Audrey Assad: Heart
Style: Singer-songwriter pop; compare to Sara Groves, Sarah McLachlan, Kari Jobe
Top Tracks: "The Way You Move," "Sparrow," "O My Soul"
Christian music's most recent critical darling follows up her thoughtful 2010 debut with twelve tracks solidifying her status as an astute songbird. Ballads like "Breaking You" present Assad's vulnerable perspectives on relationship—spiritual and human—with vocal runs so disarming even great gut-spillers like Joni Mitchell would applaud her songsmith. Musically, muted horns, round Wurlitzers, and laidback snares notate an appealing retro-live vibe on highlight tracks ("Blessed Are the Ones," "The Way You Move"), invigorating otherwise sleepy production. But piano/vocal-focused tracks shine brightest, adequately showcasing Assad's affective verses, colorful chord choices, vocal uniqueness, and overall excellent musicianship.
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