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Heart, by Audrey Assad

Audrey Assad’s robust voice, which recalls Paula Cole, can climb from gentle to gutsy in the same song—as it does on the opener, “Blessed Are the Ones.” Heart is a sunny pop affair, and Assad expresses herself with unadorned simplicity. On the piano-driven title track, she asks, “Why should I be lonely? / Long for heaven and home / When Jesus is my portion / And a constant friend I know.” The closer, “New Song,” builds over five-plus minutes into a satisfying coda of longing and weariness turned to praise.

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