It’s a simple but powerful question. What if we? What if we take a risk? What if we choose to follow our hearts, what if we don’t? What if we sit in the quiet and truly listen to God’s voice, what if we continue to fill our lives with noisy clutter? What if we look at others through the eyes of Jesus? Singer songwriter Brandon Heath continues to inspire the possibilities on the follow up to his Dove nominated Song of the Year “I’m Not Who I Was” from debut album Don’t Get Comfortable. What If We features "Give Me Your Eyes",One heard a lot on the radio. “Love Never Fails,” and “Sunrise”, Brandon’s offering is an honest, heart-spoken journey that further solidifies his voice in our community of believers.
Record Label: Reunion Records
Album length: 11 tracks: 40 minutes, 13 seconds
Street Date: August 19, 2008
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Great 2nd Album by Brandon Heath| Posted October 28, 2008 Brandon Heath, fresh off his surprising win as Best New Artist Dove Award Winner 2008, entered the studio to record his 2nd album What If We, released in August. Buoyed by the great success of the stand-out single Give Me Your Eyes, released over the summer, Brandon followed his own path as with his stand-out single I'm Not Who I Was, from his solid debut album Don't Get Comfortable, from 2006. If you like Bebo Norman, Matthew West and Mat Kearney, then you should truly enjoy Brandon Heath.
What If We is a great 2nd album and a slight improvement in my opinion, which is refreshing. In addition to the amazing opener Give Me Your Eyes, the album continues in the same personal and introspective way as his first album. The next 2 songs Wait And See and Trust You are great examples of Brandon's autobiographical and catchy writing style. Some stand-out songs of the album happen next with London and Sunrise, which remind me of catchy and personal songs by fellow Dove Award Winner Chris Rice like Me & Becky and When Did You Fall.
For me the highlights come later in the album, particularly the beautiful and biblical Love Never Fails, certainly a great choice for weddings and the closing song No Not One, written with Christy Nockels (Watermark). Both songs have great sweeping string musical arrangements and beautiful lyrics and melodies. This is truly a great 2nd album by Brandon Heath and just misses my top 10 of 2008.
Brandon Heath [What If We]| Posted October 07, 2008 [MAIN REVIEW]
Brandon Heath was one of those artists who almost appeared out of no where in late 2006. His debut CD, Don’t Get Comfortable enjoyed much success in both radio and with the subsequent Dove Awards. Heath, who is now coming off his first Dove-award win for 2007 New Artist of the Year, releases his sophomore effort, What If We. The first single from the album, “Give Me Your Eyes” has already surpassed 30,000 downloads, a remarkable feat considering those have come prior to the release of the album.
Prior to this album, I was not all that familiar with Brandon Heath other then his radio hit, “I’m Not Who I Was”, which our local station the Joy FM (Tampa) seemed to play to death. In fact when the Dove Awards came on in late April I was shocked that Heath beat out both front-runners Rush of Fools and 33Miles for ‘Best New Artist of the Year’. I think even upon his name being announced as winner, Heath himself was probably the most surprised.
Now in August 2008 comes the sophomore follow-up, which is sure to please those fans that Heath as collected along the way with his relentless touring and mission work. What If We starts out with a song that to me has a great positive and forth-right question to the Lord. You know, we are humans, all prone to error and like Solomon asking the Lord for wisdom, this day and age calls for another trait of God, the eyes that see all. I think if we had the eyes of the Lord, we could definitely avoid hardships and troubles that seem to plague us throughout life. It’s only when we allow the Lord to work through us, that His eyes to in fact become part of us with our accepting of the Holy Spirit. I think the meaning behind the song though more reflects us being able to see people like God sees them. For who they are. For the problems they face. For us to understand others, in their trials and tribulations. It’s a reminder to us, that we should always be mindful of other people’s circumstances. One thing that we need not to forget in it all is, “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26. I think this song starts the album off on a big positive note.
