From American Idol sweetheart to Christian music pop star, Colton Dixon sure has done a lot in his 10 years in the music industry, but this EP seems like a first in my book. Earlier records like A Messenger and Anchor feature a lot of softer, more contemporary sounds accompanied by powerful and present vocals but Colton Dixon – EP contains all sorts of elements contrary to previous work. When I think of an EP, I think of a new band starting out and trying to get their music out there and this almost feels like an entirely new start, with new sounds, new techniques but all with the same love for God and music.
The first time I heard “Miracles,” I was listening to a curated station of new music picked for me. I started dancing immediately and wanted to know what the song was. I could instantly tell it was Colton Dixon’s voice, but I was taken aback from the multicultural musical aspects I wasn’t used to associating with his name. Not only is the song musically pleasing, the lyrical content is good for the soul. People so easily equate things to be “fate” or “destiny” or “miracles” but the song reminds us that there is a greater power at work behind everything and it isn’t just a coincidence.
I don’t know when shaming the devil or calling out lies in music (Crowder – Run Devil Run or Zach Williams – Fear is a Liar) became so popular, but I think “Devil is a Liar” is one to add to the charts. The song features some catchy kick beats, an amped guitar loop and a message to remind us that the apple might look fine for eating, but we have to keep God’s word at the forefront of our everyday lives.
To me, “Can’t Quit You” is a modern love song. The softer guitar melody is more familiar and a nice reminder of classic Colton Dixon music but it’s met with some electronic flair to make it new and exciting. The cycle of change of tempo and pitch of the vocals keeps it spicy and helps it stand out from other songs on the EP. The lyrics help us think of why we choose to follow God and even though we might want to give up, we don’t because we know the journey is worth it.
“Wanderer” opens with a simple and calm guitar melody and then out of nowhere we have Colton Dixon…rapping? Maybe, I’ll let you be the judge of that, but my eyebrows arched and my jaw dropped because it was not something I’d ever hear on a Colton Dixon album. I like how the beat of the drum and the electronic taps in the background feel like you’re stepping on the journey that the lyrics speak about; the timeless message of reminding ourselves to look up and go where the spirit leads us.
“Not Goodbye” was definitely not the song I wanted to listen to as someone who is still struggling with grief. With that being said, I appreciate the lighthearted and positive take on loss and death in this life but it is still difficult to listen to. The tune sounds similar to the previous song without the electronic aspects of it. One thing that really shines in this song is the booming higher notes Colton hits near the end that make the message pack a punch. The lyrics paint the picture about meeting those we’ve lost in Heaven again someday, which can be comforting to think about.
Overall, Colton Dixon – EP takes you around the block in terms of musical aspects and lyrical focus. It’s a great little album of tunes and I’m interested to see what he does in his music moving forward.