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Audrey Assad [The House You're Building]
Posted September 28, 2010
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, originally from New Jersey and most recently Florida, weaves her captivating voice into a thread of contemplative yet accessible music and lyrics on her debut release The House You’re Building, released on July 13th. Individualistic. A free spirit. Untraditional. In junior high those labels are a death sentence. In adulthood, they usually describe people the rest of us wish we could be – creative, intriguing people like Audrey Assad. Truly one-of-a-kind, this intensely honest singer-songwriter is carving out her own unique path in the music industry and opening hearts to God along the way. She’s passionate about songwriting as well. She also penned one song on her own and shares a co-writing credit with producer Marshall Altman. “The record is about faith. It’s about the cross and fear and pain and how God is carrying me even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it,” Audrey explains. “Marshall pulled things out of me emotionally that I don’t think I’d ever accessed, making me realize that every time I sing these songs, I have to channel my pain and walk through it.”

“For Love of You,” the album’s first single, was inspired by the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” and is one of my favorite songs on the album. There’s no struggling or wrestling, it’s simply a celebration of the idea that there are traces of God everywhere. “The House You’re Building” is arguably the album’s most personal song. Written with Ben Glover, the tune finds Audrey comparing herself to a broken, misshapen stone. “It’s about being a misfit, of not feeling fit to be a Christian, but then realizing that the walls of God’s house are being built from oddly-shaped and misfit stones,” she says. “He does that on purpose so I know I have a place. There’s a hole in the wall that I fit perfectly in.” “Restless” was written with Matt Maher, and comes from the confession of Augustine. "If there’s any song I have that’s relevant to this generation it’s this one. We are so restless and transient and spread across so many social networks. Our relationships have increased in numbers and decreased in depth. Each generation has something that reveals the restlessness of the human heart, and I think this transience does that for our generation; it serves a purpose. My restlessness actually addresses that need. It’s a reminder that God should be my first source.” “Carry Me” has prayerful and very emotional lyrics, “As I carry this cross, You carry me”. “Known” has very vulnerable lyrics “As a lover knows his beloved’s heart / All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark.”

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Audrey has a phenomenal singing voice which reminds me of the top female vocalists in the business, Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood, Christy Nockels and Adie, which is amazing company in my opinion. “For Love of You,” “The House You’re Building,” “Restless,” “Carry Me” and “Known” are all stand-out songs on this album, which is one of my top albums of 2010. I expect multiple GMA nominations for new artist and female vocalist for Audrey Assad, my choice for top new artist of the year. I haven’t heard an album that has struck me like this album since Albertine by Brooke Fraser. If you like that album, you need to get The House You’re Building.

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