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REVIEW: Brian Free & Assurance – How Good Does Grace Feel

Producer: Ricky Free
Record Label: Daywind Records
Website: www.brianfreeandassurance.com

Over the last decade, Brian Free & Assurance have released chart-topping songs with fresh lyrics and arrangements. Just in the past few years, the fellas have seen extreme success in their ministry and through their recordings. Now, the fellas are back after their last major release, “Beyond Amazed”, with a 6 song EP entitled “How Good Does Grace Feel”.
The album kicks off with the current single, “This Storm”, written by Don Koch, Joseph Habedank and Dave Clark. This is one of only two upbeat songs on the EP and it’s a perfect choice for the first radio single. Upbeat songs about difficult times are a rare thing these days, but “This Storm’, is exactly that. A catchy piano riff and moving lyrics make this song a hit, in my opinion. I anticipate great success with this song on both radio and concert.
Only every BFA record, Brian records a touching power ballad. This project is no different with “Without Jesus”. This song is a simple piano/strings track. A full track production would’ve allowed this song to camouflage with the remainder of the project a little better. However, that being said – I believe it is one of Brian’s’ strongest features in years. Great song!
“Helpless” is one of my personal favorites on the project. Lyrically, it’s super fresh. Melodically, it’s a little more progressive than your typical SG fan would desire, but I LOVE it. It is a song that will speak to those who feel they have fallen too far from grace, as well as to the lost who feel they’re too sinful for God to redeem.
When I first listened to the title cut, “How Good Does Grace Feel”, I was moved to tears. Musically, it’s brilliant. Lyrically, it tells the story of grace in a way that I have never heard before in our industry. This song wins “best song on the album” and would be a great pick for the next single.

“Even If The Healing Doesn’t Come”, featuring Mike Rogers, is another one of those songs you expect from BFA. I have a hard time believing somebody can listen to this lyric without being deeply moved. In addition, this may be one of Mike’s greatest features since joining the group in 2013.
The final cut, “Only God Knows” is a re-cut of the original “pro-life” Gold City song from 1988. Although a great  lyric with a message that NEEDS to be heard in the world today – the song itself just doesn’t suit the album. I
PROS:
– Ricky Free is one of, if not, the freshest producer in our industry today. Not one song is “outdated” production wise. That’s hard to accomplish these days and I applaud him.

– This project will reach younger generations that the typical SG artist wouldn’t. This is very important and I applaud the fellas for releasing such great, fresh music.
CONS: 
– Brian Free is known for creating albums with no “filler” songs. For the first time in almost a decade, I believe that was not accomplished in it’s entirety.

– After the major success of the past 3 BFA projects (“Unashamed”, “Live Like We’re Redeemed” and “Beyond Amazed”, a 6 song release (that doesn’t quite measure up to the last project) seems a little odd to me. EPs are the future of all music, beyond a doubt. That being said – I would love to see another EP (maybe 8 songs?) with no cover/filler songs.
Matthew Lawson
Staff Writer/Reviewer
Matthew Lawson is an up and coming songwriter with Crossroads Music Publishing and rising artist in his own right. A passion for God's kingdom and His people lights his path at almost 19 years of age. Matthew currently resides in Monroe, North Carolina.

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