11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With echoing, Gaelic undertones, this hymns project owes its simplicity to Audrey Assad’s Plymouth Brethren roots (where voices were the only instrumentation), and its liturgy to her current Catholic faith. Drums on the otherwise stark “Be Thou My Vision” prove a welcome surprise, while Assad’s “I Wonder as I Wander” conjures earthy images of faraway forests. “Even Unto Death,” penned with pal Matt Maher, is fragile and fearless, and her dewy version of “Holy, Holy, Holy” breathes new life into old lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With echoing, Gaelic undertones, this hymns project owes its simplicity to Audrey Assad’s Plymouth Brethren roots (where voices were the only instrumentation), and its liturgy to her current Catholic faith. Drums on the otherwise stark “Be Thou My Vision” prove a welcome surprise, while Assad’s “I Wonder as I Wander” conjures earthy images of faraway forests. “Even Unto Death,” penned with pal Matt Maher, is fragile and fearless, and her dewy version of “Holy, Holy, Holy” breathes new life into old lyrics.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
147 Ratings
147 Ratings
ChrisDuffel ,

Rare mix of old and new

Inheritance is that rare album that taps into something that seems so deeply rooted and ancient, yet is at the same time something brimming with new life. This is what and who God is, and it overflows in this soundscape of song and chant.

Can’t recommend this album highly enough, especially for the person who has trouble praying and could use something beautiful to provoke contemplation of God and with God.

Mom in VA ,

Audrey voice calls us to worship our creator

Audrey has a truly amazing gift in that she can emote joy, love, pain and sorrow through - all in one breath - through the angelic tones in her voice. Truly astounding!

Twitchly93 ,

Quietly reverent

I discovered Audrey Assad through a David Brooks column in the NY Times, of all places. He linked to her video "I Shall Not Want" from her outstanding album "Fortunate Fall." Subtle, reverential, deep, and unlike anyone else: I was hooked. Her followup EP, "Death Be Not Proud," was equally excellent.

A caveat before continuing: I am not a fan of much of what is termed contemporary "worship" music in some churches, which uses repetition and crescendo to evoke an emotional response. I'm too jaded, I suppose. But I have no patience for it.

When I read that Audrey next wanted to produce worship music for churches, I wasn't encouraged, but I knew I'd give it a listen.

My first encounter with her latest music was through a video she posted for the haunting, traditional hymn "I Wonder as I Wander": Dark scenes of wintry mountains, layered with her ethereal vocals and a distant ominous electronic soundscape. Perfect. If Sarah McLachlan made a record of hymns produced by Daniel Lanois, it might sound like this.

That moody Lanois-esque echoing carries over throughout much of "Inheritance," which thankfully contains the gorgeous "I Wonder as I Wander." Most of the album is made up of traditional hymns, which Audrey sings with palpable reverence. A few favorites so far: "How Can I Keep from Singing," with its steady thrum and heavenly choir; the tender "O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus," with Fernando Ortega; and "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet." The latter is the darkest, most experimental song on the album. All too often in hymnography, we forget that we are, in fact, singing about blood. This innovative rendition makes that sobering realization inescapable.

My least favorite songs on this album eventually go down the climatically repetitive path I dreaded. "New Every Morning" and "Even Unto Death" both start out beautifully but eventually lapse into overblown repetition. If I could find a way to edit out the last third of each of these, I would, but I suspect a large number of Audrey's fans, especially those from more charismatic backgrounds, wouldn't thank me. And even in these songs, Audrey's interpretation remains consistently prayerful.

Overall, this is a marvelous collection from one of the most interesting artists out there. Highly recommended.

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