As Sure as the Sun

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As Sure as the Sun
AsSureastheSun.jpg
Studio album by Ellie Holcomb
Released February 18, 2014 (2014-02-18)
Recorded 2013
Studio The Beehive (Nashville, TN), Townsend Sound (Franklin, TN), The Trophy Room (Nashville, TN)
Genre Contemporary Christian music, contemporary worship music, acoustic
Length 38:43
Label Full Heart (independent)
Producer Brown Bannister, Ben Shive
Ellie Holcomb chronology
As Sure as the Sun
(2014)
With You Now
(2013)

As Sure as the Sun is the debut studio album from the Christian singer and songwriter Ellie Holcomb. The album released on February 18, 2014 by Full Heart Music, which is her own independent label. The album was produced by her father noted Christian music producer Brown Bannister along with Ben Shive. This album has received critical acclaim from music critics and it attained significant commercial sales.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
CCM Magazine5/5 stars[2]
Christian Music Review4/5 stars[3]
Christian Music Zine4.5/5 stars[4]
Cross Rhythms9/10 squares[5]
Indie Vision Music4/5 stars[6]
Jesus Freak Hideout4/5 stars[7]
4/5 stars[8]
4/5 stars[9]
Jesus Wired8/10 stars[10]
Louder Than the Music5/5 stars[11]
New Release Tuesday4.5/5 stars[12]
Worship Leader4.5/5 stars[13]

As Sure as the Sun garnered critical acclaim from fourteen music critics ratings and reviews. David Jeffries of AllMusic rated the album four stars out of five, remarking that the release is "A superb, often stunning, debut."[1] At CCM Magazine, Matt Conner rated the album a perfect five stars, writing that the release "is a beautiful triumphant album that will undoubtedly stand as this years favorites."[2] Amanda Furbeck of Worship Leader rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, stating that the release comes with "an uplifting, light-hearted acoustic feel, gently blurring the lines between light pop and country styles" on which "features hope-filled vocals, a hint of country/bluegrass instrumentation, and pop-styled piano riffs."[13] Chris Webb remarks for Cross Rhythms that "This is an album of variation, light and shade, grayscale and colour, a warm welcome into the world of Elllie Holcomb."[5]

At Indie Vision Music, Jonathan Andre rated the album four stars out of five, saying that "Each song, while not necessarily as pop or rock as many songs are on the radio, still speaks volumes of truths to us as we hear it."[6] Kevin Davis of New Release Tuesday rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing that "This is truly a great album and a moving and prayerful worship experience" on which contains "captivating and catchy songs filled with inspirational lyrics."[12] At Christian Music Review, Amanda Brogan rated the album four stars out of five, stating that Holcomb "shines" on "a wonderfully positive alternative for those who already enjoy the southern-styled genre and holds words of undeniable life even for those who would generally choose a different form of music."[3] Joshua Andre of Christian Music Zine rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, calling this a "stellar effort, and near flawless arrangements of quality treasures" to behold.[4]

At Jesus Freak Hideout, they have three reviews on the album, and all were four stars out of five, from Jen Rose, Mark Geil and Roger Gelwicks. Rose states that the album is not one demanding "attention" nor a "groundbreaking" effort, however on the release Holcomb "uses [...] her raw writing material" to create tracks, which "have a way of gently sneaking into your heart after a while."[7] Geil writes that due to the usage of a contemporary vocal style that could be a setback for the album, yet he notes "Few will be bothered by it, but the affectation is really unnecessary and seems to distract from the sweet purity in the vocal underneath. Regardless, this is one fine album!"[8] Gelwicks says that "there is a sense of harmonic completeness that keeps the project afloat from beginning to end; it's rootsy and home-grown, but it's polished, attractive, and above all, worshipful."[9]

