My Rating: Must Listen! (4.6 / 5)
Award-winning CCM artist and American Idol alum Colton Dixon is set to release his latest album, Identity, next Friday (March 24). While Dixon’s talented vocals and rock roots can be heard throughout, this 17-track album has something very unique in store for fans. Rather than a traditional compilation of songs, Dixon has artistically constructed a personal journey of music. As the listener experiences the album, they are led through three sections- each with a slightly different sound and focus. With Identity, Dixon aims to explore and examine what makes each of us who we are, as well as guide us to find our true identity in God.
Identity begins with an examination of THE MIND. As with each section on the album, it begins with a brief instrumental track that serves as an introduction to the sounds and messages that will be explored in the coming songs. As the strong, action-packed instrumental track suggests, this section is characterized by a high energy, pop feel. Contained within THE MIND and bearing the album’s name, “Identity” features supportive, techno-synthesized accompaniment and a driving groove that allow Dixon’s talented vocals to shine with clarity and ease. Within the lyrics of this track, we celebrate being chosen children of a God who alone is our identity. Upbeat and incredibly catchy, “Brand New Life” begins with funky, fun tones and simple percussive hits on the beat, soon joined by Dixon, piano, and other synthesized accompaniment. This track notably breaks into an interesting bridge, warped and slowed to sound as if briefly transported to another dimension. This sudden transformation of sound and pace parallels the lyrics’ message, which celebrates how remarkably our lives change when we lay down our guilt, pain or preconceived notions to accept and follow God.
Next up, we have THE BODY. The eerie, ominous, scientific-like instrumental introduction cues us to expect songs with more edge. With an anatomically related name, “In My Veins” begins with a synthesized, sci-fi sound, soon kicked up with a strong rock beat and accompaniment. Though a change of style from the first section, Dixon’s vocals still ring true effortlessly, especially showcased with power during each chorus and in the bridge where the accompaniment is stripped away and a piano and subtle chorus support Dixon. This song proclaims that God is always with us, we are never alone, and we are forever changed by Him. In “Human,” the listener is drawn in with a synthesized rock melody that’s inviting and catchy. This accompaniment drops away, leaving just Dixon with simple synthesized toned accompaniment during each verse. Each chorus throughout the track builds momentum, leading back up to the melody introduced in the beginning. Dixon openly confesses and explores our vulnerabilities, pointing to God whose greatness can be perfectly shown in our weakness.
Finally, we arrive at THE SPIRIT, offering more deeply emotional, introspective worship opportunities. This section begins with an upbeat, catchy anthem, and easy hit in “No Greater Love.” The verses have simple accompaniment, while the groove is unleashed in the chorus, causing the listener to move along to the beat and join the supporting voices heard behind Dixon. This song is a celebration of God’s love, as Dixon admires and wonders about how far-reaching and powerful it is. Unlike any other track on the album, “The Other Side” is a beautiful, emotional and hopeful tribute to loved ones that have passed away. Dixon begins alone with just piano, painting the imagery of a funeral with his lyrics. The melody opens up in the chorus, positive and uplifting, as Dixon expresses the hope found in seeing them again one day in heaven where there are no more good-byes or pain.
With Identity, Dixon brings an unprecedented worship experience to listeners. While many tracks have the strength to be individual hits, the album as a whole also delivers a cohesive and transformative journey, inviting us to reflect on our spiritual identity from three different perspectives. This is an album you won’t want to miss. Available for pre-order today, look for Identity to officially drop on March 24.