For his sophomore effort, Colton Dixon co-wrote with renowned songwriters and artists such as Trevor McNevan (TFK), Matthew West, TobyMac, Ben Glover, Matt Bronleewe and the album’s producers, David Garcia (TobyMac, Mandisa, Newsboys) and Red Decibel (Switchfoot, Kelly Clarkson, Jeremy Camp). Anchor was recorded in Nashville’s Berry Hill neighborhood, a creative hub dotted with recording studios.
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Songs to Anchor You| Posted July 21, 2014
Colton Dixon captured the hearts of season 11 American Idol watchers. His talent and passion landed Dixon a seventh place finish in 2012. His voice impressed listeners all across the country, but still more impressive was the way he exited the show: on his knees worshipping His Savior on national television. He took his last few moments of attention and put the spotlight back on God, a pattern that seems to repeat often throughout his career.
The Tennessee resident and member of the Sparrow Records family made his first major impact on the Christian music world when he released "You Are" as his first single. After the success of the song and the hype of his first album A Messenger, it's easy to see why his fans were so excited at the news of a new project set to drop mid August. Anchor, Dixon's sophomore release, lives up to their excitement.
The album begins with an intro titled "SOS" that feeds straight into "Our Time Is Now," a co-write with TobyMac that was debuted at WinterJam earlier this year. "Walk On The Waves" follows the faith theme we find in this collection of songs with lyrics like "He's got your hands, your heart, your life / so don't be afraid to walk on the waves."
The title track "Anchor" boasts faith in God being the stronghold to grasp in the storms, much as "Through All Of It" worships Him for the way He is constant through every season of life. Prayers like "Echo" and the first single "More Of You" display Colton's silky vocals as it asks for life to look more like Him and less like us.
"Dare To Believe" challenges listeners to keep the childlike faith they first found even when things get hard, while "This Isn't The End" is encouragement to push through hard times knowing there are better things ahead. Closing out the album on a strong note, "Limitless" speaks of moving past the labels the world tries to place and relying on God's power to work through us in seemingly impossible situations.
Closing Thoughts: Anchor surpasses expectations and shows off Colton's talent in new ways. For such a young artist, an album of this caliber is truly amazing. Every song was well-produced from start to finish. With powerful, thought-provoking lyrics and catchy melodies, it can easily be said this is the best work yet to come from the Colton Dixon crew. His band shined in big ways as well, making the rock-driven tracks an enjoyable listen and creating a beautiful atmosphere of worship on the more intimate tracks. With a career that seems to just be getting started, Anchor is a sure sign that only good things are ahead from Colton Dixon.
Song To Download Now:
"Through All Of It" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Maybe it's because of his awe striking performance of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, some had wished Colton Dixon would be the next piano man. Or maybe it's because of his ultra-moving rendition of Coldplay's "Fix You" on American Idol, others had wished he would translate Coldplay's British melodic coolness across continents. But two albums deep into Colton Dixon's career only reveal that the 22 year-old is very much a star of his own. He's not just a mere mirage of another superstar wandering aimlessly in the sonic desert dearth of identity. Rather, Dixon is an oasis himself pegged with his own distinctiveness. On "Anchor," his sophomore record for Sparrow Records, Dixon has honed in his own sound. Utilizing a myriad of elements from rock, pop, electronic, dance and punk, his music is very much the product of the Millennium.
"Anchor" continues to allow Dixon to express himself in ways that are even more audacious and vulnerable relative to his debut. The album covers are most telling. Rather, than posing in his aloofness with his Billy Idol Mohawk hairstyle as on his debut album cover, "Anchor's" front picture depicts a helpless Dixon gasping for dear life in the middle of the ocean. Thus, if there is a theme that runs right through these 11 songs (with two brief interludes) it is Dixon's heart's cry for God's salvation in midst of our brokenness. Part of the success of "Anchor" resides in Dixon's willingness to branch out in co-writing with some of the best writers in Contemporary Christian music including TobyMac, Matthew West, Ben Glover, David Garcia among others.
The song that is the most reflective of Dixon's growth as a vocalist and writer is the title cut "Anchor," a song that speaks of our Savior's grace. Colton elucidates the deftness of such glorious message by decelerating the speed of the song towards the chorus and into the bridge where he deliberately takes his time to pound out the refrain (to God) "save my soul" as if to drill into our souls that God and Him alone can save us. Though "More of You" is not immediately recognizable as the lead single material, it is also most spiritually uncompromising song. While many artists are carefully to tone down the religious elements in their songs; Dixon is to be applauded by upping the ante as he prayerfully asks for more and more of Jesus in his life.
The same can be same about "Dare to Believe;" despite the strong electronic dance beats, it's one of Dixon's most Biblically saturated songs on the record. Rather than utilizing polytechnics as an end in itself, listen especially to how Colton aptly uses auto-voicing to enhance the echo-ing effect of the message of "Echo;" a creative call for all of us to be more and more Christ-like. And for those who wonder where the balladeer who used to charm us on American Idol with songs such as "Lately" and 'Time After Time" has gone, look no farther than "Through All of It." "Through All of It" is a gorgeous worship ballad featuring just Dixon's voice and a piano. It is so good that the greed in us actually wishes that there would be more of such ballads.
Pick This Up| Posted September 16, 2014
Be sure to pick this album up as soon as possible. There isn't a song on this album that you and your family will not enjoy. This Album is great start to finish which is hard to say with most albums now days. Most albums have a few good songs and some you must skip but not this album. Overall I give this album a five out of 5. It's something you and your family will enjoy.