“God on a cross. Who would have thought it? This place looks nothing like Eden.” So begins Audrey Assad’s powerful Evergreen (buy). This is a hard-won project. Assad says she “hit a wall” in 2014, when a period of introspection revealed “scorched earth.” She questioned her faith and the very existence of God, in the midst of anxiety and doubt. On Evergreen, Assad is brave and open enough to invite the listener along on a journey of pain and vulnerability, the type of journey that’s sometimes needed to see the flickering light of faith more clearly.
These are not cookie-cutter worship songs. They’re as honest as songwriting gets, and are therefore deeply devotional. Assad is willing to say, “Nothing sensible has yet appeared in this irrational season,” which makes the victories she declares, like “My fear grows cold in the light of Your love,” completely authentic.The album sounds wonderful, with Irish influences, Assad’s own turn on the drums, a fresh take on an 1857 hymn, and an appearance on “River” by Propaganda. There are moments that border on languorous, when repeated choruses lend themselves more to quiet devotion than casual listening. But maybe that’s a good thing. These songs merit—even require—the listener’s full attention. And for the listener wandering in the dark, they usher a bright, honest light.
> SAMPLE ALBUM at AmazonMP3.com