Audrey Assad - The House You’re Building
Posted July 27, 2010
RELEASE DATE: JULY 13, 2010
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5
By Lydia Akinola
Upon hearing Audrey Assad’s voice for the first time, I was instantly reminded of Brooke Fraser. Since I consider Fraser to be one of the greatest female artists of our time, this association acts as a testimony to Audrey Assad’s vocal talents. With further listening, the work of Audrey Assad calls to mind the compositions of accomplished artists which include Sara Groves, Bethany Dillon and Nichole Nordeman. Not bad at all for a debut album.
The House You’re Building is an articulate and artistic affair. The opening track- her wildly popular single “For Love Of You” – is an archetypal example of the meeting of poetry to lyrics and organic creativity to musical composition. The title track is more personal as Assad explores her feelings of not fitting in and the realisation that it is the misfits and the broken who make up the house God is building. Framed in a mellow tune, her voice carries the weight of her message – “I’m a broken stone, so lay me in the house you’re building”.
The album doesn’t shy away from dealing with angst and feelings of inadequacy. But although a feeling of melancholy seems almost ever-near, Assad also presents the hope that can be found in the midst of despair. In “Breaking Through” which draws inspiration from the Thompson poem “Hound of Heaven”, we are reminded that when we are trying to find our own way, heaven breaks through. Her talent for song writing cannot be disputed.
I struggle to find words to describe the charm that symbolizes The House You’re Building. With each repeated listen, one is able to glean something new from each track. This is a mature Christian music. This is vertical worship that soars where others float. This is something that sidelines your ears, instead, choosing to minister to your soul. “Everything Is Yours” is not just a song of confession, but an anthem of surrender. “Carry Me” is a prayer, a plea but also a statement of faith- “As I carry this cross, You carry me”. Even the simplest truths are captured in an entirely new light. In “Known” the striking lyrics “As a lover knows his beloved’s heart / All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark” help us realise anew the intimate way God knows each and every one of us.
Although there are (relatively!) faster tracks, the thrust of album is tranquil, suited mainly for quieter reflection. Its diversity does not lie in an eclectic mix of the upbeat and the slow, in rock tune and lullaby, but in the manifold presentations of God’s grace. Audrey Assad focuses on the personal moments of contemplation, allowing us to soul-search as we listen.
This journey ends with “Show Me”, a disconsolate yet beautiful track about death and passing. If Assad continues as she has begun, and I pray that by God’s grace that she does, then worshippers everywhere will be blessed. The House You’re Building is a truly modern day masterpiece.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
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