Review Rating: Add It To My Playlist [4.3/5]
Audrey Assad returns this month with her first new album in four years. This new release, Evergreen, serves up a compilation of stirring and moving songs. Evergreen stems from a season of renewed creativity for Assad. Forging through the flames of personal pain in the deepest corners of her broken heart, new songs of rebirth, identity, the rebuilding of trust and discovery of joy and love have taken shape.
The album opens with the title track. Lyrically rich in its verses, this song beautifully describes our relationship with Jesus, and his death, with the lyric, "the tree of life is evergreen." The end of the title track flows seamlessly into the second song, "Deliverer." This has a synthesized feel with the backing track, but it also has a catchy hook going into the chorus, with the lines, "you're my deliverer. You're my deliverer; you won't pass me by." The chorus also has some driving drums, which make for a great worship moment. The album continues to build into the epic ballad, "River" featuring Propaganda. This track has a driving melody that swells, and Assad's ethereal vocals blend well with Propaganda's addition to the song.
The album continues with the moving and haunting track "Unfolding." This song is about letting go of things that should not be in our life, and crying out to Jesus. It is a cry or prayer that many people will relate to as we strive to live our life. Evergreen moves from ballad to ballad, and has lyrics that speak to the heart of the listeners, but at the root of it, listeners can feel that these are songs directly from Assad's heart. Songs like "Teresa," and "Irrational Season" are piano ballads that almost sound like a Psalm put to music and song.
"Wounded Healer" brings an interestingly Irish or Celtic sound to serve as a breather in between ballads. The instrumentation of the song is what draws the listener in first with the Celtic drums, then the lyrics are just as inspiring, with lines such as, "wounded healer, we give our heart to you." The bridge is an especially interesting musical compilation continuing with the Celtic theme, but adding a bit of African sounds and phrasing: "No fire, no fury. Just death into life Over and over. 'Til all things are right No fire, no fury. Just death into life Over and over 'Til all things are right."
If you are looking for an album filled with faith, prayers, and worship then Evergreen is for you. In a time of questioning and conflict, Assad delves into the hard questions effortlessly, and reminds us that God is always present no matter the path of our spiritual walk.