Listen to the Album from Free As A Bird!
Listen to the New Album From Free As A Bird!

JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Brett Lee Miller

Brett Lee Miller
Topography

Street Date: March 2, 2018
Style: Indie Worship
Buy It: iTunes
Buy It: AmazonMP3



One of the biggest faults of recent worship releases is that their musical components hardly generate any interest. Long builds and repetitive choruses can only go so far before becoming boring. That being said, what makes Brett Lee Miller's debut release, Topography, truly exciting is the way Miller manipulates those old clichés and makes them interesting again. Inventive instrumentation and incredible arrangements keep listeners consistently uncertain as to what will come next, only to be eventually paid off with something beautiful.

Miller himself has noted that "what lies within this record is a documentation of exploring the hills and valleys Jesus has created within us." While this thesis is thematically consistent, the irony is that the actual sound of the album is a lot more atmospheric than grounded. There is certainly poetic imagery that floods the lyrics (my favorite of lines coming from "Romance" - "Fear is not the table You set/When You left/Hate is not the meal You serve/When You return"), but it's the music first that takes you to a place of worship. He utilizes a blend of electronic palettes and organic, airy strings mixed with genres of ambient, pop/rock, and even jazz influences. Though this sounds like a mish-mash of styles, there is never an instance where the music betrays the mood of the lyrics, even on opener "Texture," which constantly switches between moods itself.

Sometimes ethereal instrumentation can detract from the presence of vocals, but Miller does enough to make his voice distinct from the rest of the music. He may not have a wholly unique voice, but it hits this sweet intersection between Aaron Marsh (Copeland) and Joshua Havens (The Afters) that is quite pleasant and fitting. His vocals typically function as the soaring icing on the sonic cake, especially on "Romance" and "Salvage." The only drawback that comes with Miller's atmospheric sensibilities is that tracks 4-7 each reach an emotional peak befitting of an album closer. Listening to those songs in a row can make the experience feel like they drag on a bit too much, yet on an individual level, the fact that those songs take their time to arrive where they want to go reveals Miller's skill as a patient songwriter.

For a genre that only sees a handful of great releases each year, there's no doubt that Topography is one of them. If you're looking to pick up something with genuine passion and a wider cohesive perspective on what worship music can be like, this album should not be overlooked. With greater production, Miller is bound to keep on creating canvases of devotion that all can appreciate and take part in.

- Review date: 2/27/18, written by Mason Haynie of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Listen to the Album Angel In A Haunted House by Will Keizer!

 

JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 6 tracks: 22 minutes, 5 seconds
. Street Date: March 2, 2018
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Texture (3:54)
  2. In Us (4:04)
  3. Romance (5:56)
  4. Remain (4:45)
  5. Salvage (6:35)
  6. Afraid (5:09)
  7. Bloom (5:01)

 

 

 

go to main Indie review page
go to Indie Review Index

 

           
Listen to the Album Angel In A Haunted House by Will Keizer!

Search JFH




This Friday, October 22, 2021
Jim & Melissa Brady Ever Faithful [Daywind]
Teddy Campbell Band/font> Marry Me - Single [Gee Tree]
Casting Crowns The Power of the Cross - Single [Provident]
Stephen Christian Awaken - Single [BEC]
Riley Clemmons Stuck Inside My Head (Single Mix) - Single [Capitol CMG]
The Color No Greater Love [DREAM]
Jason Crabb Home for Christmas - EP [Red Street]
Sean Curran 1,000 Names - EP [Capitol CMG]
Hillsong Worship That’s The Power (feat. Benjamin Hastings) - Single [Capitol CMG/Hillsong]
Idle Threat Driftwood - Single [Tooth & Nail]
Lion of Judah Closer [BEC/Gospel Song]
Lindsay McCaul Come, O Lord (Maranatha) - Single (independent)
The Old Paths Every Story Whispers His Name - Single [Sonlite]
Aaron Shust Every Morning - Single (independent)
Rebecca St. James Kingdom Come (feat. for KING & COUNTRY) - Single [Bethel]
Stephanie Summers Mighty Strong God [Provident]
Cade Thompson Cade Thompson Christmas - EP [Red Street]
Tim Timmons HERE (Live With Friends) [Integrity]
We The Kingdom A Family Christmas EP [Sparrow]
Zach Williams I Don’t Want Christmas To End [Provident]
Anne Wilson My Jesus (feat. Crowder) - Single [Capitol CMG]


Next Friday, October 29, 2021
11th Hour Anthem of the Ages [Crossroads]
Gas Street Music This is Jesus - EP [Integrity]
Love & The Outcome Christmas Lights - Single [Curb/Word]
Marc Martel & Leigh Nash Welcome to Our World - Single
MŌRIAH Live from the Quarry - EP [Cathedral]
MŌRIAH Worth (feat. Joel Smallbone) - Single [Cathedral]
NEEDTOBREATHE Into the Mystery (Vinyl) [Centricity/Elektra]
Point of Grace Sing Noel [Curb/Word]
Sarah Reeves Winter Wonderland (feat. Clark Beckham) - Single [Curb/Word]
SongLab In The Greenhouse - EP [DREAM]
Stars Go Dim Home (feat. Hannah Ellis) - Single [Curb/Word]
Various Artists Dream Christmas Vol. 6 [DREAM]
War Of Ages Rhema - EP [Facedown]

For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the new single by Katie Lighty!




Listen to the new album from KAINA!