The Calm Before the Storm

An Album By

Colton Dixon

Review by

Listen now

Former American Idol star Colton Dixon’s newest release, The Calm Before the Storm, is his third full-length since his departure from the show. It follows his second album, Anchor, which received much praise from the Christian music scene. Dixon’s newest release is the length of a full album, but it has been divided into two EPs (Calm and Storm, as it were). The EPs offer a variety of remixes and acoustic versions of old tracks from Dixon’s past releases, and the release is accompanied with a new song, “Where I End.” These new versions of Dixon’s biggest hits provide a fresh face to his music and are a real treat for his fans.

In Calm, Dixon delivers an array of acoustic versions of past hits such as “Never Gone” and “You Are,” which features Dixon’s sister Schyler Dixon, also a contestant on Idol though never outlasting Dixon’s distance on the two seasons the pair were featured. These lighter versions of his songs give us a newer, tasteful perception on the hits and Dixon as a musician. I’ve listened to the acoustic versions of these songs on YouTube before, and releasing them as a portion of an album is a great move, one fans have been waiting for.

On the Storm side of the album, the listener gets a selection of brilliant remixes of past songs. Some of the songs include “Anchor” and one of his bigger hits, “More of You.” On this half of the album, Dixon uses the “storm” to represent all the remixes, and these updated versions don’t disappoint. Remixes can be hit or miss, with people loving the new approach to the song, while others wish they would have just left well enough alone. Colton Dixon managed to make all his tracks different while still leaving room to appreciate the original versions of the tracks. Side by side, you can listen to the original immediately followed by the remix and be thoroughly impressed with both versions.

Along with all these redone tracks, the album is host to Dixon’s newest song, “Where I End.” As if hearing these new versions wasn’t enough, fans are given this fresh track to remind us why Colton Dixon is a multi-winning Dove recipient, and why he’s made himself a songwriting success in the Christian music community. The acoustic versions, remixes and new song make for a great listening experience. The acoustic versions offer a mellow new experience for Dixon’s fans, and the album’s second side has personally convinced me that remixes can really upgrade or offer fresh alternatives to a listening experience. The combination of these two EPs makes for a fresh new listen for Colton Dixon’s canon.


Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.


Full Feature
Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.


Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.


Photo by Alex Krauss

Full Feature
All Features