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on September 4, 2010
I've been an atheist for more years than I care to remember, although I've never had anything against sincere faith of most natures, most of it turns me off with the ear bashing they tend to give others.

Christian Rock, for me, tends to fall into this category, along with its mostly saccharine vile vulgarity, I wouldn't give it house room, no, street room.

I got the track, "The House You're Building" as a freebie, so I gave it a listen. While I could see it was Christian Music, it was too good sounding to delete, and I found myself clicking, and clicking again. LOL, like a guilty secret, or chocolate at the back of the fridge. Had to buy the album, didn't I?

So, I eventually bought the blessed thing, and a blessed thing is it. I'm not ever going to be a convert, but if more Christians went around with the plain, simple beautiful sentiment that runs through every line of this gorgeous record, there would be fewer people outside than in.

Every track is good, personal favourites are THYB, and "Restless", but then, young Audrey finishes off the album with maybe the most beautiful conjoinment of words and music I've heard for thirty years. The simply stunning, "Show Me" is music of the very highest order, and sung like an angel. The words would melt the heart of the hardest rude boy, the timing of the singing is pluperfect and the musicality of the voice peerless.

The search for spirituality within the words and music are as universal as the muezzin calling the holy to prayer, it is that powerful. To my ears, more beautiful.

That all this is done by a youngster of 27 is just mind blowing. My word, we are going to be hearing more of Audrey Assad.

Yeah, and crusty old atheist me will be first in line to buy the record.

This is a brilliant, brilliant album, on any level. The playing and the singing is superb, the music is great and the words are surely something that would make anyone stop and think for a bit.

brendan
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 28, 2010
Singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, originally from New Jersey and most recently Florida, weaves her captivating voice into a thread of contemplative yet accessible music and lyrics on her debut release The House You're Building, released on July 13th. Individualistic. A free spirit. Untraditional. In junior high those labels are a death sentence. In adulthood, they usually describe people the rest of us wish we could be - creative, intriguing people like Audrey Assad. Truly one-of-a-kind, this intensely honest singer-songwriter is carving out her own unique path in the music industry and opening hearts to God along the way. She's passionate about songwriting as well. She also penned one song on her own and shares a co-writing credit with producer Marshall Altman. "The record is about faith. It's about the cross and fear and pain and how God is carrying me even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it," Audrey explains. "Marshall pulled things out of me emotionally that I don't think I'd ever accessed, making me realize that every time I sing these songs, I have to channel my pain and walk through it."

"For Love of You," the album's first single, was inspired by the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem "As Kingfishers Catch Fire" and is one of my favorite songs on the album. There's no struggling or wrestling, it's simply a celebration of the idea that there are traces of God everywhere. "The House You're Building" is arguably the album's most personal song. Written with Ben Glover, the tune finds Audrey comparing herself to a broken, misshapen stone. "It's about being a misfit, of not feeling fit to be a Christian, but then realizing that the walls of God's house are being built from oddly-shaped and misfit stones," she says. "He does that on purpose so I know I have a place. There's a hole in the wall that I fit perfectly in." "Restless" was written with Matt Maher, and comes from the confession of Augustine. If there's any song I have that's relevant to this generation it's this one. We are so restless and transient and spread across so many social networks. Our relationships have increased in numbers and decreased in depth. Each generation has something that reveals the restlessness of the human heart, and I think this transience does that for our generation; it serves a purpose. My restlessness actually addresses that need. It's a reminder that God should be my first source. "Carry Me" has prayerful and very emotional lyrics, "As I carry this cross, You carry me". "Known" has very vulnerable lyrics "As a lover knows his beloved's heart / All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark."

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Audrey has a phenomenal singing voice which reminds me of the top female vocalists in the business, Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood, Christy Nockels and Adie, which is amazing company in my opinion. "For Love of You," "The House You're Building," "Restless," "Carry Me" and "Known" are all stand-out songs on this album, which is one of my top albums of 2010. I expect multiple GMA nominations for new artist and female vocalist for Audrey Assad, my choice for top new artist of the year. I haven't heard an album that has struck me like this album since Albertine by Brooke Fraser. If you like that album, you need to get The House You're Building.
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on July 24, 2010
Every single song is perfect. From the lyrics, to Audrey's beautiful voice, to the actual music itself. Well thought-out and meaningful music that is sure to keep you entertained and striving for a better relationship with God for a time to come.
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on June 27, 2011
Yes, even a Godless heathen such as myself can recognize beautiful, moving music when I have the good fortune to hear it. I listen to a very wide variety of music and I love, love, love good female vocals. Audrey is absolutely amazing. Her range, her tonal quality, her timing... all impeccable.While I don't subscribe to formal religion, I do believe that each and every living soul has the inherent right to believe as they wish and seek out whatever makes them feel happy and fulfilled in this very limited time we have on earth.OK, enough of that. This album is well recorded if a tad over-produced.But honestly, it's all about Audrey's voice and song-writing that, for me, lift this CD way up above so many other artists out there today.I purchased this CD a few weeks ago and can't seem to get enough of it... of her. So pure, and clean, and emotionally impactful. While I love each of the songs, I am especially taken by the last cut... just Audrey, her piano, and a touch of harmonic voicing... gorgeous!
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on May 17, 2015
I was first introduced to this artist by my 16-yr-old daughter when I asked her what that beautiful melody was that she was picking out on the piano. She was "Restless" by Audrey Assad. I liked it so well, I looked it up on You Tube and then started listening to more of her songs that had been put there. When I realized I liked several things off this same album, I decided to go ahead and buy it.

