Music Review: Identity – Colton Dixon

One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums and EPs from Christian artists and musicians in the UK and worldwide. Here we have Identity by Colton Dixon with an overall review score of 6.9 out of 10.

Album Information:

American Idol alum Colton Dixon invites you to go on a journey with him as you listen to his album, Identity. The 17-track deluxe record presents three personal and artistically unique sides to his music in MIND, BODY and SPIRIT, blending his traditional alternative-rock sound with newer pop elements.

Dixon more closely examines the elements that make us who we are, from MIND – upbeat, high energy pop to BODY – edgier, rockier to SPIRIT – a calming chance to rest. Each of the three sections of the album varies sonically and is divided into cinematic-like instrumental tracks to prepare the listener for what’s to come. Echoing all sides of Dixon, Identity offers a musical escape from reality, reminding listeners to look towards what really matters.

Review:

TV talent competitions have a lot to answer for, and often the artists featured have a brief flirtation with fame before disappearing back into obscurity. However it seems that some of the American versions of these competitions have turned up a few artists that have made their way into the CCM scene. Among these are people like Mandisa and Colton Dixon who is back with his third release.

Of course, I am not American so I am not particularly familiar with Colton’s performance on American Idol, and to be honest he is someone who has gone under my radar with his previous releases, but this release has definitely made me sit up and listen! A few albums that I have reviewed recently have been based around a concept, and “Identity” is probably the most fully fledged version of this that I have seen with the Deluxe version (the version that I am reviewing) being clearly separated into the 3 parts of the traditional view of humanity – Mind, Body Spirit. These are defined with instrumental interludes between the sections. Counting these as tracks gives us a 17 track album to listen to! Needless to say I am not going to go into detail about each one.

Colton Dixon seems very at home here in this very Pop-style and his vocals suit it very well, and for the most part he is prepared to sit in this genre and not push the boundaries too much – that it until you reach the last track “Autopsy” where with a falsetto to be proud of Colton expounds, over the simple piano backing, the nature of humanity as more than the skin and bones. Despite the variety through the tracks it seems like a very safe release in both theme and musically. There are some electronic elements here and there in various tracks. There are not many tracks that really jumped out at me when I listened to this album.

The track “Warriors” gives us the closest to a ‘rock ‘ track, but his vocal seems too relaxed and doesn’t bring the edge to the song that the music actually warrants. The song itself pales when compared to something like “We Win” from the recent MercyMe album that I reviewed. The electronic elements come through “In My Veins” which starts out like a title sequence to The X-Men or something similar. This track and “Autopsy” are probably my two favourite tracks on this whole album.

This whole album is very palatable, Colton’s voice is good, but failed to make any real impact on me. There is nothing that actually defines him when compared to other artists, unfortunately the safe space he has made here doesn’t allow any true identity to come through!

 For track listing & snippets, ranking breakdown and more, check out onemaninthemiddle.com