Album Review: Heather Headley - Audience of One

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 11:50 AM

Artist: Heather Headley
Album: Audience of One
Release Date: 1.13.06

I can recall going to see Heather Headley in concert back in 2006 with Anthony Hamilton at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, NC. I remember my excitement prior to seeing her live show, since I had both her albums and was a fan of her music. The show, however, just like her new album, left me somewhat disappointed, both for the same reason: the lack of soul. On stage, Headley appeared to be following a script, going through the motions and using her beautiful voice to sing someone else’s story. There was no energy, no soul, and I felt as if she hadn’t lived the experiences she was singing about. Same thing with Audience of One; listening to this album, it felt like another R&B album, but with gospel lyrics. The vocals are nice and the album’s a bit overproduced in some spots, but there are very few moments where you can feel any type of energy or life in the music on this album.

Of the album’s 10 tracks, there were only about 3 that really stood out. Smokie Norful joins Headley on a cover of Lionel Richie’s gospel classic Jesus Is Love. Norful and the choir really make the song and help Heather to shine a little more on this track, making it a pretty nice remake. For inspiration, I recommend I Wish, with its message of appreciation for the good and bad times in life. I love this song because it sounds like an open letter from a parent to a child. My favorite track on the album, however, is Here I Am to Worship, for its simplicity, and it’s actually one of the few songs on the album that stirs the spirit. The message is one of surrender:

Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that you’re my God.”

Sorry to disappoint all Heather Headley’s fans (actually I'm not), but I wouldn’t recommend this album. It just doesn’t come through as a gospel album should and its delivery leaves much to be desired. A friend of mine said “She sings as if she’s still in the Lion King”, and I must say I agree. Broadway musicals are about the big pretty vocals, not so much the soul of the story. So as much as I hate to say it, this audience of one isn’t feeling Audience of One

Sound-Savvy rates Heather Headley's Audience of One with 2 out of 5 platinum headphones.


6 comments and counting...

  1. You have a nice review here. Where can i download here music?

    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 12:56 AM

  2. Her music is available for download on iTunes and, I'm sure a few other places too.

    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 7:15 AM

  3. ODARA Said,

    hmmm only 2 earphones? I'll have to give this a listen! & she looks totally different now for some reason!

    Nice Review

    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM

  4. Styles Said,

    Nice review, very insightful. Interestingly, when we were watching Celebration of Gospel, Sunday night, my wife said the same thing that your friend said about Heather sounding like she was still playing Nala. Here I Am To Worship is a very nice song, I agree, though I have not heard her version. We sang it during praise and worship at church from time to time. Personally, I guess 3 out of 10 is pretty good. I rarely find CDs that I like more than 3 songs on. Perhaps there are some tracks on there that I can use for one of my plays. Keep up the good work.


    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 10:54 AM

  5. J Marshall Said,

    Great review!!!! Sound Savvy always drops the best insight on what to expect on an album!!

    Posted on January 27, 2009 at 10:43 PM

  6. Anonymous Said,

    umm yea

    after reading a couple reviews, this guy obviously dont know how to a lick of instruments, nor prolly understand what a chord is. He is judging a Gospel album where its obvious he listens to very little or no Gospel at all. Here I Am To Worship is a Gospel classic, which has been in rotation for years and covered by many artists. so i see why that song was your favorite track. it was everybody favorite track the first time, years ago. if it sound like a r&b album, that because that what contemporary Gospel is! what do you expect? maybe you should take up an instrument, learn music, and listen to more Gospel or any other genre you're not familiar with. THEN REVIEW ALBUMS. Until then, you are stepping outside your boundaries... And you practice your misjudbgement on India.Arie too.


    Posted on February 12, 2009 at 11:58 AM


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