I don't like it when I buy a cd on the strength of one wonderful song only to find out that that one wonderful song was the only one I like. Definitely not the case here. My second time listening through, I paid careful attention to which songs I "really liked" and discovered all but two of them fall into that category, and even those two are fine songs. I would definitely recommend this album to people who like music with beautiful words that you can understand, beautiful melodies that get stuck in your head (and you don't mind it!) sung by a young lady with a beautiful voice. A little bit jazzy, a little bit folksy, an occasional touch of new aginess (I don't think that's a word).

And just to give you a frame of reference, I'm also a big fan of Bebo Norman and Big Daddy Weave.
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on May 17, 2011
I've been playing and singing along with The House You're Building practically non-stop when I've been in the car since our favorite brother in Christ introduced me to the album and artist a couple weeks ago. For a number of years, I've found that I'm deeply moved by music that is well-written, contains a Christian message, and is beautifully performed. Assad's first album which debuted last summer fits all three of those qualities which describe most of my favorite music.

This singer/songwriter combines contemplative lyrics with magnificent melodies to produce songs that will make you think, sing aloud, and thereby pray twice to the Lord. Assad's Pop/Contemporary style and voice are appealing to me because both seem to carry with them a depth reminiscent of those who have actually tried to live out the Christian virtues, sometimes successfully, other times not, but with a commitment that is steadfast.

For me, one of the marks of a masterfully done musical endeavor is that I find the lyrics popping into my mind during my personal prayer time, in Church, during Mass, and elsewhere. I know a song has resonated deeply with me when the words become part of my prayers because they fit so perfectly with what I'm experiencing and feeling in relation to God and those He's placed in my life to love, learn from, and serve. This has happened a number of times with the songs from The House You're Building.

Many of the songs include blends of different quotes from Scripture. Others remind me of the Biblical values espoused by certain saints. For example, whenever I hear, "Restless," I always think of Saint Augustine who was clear that until we are in full communion with and therefore resting in the Lord, we will be restless.

"Everything is Yours" is definitely one song that has stuck with me and been a good reminder for me. "If everything is Yours, I'm letting it go...It was never mine to hold" are the lyrics that replay in my mind when I find myself holding too tightly to a person or situation that clearly belongs to the Lord (in short, everyone and every one).

I highly recommend The House You're Building by Audrey Assad. To listen to some song samples or purchase your own copy, click The House You're Building.
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on December 12, 2010
As an avowed fan of Rich Mullins and Jars of Clay, I am constantly on the lookout for new singer-songwriters in that vein -- possessing the ability to freshly convey both the timelessless of biblical truth and the frailty of the human condition. I purchased this album, after hearing a free download (courtesy of Starbucks) of the title track. It ended up being hands-down my favorite CD buy of 2010, Christian or otherwise. And with Christmas just around the corner, you can bet Audrey's record will be nestled snugly in more than a few stockings.

Being a poet myself, I appreciate the poetry inherent in Audrey's songwriting. She manages to craft lyrics which bring new life to traditional spiritual metaphors, as well as evoking original imagery. Her voice is beautiful and her phrasing sensitive. Just as important, nearly every track is memorable, catchy, and easy to sing along with. Which explains why I keep popping it back into my car's audio system. As other reviewers have suggested, this isn't just good "Christian music"; it's uplifting music, period, with a broad appeal.

With such a mature and auspicious debut album, I can't wait to hear what else this new artist has in store. And of course, I am eager to hear Audrey perform live!
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on March 26, 2013
I can't believe she's not topping the charts - this CD is just awesome!! She is a very deep writer, with incredible talent in putting music to the lyrics. We then saw her in concert thinking she would be the headliner - but ended up only singing a few songs opening for Tenth Avenue North...who we now love also!
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on July 3, 2014
I've been listening to this album for quite some time now. When you listen to this album, you can tell that Assad isn't just another CCM "artist" with a pretty voice. I think that while she is young and her subjects are definitely not new, she has a fresh point of view. Her range is so-so but there is something sweet about her upper-register. I think she should get down deeper and darker sometimes for a better emphasis on the lyrics but overall, these recordings are great to listen to and think about. Worth the buy.
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on April 2, 2016
As Audrey's first record label release, this one is not as polished as her later releases. Her signature vocals and heart-stirring lyrics are present, but the pop-y production drowns out that beauty. It took me many listens to realize how deep her lyrical content is because I heard radio pop and tuned out the real depth. Near the end of the album we get a taste of her future greatness when lighter piano and guitar take the stage.

I still highly recommend the album. Her songwriting and insight to the human heart it worth the price of admission. I just wish different choices had been made with arrangements.
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