Released: February 19th, 2016 / Total Tracks: 11 / My Favorite Song: Trusted / Already on the Radio: Soar / My Radio Picks: Soar, Trusted, Extravagant / Sweet Sweet Album Rating: 3.3 Stars
It has been just over three years since her last album was released, so it is no doubt that the Christian Music scene is glad to have a new album from Meredith Andrews. ‘Open Up The Heavens’ from her last album is a song I always enjoy hearing, so in some ways that song will serve as a standard for me. On the radio already, Meredith’s song ‘Soar’ keeps the standard up respectably.
With that said, I may have had my expectations a bit too high for this album. Aside from the three songs I mentioned at the top of this post, I gave all the songs on this album a 3 star rating. Some are borderline 4 star tracks though. In her favor, none of these songs are bad or below par. Every song brings a good soundtrack and solid messages. What I think she is missing in this album is some of her passion, which really sells her voice.
The first track, ‘Sunrise,’ is a borderline 4 star track, as the pace is great and its music is pretty good too. However, I find the lyrics just average, and so I couldn’t justify the boost. The title track, ‘Deeper’ holds the second slot, and again, this one comes up a bit wanting. As is often the case with a track or two on any album, this is a track that is growing on me each time I listen, so it could be a third 4 star track as well. The shifting of pace between the verses and the chorus is a bit distracting from the message, and this is the first song where I felt Meredith fails to bring the same voice to this song as she does for ‘Soar’ and ‘Trusted.’
Moving to the third song, ‘I Look To The King,’ has the standard praise and worship feel to it. It’s repetitive, and while presenting a meaningful message, is generally lacking in depth and therefore conflicting with the message of the album. This vibe is present with the next track, ‘Spirit of the Living God.’ and I feel like this is true for the vast body of her songs this album.
This gets us to the heart of her album. Three of the next tracks got my 4 star ratings. ‘Soar’ holds the 5th slot on the playlist, and it carries the same power we are used to along with great sound and lyrics. ‘Extravagant,’ at number six showcases how well her voice can make and break a song. The first time I listened I was unimpressed by the early presentation, but when she gets her heart into the music, I was more than willing to give the song another listen. ‘Glory,’ the seventh tune, comes close, but misses on the lyrics for me. ‘Trusted’ in the eighth position is the best song from the collection, in my opinion. Her signature voice, complete with passion and a good message, make for a great song.
The album finishes with another three 3 star songs in ‘Impossible,’ ‘Hands That Are Holding Me,’ and ‘Take Me Back.’ These songs slot into the 9th, 10th and 11th positions respectively. Each song has good elements to it, but they still do not get my attention as great songs.
So, in my opinion, Meredith has earned about 3.3 stars for this work, which if you read my rankings, is a little above where a nationally recognized performer should be. I will also note that my son has given me his seal of approval, which is not always a given. (He flat out rejected listening to Illuminate from the David Crowder band.) Meredith, I love your voice, and I am still eager to hear more from you! – Timothy