Rating: 3/5 stars
With a bold sound and a newfound confidence evident with every lyric, Moriah Peters’ sophomore effort definitely lives up to its name—Brave. The 21-year-old fearlessly trades in the soft, light acoustic musings of her debut for fierce guitars, abundant percussion and artful introspection.
The 11 songs on Brave serve as a natural reflection of recent changes in Peters’ personal life. She’s toured relentlessly since releasing her debut in 2012, logging miles of experience and business acumen along the way. In addition, she moved from California to Tennessee, and she married the love of her life—for KING & COUNTRY’s Joel Smallbone. With all the life she’s lived in the short span of two years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Peters’ growth is noticeable from the first piano-laden line of Brave.
From the minute Brave begins, listeners will instantly realize the timid young songwriter initially introduced to fans has been replaced with a confident young woman. The title track at once evokes Florence + The Machine—artful, bold and empowering. A bonus version of “Brave” closes the album and includes a rap bridge that’s woven in seamlessly.
“O Fear” reveals Peters’ songwriting strengths, personifying worries with lyrics that make our deepest anxieties tangible. First single “Carry Me” is an anthemic pop-centric cut with equally substantial content.
Stand-outs “To Leave It All Behind” and “Stand Strong” bleed with empowerment and strength, encouraging listeners to cash it all in for the cause of Christ. Her unique take on the now classic “Give Me Jesus” provides a clever and artistic addition as well.
Produced by Seth Mosley (Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline) and Peters’ husband, who also co-wrote the majority of the tracks and even contributes guest vocals, Brave will inevitably redefine the direction of Peters’ career. However, it’s such a dramatic shift from her debut, the question remains as to whether or not Peters’ current fans are mature enough to follow her into this next chapter.
Download Brave on iTunes here.
This review was first published in Living Light News.