After a successful debut with A Messenger producing hits like "Never Gone," Colton Dixon is continuing a journey to bring us more of his pop/rock stylings with Anchor. It's apparent that Colton sought to go into a slightly more distinct direction with this second effort and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The album begins with "S.O.S," which shares the arena type of presence that is so familiar with the big hair bands from the 80s. It provides a simple message of encouraging people to not wait or hesitate holding back their faith. "Walk on the Waves" continues the same music formation, although it's toned down a bit, providing the message of trusting in God in our lives. "More of You" has already been dominating the airwaves and it's an admirable follow up to "Let Them See You" as it provides plenty of energy while not wearing out its welcome.
The album does contain some moments where songs repeat lyrics to an unsolicited degree, like in "Loud and Clear" and "This Isn't the End," but it's a minor quibble compared to the majority of the album. "Fool's Gold" provides some very interesting mixture of music. It combines some of the stylings of TobyMac along with some early 90s glam metal and works really well. The captivating portion emerges during the chorus, "Don't bare and you won't break / there is another way," as it takes listeners back to a similar sound found in D*mn Yankees' "High Enough" from 1990. "Through All Of It" is a beautiful ballad, and Colton Dixon truly shines here with some meaningful lyrics, "There are choices that I made that I wouldn't make again / I've had my share of laughter / Of tears and troubled times / This has been the story of my life // I have won / And I have lost / I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not / Life's been a journey / I've seen joy, I've seen regret / Oh, and You have been my God through all of it". "Back to Life" is another solid rock tune that captivates with a very catchy chorus, describing the need for salvation -- a Savior described as a hero.
Anchor is more varied than Colton's previous effort and it's an album that will welcome a wider array of music fans. He could have just thrown together A Messenger II and many of his original fans would've been happy. However, much credit is given to Colton Dixon for taking a different approach with this project and trying something more diverse; this is a welcome pop rock release in 2014.
- Review date: 8/18/14, written by Wayne Myatt