After his notable performance on American Idol in 2012, Colton Dixon has produced two albums; traveled with artists Third Day, TobyMac, and Britt Nicole; and has performed live for over one million fans. How fitting that his third album, releasing March 24, is titled, Identity. Reminding us that achievements pale next to who we are in Christ, Colton recently told Billboard, “Our identity isn’t in our past or our careers. It’s not in our successes or failures. Our identity lies in something much bigger than ourselves, and that’s what really counts.” Identity has three sections: The Mind, The Body, and The Spirit. Each is announced by way of an instrumental, and the album explores how all three parts come together to define who we are.
The Mind (Instrumental): This high-energy instrumental is less than a minute long and includes a dramatic recitation of Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world…”
Identity: A light, upbeat pop song with a statement of who we are in Christ: chosen, royalty, and His children. A resolute mood lifter.
All That Matters: Ambient instrumentals with words that speak to God’s presence throughout every life experience and circles back to His love as the anchor of our identity. Inspired by Colossians 3:11, “…Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” Floaty, pop elements create a love song to God.
Brand New Life: Tribal fusion at the start that transitions into two very different rhythmic breakouts that remain soothing throughout. The shift in musical style is accompanied by lyrics that celebrate the newness and unconditional acceptance we experience in Christ, “Lay down the pain you carry, it’s a new life, ready or not.”
Technicolor: With a few moments of classical that transform into techno, this song talks about the believer’s desire to see beyond what our earthly eyes allow. Rejuvenating beat and lyrics.
The Body (Instrumental): Big orchestral instrumental accompanied by a reading of 1 Corinthians 12.
In My Veins: Written in a minor key with edgy, powerful vocals, this song includes swelling goth instrumentals and a haunting piano. It speaks to the inseparable presence of God, “You wrote your name in my veins.”
Down: With its teasing rap-like start rap-like and chorus that belts out with a gospel, R&B feel—this is one of my favorite songs on the album. It talks about how God’s love comes down to us and how being down on our knees brings us closest to Him.
I Would Choose You: This song is danceable with strong pop elements and describes how Christ is the right choice because everything in this life is temporary, and we’re only passing through.
Warriors: Opens with chanting that breaks into alternative rock. This song is a rally cry about freedom and victory in Christ. The beat and the lyrics rouse courage and inspire fearlessness, “More than conquerors, we are warriors.”
Human: A testimony of the broken vessel and how God’s greatness is perfected in our weakness, this is a song you’ll want to sing along with: not just because the beat beckons it but because the words speak of a familiar brokenness and how our stories were designed to point the world to Christ.
The Spirit (Instrumental): Subdued chorus of strings that builds and ebbs interspersed with the recitation of several verses, all of which focus on our inner spirit and its source.
No Greater Love: Another danceable, upbeat tune with lyrics that describe the expanse of God’s love and how what the world offers is nothing compared to God. You’ll find yourself clapping on the chorus.
Breathe: One of the mellower songs on the album describing an escape from the world into the solace of stillness before God. It describes how we can get overcome with busyness and distraction and how God offers us rest. Resonant, calming instrumentals and lyrics.
High: With an even tempo that invites the listener to sing along, this song brings a sense of anticipation in being united with Christ and a celebration of His strength that lives in us now. Built on the promises of Isaiah 40:31, “They will soar on wings like eagles…”
The Other Side: Somber piano, reflections at the passing of a friend, and comfort found in the knowledge that reunion will come. This song helps us envision a loved one surrounded by the beauty and peace of heaven in Christ’s presence. Anyone who has experienced grief because of loss will find tender comfort and assurance in this song.
Autopsy: Delicate piano and poetic lyrics. Another minor tune that describes how we’re transcendent beyond physical existence, “We’re all a heartbeat from heaven.” Beautiful, haunting, and provocative.
Positives The artistic elements of this album are impressive: instrumental gateways separating the three sections, the diverse variety of musical styles, and the use of different instruments to emphasize spiritual themes.
Negatives The same diversity of style and composition that makes the album appealing may have some listeners drawn more to one section of the album than others based on preference.
Colton’s album uses an eclectic combination of traditional alternative rock, pop elements, and upbeat danceable tracks that invite the listener into celebration, reflection, and restoration.