Yearnings for holiness and God’s presence
Posted August 08, 2013
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Audrey Assad has captivated listeners with her artistry and emotionally stirring recordings. In 2010, she released her debut album, For Love of You which spawned the hit songs “For Love of You” and “Restless.” It was one of the best-selling albums by a new artist that year, and she was nominated for Best Female Vocalist. She returned in 2012 with Heart, which featured the standout songs, “Sparrow,” “Blessed are the Ones,” and “O My Soul.” Her album was flawlessly produced by Marshall Altman and received overwhelming praise from critics and fans. As it goes in the world of music-making, Audrey lost her recording contract, and right away launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, returning with her first independent album, Fortunate Fall, released on August 13th.
If you liked her previous vertical focused songs, “Everything Is Yours,” “Show Me” and “O My Soul,” then you are in for a treat with this album, which flows beautifully from song to song, and is set in three movements. The first movement includes the title track, “Help My Unbelief” and “Humble.” The songs are all prayers and personal confessions of submission to God. I really love how expressive these songs are, and they allow listeners to reflect on profound words like “O happy fault, o happy fault, that gained for us so great a Redeemer, fortunate fall, fortunate fall, that gained for us so great a Redeemer.” As expressed in Luke 7:47 (NKJV): “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Audrey loves a lot, and that is evident in “Help My Unbelief,” where “I know, I know and I believe, You are the Lord, help my unbelief” and “Your burden is light and Your yoke is easy” are her cries of submission phrasing biblical truth in a creative and personal way. The global Church can all sing this song to “My Lord and My God, help me believe.” Amen. “Humble” is a gorgeous offering to Jesus, proclaiming, “You gladly carried Your Cross, never refusing Your life to the weakest of us…Humble, humble, Jesus.” The chorus perfectly captures John 3:30: “we bow our knees, we must decrease, You must increase, we lift You high.”
“O Happy Fault” transitions to the next movement, which includes my three favorite songs, “Lead Me On,” “I Shall Not Want” and the single “Good to Me.” The piano based songs include more comforting and “Restless” biblical refrains such as “I will dwell in Your house forever, lead me on.” Audrey is inspired by Confessions, where Saint Augustine states "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." “I Shall Not Want” is a moving piano and strings laced ballad. The song includes confessions: “From a need to be accepted…from a fear of humility”— “Deliver me, O God, and I shall not want, when I taste Your goodness, I shall not want.” What a great way to ask the Lord to cleanse us of our iniquities. He is the great Deliverer and you can sincerely pray these words along with Audrey and know that when you “taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8). “Good to Me” is an unashamed adoration proclaiming Psalm 121’s: “I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found.” I love the refrain “the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy, because You are Good to Me.” Amen to that!
“Felix Culpa” transitions to the final movement, which include expressions of Jesus’ promise to give us another Helper, the Holy Spirit, as He tells us in John 14:16 (NKJV): “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” “Spirit of the Living God” keeps the worshipful flow including these words: “so shall we know the power of Christ, Who came this world to save, so shall we raise with Him to life, which soars beyond the grave!” Closing song “You Speak” is a wonderful reminder: “You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos, from the chains of a lesser law, You set me free...in the silence of the heart, You speak.” Amen.
All of the songs on Fortunate Fall are a wonderful companion in my personal prayer and devotion time. “Lead Me On,” “I Shall Not Want” and the single “Good to Me” are among my favorite songs this year, and this is a very soothing album that leads me to the Throne Room of Grace. Audrey has always had an indie artist sound to her music, reminding me of singer-songwriters like Ingrid Michaelson, A Fine Frenzy and Jewel. Unlike those artists, however, this album was written for the Church, which is an absolute blessing and honor for me to savor and pray these songs along with my favorite female singer. Audrey puts her full passion behind everything she sings, and is an avid reader of Scripture and other faith-based influences, which makes her lyrics even more rooted in Truth. I agree with, and say Amen to every single note of every song on Fortunate Fall. These are great songs to pray along with Audrey and express your own yearnings for holiness and God’s presence.
Song to download now: “Good to Me” – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVUY2IM/ref=dm_dp_trk1
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