth’s debut ep, Sick, you should do yourself a favor and go get Disgusting. DO NOT SLEEP ON BEARTOOTH!!!

Disgusting picks up where Sick left off and then blows it out of the water. Where Sick was focused of turning away from those things that keeps us down and turning to God, Disgusting is a message of hope in the midst of pain and tragedy. 5 out of 5 Stars!

Adam Young always creates great pop soundtracks, and Ultraviolet is no different. 4 songs of bubblegum, electro pop goodness. I wish it was more than 4 songs, but I know there’s another ep coming later this year! 5out of 5 Stars.

Forevermore is a great new addition tot he Solid State family! Not mind blowing, but very solid and interesting Telos is a metal core record worth listening to. Some great riffs, light on clean vocals, and technical enough to keep things from getting stale. 4 out of 5 Stars. 
I love Audrey Assad! Death Be Not Proud continues in the vein of Fortunate Fall. Stripped down, piano led songs. While musically very similar, lyrically, there’s a victorious and joyous tone to the record. Her cover of John Mark’s Death in His Grave is fantastic! 4 out of 5 Stars. 
Death Sentence is brutal! More hardcore and heavier than Unholy Anger (if you can believe it). Those Who Fear might not win many new fans with Death Sentence, but there fans will appreciate this record! 4 out of 5 Stars. 
There’s no lie that I was a little disappointed with Alert 312’s Of Vice and Virtue. But the duo’s follow-up EP, Singular Vision is a thing of beauty! Musically, it’s the most interesting and intricate work in the band’s catalog so far. A complex and musical journey and soundtrack for life. 4 songs with very different vibes and great guests on each track. A true work of art! 5 out of 5 Stars. 
Brave is a record I picked up on a whim. One of the better (and only?) true pop records I’ve heard from a christian artist in a while. Neither bubblegum or CCM, but true, well-crafted pop songs. It’s a mature style of pop music that won’t find Peter’s amid the Top 40, but it’s a record worth checking out! 4 out of 5 Stars. 
Some times you find a record where the lyrics have an impact instantly. Red Pills + Black Sugar is one of those records. The hook on Red Pills, the album’s opener, hits you with “Take two a day, the pain will go away, but you’re still going to die without those pills.” It’s heartbreaking and deep, but it’s catchy enough to get into your head and spirit. Dark themes mixed with upbeat sarcasm and hope in the midst of the pain. An unexpected hip-hop gem. 4 out of 5 Stars. 

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Audrey Assad – Fortunate Fall

Audrey Assad’s Heart was a nice surprise last year. Beautifully crafted songs with strong melodies that held more depth and substance than your average run of the mill CCM record. So it wasn’t really surprising to me when Assad announced she was without a label and was funding Fortunate Fall with Kickstarter. Whether her choice or Sparrow’s, the move away from the label made sense.

Fortunate Fall doesn’t have the radio pop singles that Assad’s first two records had. The upbeat, catchy tracks that made me take notice on Heart are gone. But Fortunate Fall is a better, more well rounded record. There are still catchy choruses and upbeat songs, but it’s not those pop singles.

When Assad announced in her video campaign for the record that she wanted to make an album of church music, she wasn’t kidding. Fortunate Fall is a beautiful record, full of deep theology and great worshipful tunes.

Musically, the songs are simpler arrangements and instrumentation. The driving force for each song is Assad’s voice and lyrics. Most of the songs consist of only piano and vocals. Occasional string sections, and some minor instrumentation here and there (drums, bass, and a little guitar), but the record is simple. Simple, yet beautiful.

Songs like Help My Unbelief, Humble, and I Shall Not Want welcome in a sense honesty and brokenness through worship. Inviting God to heal and guide in the daily struggles. Fortunate Fall and Oh Happy Fault declare the need to grace and resurrection.

From top to bottom, Fortunate Fall is a beautiful worship record. Audrey has outdone what she’s done int he past. She wanted to create an album for churches and she’s done that. Fortunate Fall’s simplicity is what makes it so beautiful and compelling. This isn’t a record to pass on.

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