Brady Toops teamed up with artist/producer David Leonard (of All Sons & Daughters) on this self-titled, full-length album which was released 8/27/13. Blending an old-time feel with new sounds, this record captures elements of folk, rock'n'roll, and gospel. It's organic tones and hymn-like melodies go deep into the soul. From "By The River" and "Lord Have Mercy" to "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", Toops reminisces on themes of hope, love, pain, and redemption while carrying the heart and essence of the classic spirituals of our day.
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A Deeper Experience| Posted August 28, 2013
This entire self-titled project by independent Brady Toops produced by David Leonard (All Sons & Daughters) feels seamless and intentional. The album includes standout recordings like the hauntingly accessible "By the River" and "Come On Home," and the lose yourself-in-the-moment sing-ability of "Reckless Love," "Lord Have Mercy" and "Glorious Name."
From my first listen, I was totally hooked by this album. The opening track "By the River" has an ambient, folk music worshipful flow and is such a fresh song. I’m really engaged by Brady’s emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album.
The next songs "Golden Bell" and "Reckless Love" continue with an engaging ambient rock style. The soothing musical feel is just one of the many attractions to savor about this ambient and introspective worship album. I find many of the lyrics have me pondering eternity, such as: "Just beyond that shiny river, when they ring that golden bell for me and you."
"Reckless Love" reminds me of "Death in his Grave" by John Mark McMillan with the story-telling style and emotive and poetic description of a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us: "He stole the keys from hell and from the grave." I’m drawn to Brady’s sincerity and profound songwriting.
"Lord Have Mercy" switches to more of an acoustic folk ballad style, and we get to join in Brady’s prayer time as he prays, "when I come to You in prayer, Lord have mercy… / when I falter, when I fail, Lord have mercy… / ’ til I breathe my very last, Lord have mercy… / How great is Your faithfulness." This is a great song to pray along with Brady.
"Glorious Name" keeps the worshipful flow going with the proclamation "You are the Lord, the Lord God so merciful / You are the Lord, full of grace and full of Truth, oh You never change, what a glorious Name." Amen.
The stand-out song "Come On Home" is next. I can’t get enough of this song. Brady’s tender vocals take you on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear this song. The lyrics are very stirring: "Can you feel His eyes, they look for you, / Can you feel His cries, they long for you / Come on home, though you’ve left, He couldn’t forget, just come on home."
Next are prayerful, introspective versions of the hymns of the faith, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Soon and Very Soon."
My other favorite songs are "Blessed Savior" and "Make Your Home," which I would love to sing with fellow believers. They are vertical worship songs sung directly to our Triune God, with the declarations "O Father,O Spirit, Holy Blessed Savior, in You we’ll find a home" and "May I never lose the wonder of my Savior crucified, O hear this humble prayer, from a heart laid bare, and all I ask of Thee, make Your home in me." Amen to that! "O For Grace" closes out this excellent album with another personal prayer directly to God.
Closing Thoughts: More than just a collection of great songs, Brady Toopsis a deep, meaningful worship experience unlike any other I’ve heard this year. If you feel like most of what you hear on the radio sounds the same and want to experience a fresh, deep, introspective and completely worshipful album, look no further than Brady Toops. My favorite songs are "By the River," "Reckless Love," "Lord Have Mercy," "Glorious Name," "Blessed Savior," "Make Your Home" and "Come On Home," which has quickly become one of my favorite worship songs.
If you like Josh White, John Mark McMillan or Robbie Seay Band, you need to check out Brady Toops. This is a very emotional album and if you’re not familiar with Brady’s passionate vocal style, this album is hook-filled with catchy melodies wrapped around very introspective, worshipful and emotional lyrics. My favorite types of albums grow deeper with each listen, and Brady Toops is the deepest album I’ve heard all year.
Song to Download Now: "Come On Home" (Get it on iTunes here.)