Brandon Heath, Leaving Eden

By Lindsay Williams | contributing writer,
Posted: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 13:55

By Lindsay Williams, contributing writer,

Two-time “Male Vocalist of the Year” Brandon Heath presents his career album with Leaving Eden, a collection of radio-ready, beat-driven gems that should serve to produce a string of No. 1 hits for Christian music’s current golden boy.

However, don’t mistake Heath for another artist who has sold out to Christian radio after a bit of commercial success. His trademark lyrics are what set him apart. He’s managed to capture a unique, beat-driven sound (à la “Give Me Your Eyes”) that runs throughout the collection, thanks to longtime producer and friend Dan Muckala (The Afters, MercyMe). However, it’s his sincere authenticity bleeding through every lyric that makes Heath a rare breed of viable creativity.

His unique artistry is never more apparent than on his third album. The epic title track, co-written with ACM and CMA award-winning songwriter Lee Thomas Miller, is a testament to Heath’s inventive tendencies, with booming drums leading into thoughtful lyrics that portray our journey from the fall of humanity to heaven.

The first single “Your Love,” along with “The Light In Me” and “The One” each speaks to transforming hope in Christ and the difference we can make in the world because of it. Standout track “Stolen” poetically describes the way God relentlessly pursues and captures the hearts of His children against an infectious beat: “I’m a fugitive running from the life that I was meant to live...”  

There are a few surprises tucked in between the pulsating tunes. As always, Heath’s ballads shine with unmatched integrity felt in his warm vocals and raw candor. The quiet melody of “Only Water” wraps itself around the picturesque words creating a memorable reprieve in the midst of upbeat tracks. “Now More Than Ever” finds the songwriter passionately musing about his desire for Christ with a remarkable intensity in both music and lyric.

“Might Just Save Your Life” and “It’s No Good to Be Alone” will surprise fans as Heath channels TobyMac. These songs have the potential to be fun, live highlights as the two artists tour together on this year’s Winter Wonder Slam, although the recorded versions are interesting choices for Heath.

He saves the best for last with artistic closer “As Long As I’m Here.” The lyrics encapsulate Heath’s heart for loving well during our time on earth. The bridge is an ambitious, heartfelt cry that will stir the innermost feelings of even the most cynical hearts.

Leaving Eden is a pop masterpiece revealing why Heath’s success has only just begun. This album leaves little doubt that he is leading a new era of Christian music. We need his honesty, and we’re all the better for it.

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