Audrey Assad HeartAudrey Assad

Heart (Sparrow)

I immediately fell in love with the beautiful music of Audrey Assad from the moment I first heard “For Love of You” and “Restless” from her debut. Since then, the entire album has stayed in heavy rotation on my playlist. So I had my doubts that she could top something as stunning as The House You’re Building (Sparrow). But with Heart, Assad manages to do just that. In fact, she has defied all signs of a “sophomore slump.” If anything, this album is even better than her debut, if that’s possible.

With the sting of newlywed bliss humming in the air and the seriousness of her new husband’s cancer diagnosis lingering, Heart is as hopeful as it is weighty. On first track “Blessed Are the Ones,” a beautiful ode to marriage, she sings with such fervor you feel as if her lungs might explode from sheer joy. The buoyant tune is a fitting preview of all the good things to come. “Even the Winter” astounds with lines like “Even the darkness cannot disarm us/We’ll break up the earth because we know that it’s worth it/Sowing the seeds in the soil of our love.”

First single “Sparrow” is a delightful modern revision of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” Save for the lyrics, no one would ever know it’s actually an old, worn hymn. Assad breathes fresh life into it and undeniably makes it her own. She also cleverly weaves the familiar lyrics of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” into the bridge of “No Turning Back,” one of the album’s finest gems.

While she’s impressive on the jubilant, poppier tracks, it’s in the still, quiet moments that the listener is able to fully breathe in her exquisite lyrics. “Oh My Soul” reads like a psalm with “Don’t lie to yourself/Love your God.” “Lament” begins with the comparative story of Mary and Martha and ends in a credendo of emotions that is musically imaginative and lyrically challenging.

“Won Me Over” captures the essence of the prodigal in all of us and puts words to things we never knew we even felt; while “Wherever You Go” describes another pursuit–God’s relentless chase of His children.

Lyrically, Assad has everyone else in the marketplace beat. She sets the bar high for poetic, thought-provoking lines. And she knows how to pair an enchanting lyric with a melody that tugs at the heartstrings. With her sophomore album, Assad does more than impress, she captures your heart.