Style: Worshipful organic pop; compare to Gungor, StompTown Revival, Brandon Heath
Top tracks: "Yours to Take," "Ride This Train," "Never Yours to Hold"
Ashida (say it uh-she-duh) delivers a strong debut that straddles the pop and worship genres while mostly dodging the common pitfalls of both. Watchman is an acoustic pop album that flows with a worshipful awareness in a multifaceted world. Prayerful lyrics intermingle throughout. Big choruses on "Songs of a Broken Man" and "I Want to Run" echo like corporate singalongs. "Arise" is a feel-good anthem, and "Yours to Take" stands out as a mature love song. Lyrical themes such as grace, hope and redemption are expressed with broad, sometimes generic, strokes. Those are easier to overlook thanks to the well-crafted mix of pop sensibility and banjo and cello organics.1