From the 11-song tracklist to the outdoor portrait cover art, No Turning Back is through and through a Brandon Heath album. There isn't anything groundbreaking here, but this is nonetheless an enjoyable Christ-centered project filled with skillful storytelling and that laid-back musical vibe that permeates all of his albums. Heath has always been one of the finest of the Christian radio staples, and No Turning Back will only continue to solidify that status.
Instead of further diving into the folksy and country explorations of Blue Mountain, Heath has returned to a sound that is more in line with his first two albums. "No Turning Back" is an upbeat pop/rock tune with a hefty baseline, steady drum beat, and airy guitar licks. It may have a fairly predictable song structure, but this is outweighed by the beautiful harmonies of David and Leslie from All Sons & Daughters. Two of the strongest tracks, "Girl of My Dreams" and "Sing Brave," cultivate a welcoming acoustic pop sound that make you feel like you are hanging out with him on his back porch. The piano ballad "S.O.S." carries a gloomy tone that gives the soul searching lyrics some extra weight. Surprisingly, Heath's "pop/rock over a hip hop beat" style is only represented on "One Way To Heaven." While most of these genres are pulled off remarkably well, there are two that are not quite as impressive--the modern worship song "Behold Our God" and the dub-step influences on "Only Just Met You."
Thematically, half of the record plays out as a journey back to the significant moments in his faith journey, namely when he first trusted Jesus as his savior. With the help of his warm and inviting voice, songs like "Sing Brave" and "S.O.S." effectively convey the curiosity, doubts, joy, and love that he experienced during those times. In "Sing Brave," Heath tells us about singing in front of his 2nd grade classmates, as a new believer, and now on stage. Some of the lyrics are a little cliché, but the song is so heartwarming that it ends up being an album highlight. The rest of the songs fit well with this main theme, but don't necessarily relate to the "faith story" concept, such as Jesus being the only true salvation on "One Way To Heaven" and Heath hosting a garage sale on the comedic yet convicting "Everything Must Go." Another album highlight, "Girl of My Dreams," is an intimate song about his recent marriage that perfectly blends humor ("she steals all my closets and tells me I snore") and sentiment ("she's more than a lover, she's my best friend").
It's hard to deny that Heath can pen an amazing song and craft some pleasing tunes to relax to. If you don't care for his previous releases, No Turning Back probably won't change your mind, but if you've ever been a fan of Heath's signature AC pop, you won't go wrong picking this one up. class="coversize" align=right> From the 11 song tracklist to the outdoor portrait cover art, No Turning Back is through and through a Brandon Heath album. There isn't anything groundbreaking here but this is nonetheless an enjoyable release featuring some of Heath's strongest songwriting to date--especially the witty love song "Girl of my Dreams" and the intimate story on "Sing Brave." Thematically, half of the record plays out as a journey back to the pivotal moments in his faith journey, such as the time when he first trusted Jesus as his savior. With the help of his warm and inviting voice, he effectively conveys the curiosity, doubts, joy, and love that he experienced during those times. The other half of the album covers topics such as Jesus being the only true salvation on "One Way To Heaven" and Heath hosting a garage sale on the comedic and convicting "Everything Must Go." A handful of genres are utilized here to keep things fresh, including his signature pop/rock over a hip hop beat ("One Way To Heaven"), a piano ballad ("S.O.S."), EDM ("Only Just Met You"), modern worship ("Behold Our God"), and acoustic pop ("Girl of My Dreams"). Each of these styles are pulled off remarkably well, and most of them carry that laid-back vibe that permeates all Brandon Heath albums. If you don't care for his previous releases, No Turning Back probably won't change your mind, but for everyone else, you do not want to miss this album... --->- Preview Review date: 12/15/14; Review date: 1/21/15, written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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