Brady Toops Self-Titled Album Review

Brady Toops Self-Titled Album Review

Redefining the proposed gap between the sacred and the secular, singer/songwriter Brady Toops makes music that appeals to the soul. Drawing inspiration from artists like Jon Foreman and Johnny Cash, Brady combines elements of traditional Folk, Rock ‘n Roll, and Gospel. His latest project, a self-titled full-length album is produced by David Leonard (of “All Sons and Daughters”) displays a unique combination of hymns, spirituals, and traditional singer/songwriter tunes.

The album begins with the mellow Folk offering, ‘By The River’ which introduced me to the rich, deep and raspy tone of Toops voice. Minimalistic production in the form of acoustic noodling and light percussion reminiscent of an unplugged, rootsy performance relay the message of finding peace, rest and rejuvenation in the song… “Lead me down, lead me down, where the waters are still, and I was found, I was found giving up my own will, where the mercies flow through the waters below and the day shines as bright as the sun…”

‘Reckless Love’ is upbeat and Rock tinged but still true to the Folk theme that runs through the album but reaches a climatic point in the bridge where worship pours out from Toops in response to the ‘Reckless Love’ Jesus has showed us… “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah Lord You reign…”

My favourite song in the album is the simple but effective hymn ‘Lord Have Mercy’ which is a prayer for God’s mercy in every season, groaning for God in wonder of His faithfulness… “When I come to You in prayer, Lord have mercy, and when I wonder if You’re there, Lord have mercy… When I cannot find a way, Lord have mercy, should my heart begin to stray, Lord have mercy…”

The rhythm and chord progressions on ‘Glorious Name’ hooked me in straight away; once again minimalistic but filled with passion and intent. “You are the risen Son, high above the earth, our Lord, the victorious one, let the nations bring you praise, let the nations come to glorious…” The atmospheric (gang) backing vocals, screaming organ parts and foot-stomping four-to-floor driving beat stir up the worship within.

“Soon and very soon, You will come again. Soon and very soon, all our suffering shall end…” This is reminiscent of a negro spiritual with nothing but a drone and choral vocals led by Toops, singing of a freedom and liberty that will come when Jesus comes again like the freedom the slaves would sing about with such passion.

I couldn’t held but notice the similarities in ‘Lord Have Mercy’ and ‘Make Your Home,’ however the songs gains its own identity in the vamp as Toops (along with a spirited choir) sing passionately asking God to “….make Your home in me…”

Brady Toops has produced an album that is tangible, pure and real. On first listen I found many of the songs to be sparse or minimal (in their production) and simple but after many listens I found the treatment of the songs to be just right as each song breathes and allows not only the messages in the songs to come through easily but also the emotions behind each song.

Listening to this album is calming and brings peace and is like laying beside still waters basking in the sun and exhaling.

Track List:

  • By The River
  • Golden Bell
  • Reckless Love
  • Lord Have Mercy
  • Glorious Name
  • Come On Home
  • Swing low Sweet Chariot
  • Soon And Very Soon
  • Blessed Saviour
  • Make Your Home
  • O For Grace

4.5/5

Reviewed By Matt Brooks

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