Louder Than the Music's Jono Davies rated the album a perfect five stars, and according to him "There is a clean, fresh sound to these songs which make you feel this isn't just an artist copying another artist, this is Ellie singing her stories and her feelings on one amazing album."[11] At Jesus Wired, Jessica Morris rated the album eight out of ten stars, affirming that Holcomb "does not disappoint" because the release contains "stunning vocal control and truthful lyrics".[10] Timothy Yap at Hallels gave a positive review of the album, remarking that "Ultimately, there are songs that entertain and there are songs that transform via Scripture", and this release marks a rarity because the listener "will get both on one record."[14] At The Sound Opinion, Andrew Greenhalgh gave a positive review of the album, noting that the album is not one that is revolutionary, but it is a release "that is warm and honest in every way".[15]

Awards and accolades[edit]

The album was No. 5 on the Worship Leader's Top 5 Community Funded and Indie Releases of 2014 list.[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the Billboard charting week of March 8, 2014, As Sure as the Sun was the No. 34 most sold album in the entirety of the United States via the Billboard 200 placement, and it was the No. 2 most sold album on the Christian Albums chart. In addition, the album was the No. 7 most sold of the Independent Albums.

Track listing[edit]

Tracklist
No.TitleWriter(s)Scripture(s) utilizedLength
1."As Sure as the Sun"Ellie Holcomb, Rusty VarenkampHosea 6:3 and Lamentations 3:21-243:23
2."Marvelous Light"Holcomb, Varenkamp1 Peter 2:93:11
3."The Broken Beautiful"Holcomb, Matt ArmstrongIsaiah 61:1-4 and Psalm 30:112:46
4."My Portion and My Strength"HolcombPsalm 73:21-263:39
5."Night Song"Holcomb, Christa Wells, Nicole WittPsalm 42:84:17
6."Love Never Fails"Holcomb, Varenkamp1 Corinthians 133:29
7."Love Broke Through"Holcomb, ArmstrongPsalm 30 and Colossians 1:13-203:53
8."Only Hope I've Got"Holcomb, Varenkamp, WittPsalm 130:3-73:22
9."The Valley"HolcombPsalm 23 and Psalm 69:1-173:48
10."Song of Deliverance"Holcomb, Jillian EdwardsPsalm 32:6-7 and Hosea 6:14:00
11."I Want to Be Free"HolcombGalatians 5:1 and John 8:362:55
Total length:38:43

Personnel[edit]

The music was recorded during 2013 at The Beehive and The Trophy Room in Nashville, Tennessee and at Townsend Sound in nearby Franklin, Tennessee.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[17] 34
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[18] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[19] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jeffries, David (March 11, 2014). "As Sure as the Sun - Ellie Holcomb | Songs Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Conner, Matt (April 1, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb: As Sure As The Sun (Full Heart)" (PDF). CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing. p. 37. ISSN 1524-7848. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Brogan, Amanda (February 16, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb – As Sure As The Sun". Christian Music Review. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Andre, Joshua (February 17, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb – As Sure As The Sun (Review)". Christian Music Zine. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Webb, Chris (December 8, 2014). "Review: As Sure as the Sun - Ellie Holcomb". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Andre, Jonathan (February 14, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb – As Sure As The Sun EP | Reviews". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Rose, Jen (February 16, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb, "As Sure As The Sun" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Geil, Mark (February 15, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb, "As Sure As The Sun" Review: Second Staff Opinion". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Gelwicks, Roger (February 16, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb, "As Sure As The Sun" Review: JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Morris, Jessica (February 17, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb Surpasses Expectations With Debut LP As Sure As the Sun". Jesus Wired. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Davies, Jono (March 12, 2014). "Reviews - Ellie Holcomb - As Sure As The Sun". Louder Than the Music. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Davis, Kevin (February 15, 2014). "Good News and Great Truth". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Furbeck, Amanda (February 18, 2014). "Sure as the Sun". Worship Leader. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ Yap, Timothy (February 12, 2014). "Ellie Holcomb "As Sure as the Sun" Album Review". Hallels. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  15. ^ Greenhalgh, Andrew (February 24, 2014). "Review: Ellie Holcomb – As Sure As The Sun". The Sound Opinion. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  16. ^ Worship Leader. "Top 5 Community Funded Indie Releases of 2014". Worship Leader. p. 68. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ellie Holcomb Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  18. ^ "Ellie Holcomb Chart History (Christian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "Ellie Holcomb Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2014.