Like I mentioned above, I was not all that familiar with Heath on the exception of the one song, but one thing I did notice right off the bat was his musical and vocal style, which reminded me of Mat Kearney and Matthew West. I think lyrically, Heath could be highly favored as being just as great of a songwriter as both West and Kearney as well. Still, there is that separation and I think Heath’s vocal and songwriting abilities are what captures the attention of his listeners.
The next track that immediately caught my attention was the piano-ballad, “London”. My best guess is that it is a love song written for (someone) while Brandon was visiting London, England. “Where are you tonight? / As I sit here and cry / While I watch double-decker busses pass by”. The song is simple, but beautiful. It makes me want to sit down and right a song for my own wife. But unfortunately for her, my song-writing abilities as of recent times have been not to par with where I would like it to be. I would like to see this song become a radio single at some point in time, or who knows, it might be featured in a romantic movie someday. It could happen.
“Sore Eyes” is a song that almost sounds like something that could be found on a Matthew West album. I actually really enjoyed the music of the song too. It sounded almost similar to some of the old Beatles music I remember hearing when I was kid. Maybe it was Lennon, or even Harrison. Beatles are Beatles to me!
Another song on the CD that I enjoyed, with its bold and true message is the softer song, “Love Never Fails”. “Love will protect / Love always hope / And love still believes when you don’t”. This right here is something I can liken the love of our Savior for us to. Even when we are caught up in our disbelief, Jesus still believes in us. The chorus speaks truth with its four important words. “Love never fails you”.
Okay, now comes the Mat Kearney comparison with Brandon. This is found on the track, “Fight Another Day”. Musically the song struck me right away as being similar to Kearney. My thoughts toward the meaning of this song (which may not be what Brandon was writing about) were that of my witness to others. There are days where I have no opportunities to witness for Christ, and then I am reminded that (Lord-willing) there is another day to fight for the cause. I love talking with people about what Jesus has done for me, and often times I probably give too much information and might overwhelm someone. But for those days that I don’t get that opportunity or those days I feel my faith has been battered by something someone has said, I pray the Lord gives me another chance, another day to fight for Christ.
“No Not One” seemingly continues the message found in “Love Never Fails”. The chorus to me reflects a few well-known scriptures (John 3:16, Romans 5:8) “There has never been a greater love / Then Your Son / No not one / And there will never be a greater love / No not one / With His life you have forgiven us / Hope has come / Hope has come / And there will be a greater love / No not one”. These are words that as Christians we need to hear on a daily basis. Even the knowledge of knowing that God loved me or God loved Insert Your Name Here that He would send His only begotten Son to die on a cross so that we can be forever reconciled with the God who created us.
Overall, while What If We wouldn’t sit atop my favorite albums list, it was a solid 40 minutes of time well spent. While not totally familiar with his music prior to listening to this album, I walked away with a better sense of why Heath is as highly regarded in Christian music as he is. His obvious big-heart for ministry is what separates him from a lot of the artists out there. I’ll have to go back and listen to Don’t Get Comfortable now that my interest is peaked in this phenomenal new artist. The message was here, although not as blatant as other artists, I could discern the ideas behind his writing and what he was trying to say. You have to pay close attention in some aspects of the record.
What If We| Posted September 29, 2008
What if We… just the title alone will pique the curiosity of any seeker, eager to run with Brandon after the elusive. Mr. Heath doesn’t disappoint, striking all the right chords on this, his sophomore effort. He paints the canvas of the radio-friendly opener with wide brush strokes of rising strings and a hip-hop backbeat. Track two is a jaunty, drum-driven song, with a hint at God’s continuing work in our lives. The show stealer is the melancholy “London,” where just the right mix of an evocative tone and a yearning piano make it Heath’s most illustrious moment. Similarly, he scores with “Listen Up,” a witty plea for men everywhere to lend a more sympathetic ear.
Lyrically, this Dove Award winner succeeds on every track, showcasing a maturity betraying his relatively young age. He also demonstrates versatility. “Fight Another Day” is especially infectious where Heath’s joyous vocal shapes the “crank-it-up” chorus. Still elsewhere, he teams up with Christy Nockels (Watermark) to pen the worship song “No Not One” which proclaims God’s supremacy.
