Written by: Phil Stacey (3/10/2017)
“Identity” by Colton Dixon stuns with crisp production, well executed concepts, and a solid message of encouragement for its listeners.
Our world is rich in negativity, and it’s nearly impossible to avert some levels of insecurity. With images telling us what we should look like, message boards telling us how we should think, and social media teaching us how to compare ourselves with others, we are under a constant attack of reasons to question everything about ourselves.
It is in this context that Colton Dixon invites us to strip away the noise and search for answers not from those around us, but from the scriptures; the source of truth itself. It is here that we find that we are fearfully and wonderfully made; that we are his workmanship; that we are more than conquerors. And in the end, as communicated beautifully in the album’s lead-off single, “All that matters” is that we matter to a loving heavenly father.
The album itself is divided into three sections, which is admirable in itself. With the majority of the music industry being more single driven, Colton separates himself by creating a cohesive body of music, each song unveiling more of the well developed picture. The sections themselves are titled, “The Mind, The Body, and The Spirit”, and each one is introduced by beautiful music interludes overlaid by scriptures that match the theme’s content. For example, we hear passages from Philippians 4 and Romans 12 when discussing the mind; passages such as “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
“The Mind” includes four dynamic songs that give us the opportunity to submit to God’s perspective of who we are. The song “Identity” boldly declares, “We are chosen, we are royalty”. This song moves right into “All That Matters”, which breaks down all of life’s worries and concerns with the knowledge that all that really matters is that we are passionately loved by our God. If we can somehow internalize that the maker of heaven and earth cares about each of us and that his plans for us surpass anything we could imagine, than the lies that the world and even the ghosts of our past try to tell us will fade into nothing. “Brand New Life” explains the rebirth we experience through Christ; that all things are made new when we place our faith in him. “Technicolor” feels almost like an 80’s throwback song with a very modern touch. This song acknowledges the different way that God sees us and asks that he reveal it to us somehow.
“The Body” continues with a series of five songs that continue the theme of a life that has been renewed. “In my Veins” celebrates the revelation of being reborn. This sentiment continues as “Down” marvels at how much different life is now that peace has rested upon the life of the believer. “I Would Choose You” relates an unending devotion that is has been realized as a result of this powerful conversion. Ephesians 6 teaches us that we don’t war with things of this world, but with principalities, and the song “Warrior” describes the development of a mature believer who is moved not only to understanding, but also to action. And finally, “Human” communicates our reliance on God’s grace. We are only human, but God has empowered us to live victoriously, and this can be a powerful testimony to those around us.
“The Spirit” is the final section of the album. It begins with the song “No Greater Love”, which emphasizes the vastness of God’s passion for the people of this world. “Breathe” reminds us of how no matter what distractions we may face, we can find peace for our souls in Christ and the blessed assurance that he holds our future in his hands. “High” finds us waiting on the Lord and renewing our strength. “The Other Side” is a reflection piece, juxtaposing death with the spirit’s endless continuance and glory that waits for us in eternity. Concluding the album is a beautiful song called “Autopsy”, which reminds the listener that we are made of more than just flesh and bones, and the Spirit is what matter most.
This two time GMA Dove Award winner for best Pop/Rock Album is no rookie to making great records and this one is no exception. It is encouraging, uplifting, and it will be a welcomed addition to your music collection.