Heaven (CD review) by Lauren Christy:
From their Christ-centered, God-glorifying lyrics to their uplifting, sometimes upbeat, sometimes ethereal and worshipful, but always ear-catching, soul-stirring sound, Total Surrender’s new CD “Heaven” just grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go.
Each song – the catchy, memorable first track Lift Up Your Eyes through to the last, the striking, almost haunting strain of the title track Heaven – warmly invited me in, lifted me up, and made me want nothing more than to worship. Dylan Bradshaw’s vocals blend smoothly and exquisitely with his lovely wife Rachel’s harmonies. As well as being a talented singer and songwriter, Dylan plays the guitar with an easy, natural flair and Rachel’s artistry on the keyboard contributes beautifully to the strong melodies. The focused intensity of Jim Landolphi’s drumming is solid and tight; alternately laid back and energetic, his rhythm is always controlled – perfectly driving the songs. Together, their sound is intricate, elaborate, and sophisticated – praising God together in such a way that you can’t help but be drawn in too.
Even more significant to me than their considerable musical abilities, their music has challenged and encouraged me in my faith to the point that I am forever changed in how I see unbelievers. Since the first time I heard the song Free, God has been shaking me up and doing something new. I genuinely love all of their music but that song stood toe-to-toe with me, confronted my faith, and said, “Ok, this is all very nice, but it’s time to kick this up a few notches.” All I hear lately are the echoes of the chorus running around in my head and reverberating in my heart – “do you know… what it’s like… to be free?” Because of this, everywhere I go I am filled to overflowing with love for everyone I see until my heart feels like it’s going to burst, yet at the same time I’m pierced with a grief so deep I could sit and sob for days knowing that most (if not all) of the people I come in contact with DON’T know what it’s like to be free – because they don’t know Christ. While I’ve always had a desire to see the lost come to faith in Christ, the depth of this ache and passion burning in my heart is new – it keeps bringing me to tears. Between the songs Free, Wonderful Light, and Give It All Away I just want to wrap my arms around every single person I see and tell them how much Jesus loves them. So I have begun approaching my interactions with others much more prayerfully, asking God for more open doors, and as a result He is providing me with many more opportunities to show His love to others. I’m extremelythankful to Him for using this wonderful music as a catalyst for a closer walk with Jesus.
The poignant melody of the title track Heaven is a vivid reminder that this world is not our home; it has not only further fueled the longing to go home myself one day, but has inspired me to seek and be open to every possible opportunity to share Christ with others – I am filled with a profound desire to see everyone go home to Heaven.
The songs on Total Surrender’s “Heaven” paint an intimate picture of the love of our Savior, praise God for who he is, serve as a reminder of the glorious homecoming that waits for us beyond this earthly plane of existence, call believers to a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, cry out to unbelievers to seek God before it’s too late, and bare the hearts of three very special people whose lives are totally surrendered to Him.
Stream Heaven Here:
Buy Heaven Here:
Total Surrender is a trio from Worcester, Ma. The band consists of lead vocalist, guitarist/songwriter Dylan Bradshaw, his wife and keyboardist/back-up vocalist Rachel Bradshaw, and the notorious Jim Landolfi on the drums. Together for almost five years, the band has played fifty shows annually in the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire area. Total Surrender released their EP “Heaven” in September of 2014. They are currently touring off of this record and continuing to write songs and love music. Total Surrender exists to create the best art that they can and to help others remember that God is for them and not against them.
Total Surrender – has been playing together for five years now. This CD – Heaven – was released on 9/30/14. I’m personally very proud of this CD. Dylan Bradshaw wrote all of the songs except one and mixed, and Total Surrender and Ed Brizard recorded all of their parts themselves. The CD was mastered by Chris Graham. Our songs really seek to leave people feeling hopeful about life, and thinking about what ultimately matters.