Friday, January 16, 2009
Album Review: Heather Headley - Audience of One (4/5)
Heather Headley returns with her third studio album, Audience of One, making a swift transition from contemporary soul music to gospel. Her last offering, In My Mind, was simply outstanding, definitely R&B at its finest. I was afraid Heather Headley finding Jesus would be like Jessica Simpsons finding country music, but thankfully this isn't the case, Audience of One, is great combination between brilliant urban-slow jams
spired with some deep introspective lyrics fused with some great uptempo tracks too. "Simply Redeemed", gets the album off to a mellow start, it's very angelic, with some faint guitars in the background, with the drums kicking in within the core of the song, the album then swiftly embarks on a more upbeat venture on, "Ordinary Me", it's a great melodic dance track, probably not as catchy as it should be, but great nonetheless. "I Wish", is a beautiful ballad, with the traditional piano and drums, her vocal performance distinctively immaculate. "Jesus Is Love", with Smokie Norful, serves as the albums lead single, it's another of the albums beautiful ballads, I love its soaring chorus, it's so beautiful to listen to. I've never heard of Smokie Norful before but he sounds really good on here.
The medley which consists of, "I Need Thee Every Hour", "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" and "I'd Rather Have Jesus", is one of the album's highlights, although I would prefer them to be separate to lengthen the album a bit. Something a bit more contemporary is, "Running Back To You", which is the only non-gospel album, it begins with a beautiful played piano before breaking to a really sick bassline. "I Know The Lord Will Make A Way", goes back to church roots, with church organs and the whole collaboration going on, even including the traditional church quire. "Here I Am To Worship", and "Power Of The Chorus", are great well-known gospel songs, not particularly my favorites, but they are good nonetheless. Closing the album is the eery ballad, "Zion", what I like about this ballad in-particular because its just Heather's vocal against the piano, its really beautiful.
Audience of One wasn't probably the best direction to go in after a knockout like In My Mind, although I don't mind the gospel, I do hope her next album is a return to contemporary R&B.
Best Tracks: Simply Redeemed, I Wish, Jesus Is Love, Medley, Lord Will Make A Way, Zion