There’s something here for everyone, including the deceptively simple “Love Never Fails,” a lush arrangement of gentle violins and finger-picked guitar that’s sure to make its way into wedding ceremonies everywhere. What If We is an endearing 11-song journey, replete with fanciful arrangements, lyrical imagination and an authentic vocal that makes every step a joy. –Grace S. Cartwright
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CMCentral.com. Click here to visit CMCentral.com today!
“Sunrise” is a good way to describe What if We| Posted August 14, 2008
What if we quit our jobs and served the poor? What if we don’t need all the things the world convinces us we do? What if we are exactly where we need to be right now? What if we aren’t? What if we trusted each other? What if we forgave a bitter enemy? These were just a few questions running through Bandon Heaths head as he contemplated his sophomore effort, What If We.
After a few radio singles – the highlight being “I’m not who I was” – off of his debut album Don’t get Comfortable, he released his first single off of his new album “give me your eyes”, which seems to be destined to be a hit. It’s not surprising the appeal of Heath’s music as he brilliantly weaves emotional pop into his adult contemporary songs which keeps a regular audience. Fans of contemporary Christian music will hear musical bits reminiscent of Jars of Clay, Matthew West, and Chris Rice. The first single “give me your eyes” has a catchy beat in the adult contemporary base though pop also has an influence. The piano driven ballad “London” has a great flow, also the story is driven half by the lyrics and half by the emotional music.
“Fight another day” is a weaker track which is basically a upbeat song that you can dance too, but “sore eyes” has a clever up beat pop tune which is a little quirky. Among the ballads like “London” and the acoustic “when I’m alone” What If We contains a lot of lights catchy fun tracks like “wait and see” and “sunrise” which has a more up tempo and southern twist on the adult contemporary song. “No not one” is slightly reminiscent of the hymn and like the CD, it’s honest but like a good portion of the album, nothing eye popping.
Mark Shultz is known for mixing spiritual messages in his story songs, and although Brandon Heath isn’t that in depth, there are some parallels as to how he tells his story. “Give me your eyes” is a plea to God for a desire for the love and the reach for people, and “wait and see” goes through the journey of a trouble maker with a ending of hope (‘There is hope, for me yet, because God won’t forget, all the plans he’s made for me’). “London” is a brilliant song and though it may not discuss God openly as other tracks such as “trust you” and “no not one” which are really not that deep lyrically. “Trust you” says: (‘I’m not gonna fight you anymore/I’m not gonna try to lock the door/You took my life and gave me yours/There’s no reason why, I shouldn’t trust you with mine’).
A pretty solid effort all around, as there is a nice mix of emotional and inspirational pop and adult contemporary. His ballads are strong but there is nothing really exceptional musically. Good lyrics abound and Brandon Heath succeeds with his questions and ahis sophomore piece What if We.
What If We by Brandon Heath| Posted August 13, 2008
Brandon has made a very real effort. To me the majority sounds monotone. Maybe if he had another person singing with him, especially a girl it would sound better. I don't particulary like this album.
He's worth it| Posted August 13, 2008
I didn't expect to like his music really. I just decided to listen because of bordom. I'm glad I was wrong. So check him out for yourself. I love the sound of his voice and the songs are great. I'd buy the album.
Awesome| Posted May 25, 2017 Brandon has made a very real effort. To me the majority sounds monotone. Maybe if he had another person singing with him, especially a girl it would sound better. I don't particulary like this album. * Happy Room
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Love never fails| Posted April 26, 2013
I really love the songs of Brandon Heath most especially "Love never fails" which always play on my mind.
This album is really all about us reaching pure heart to God and also describing the love of the Lord to us. I would recommed this album to everyone.
Suprise!| Posted March 14, 2011
When I first heard of Brandon Heath, I though it was just another pop Christian artist. This thinking immediately changed when I heard Give Me Your Eyes. I fell in love with his voice, his beat, but, most of all, his message. The cd just got better and better as I listened to Wait & See. Basically, this cd is worth the buy!