Lincoln Brewster has always been super-poppy. He puts the C in CCM. For his fans, this album is exactly what they want (and most likely expect) from him: high vocals and tons of producing.
True to Brewster form, this album is full of drum loops, synths, sweeps and blues-inspired pop guitar licks. (Think John Mayer’s Room for Squares.) Throw in Brewster’s clean tenor and catchy melodies with his style of relatable lyricism and you’ve got a recipe for a decent album.
Most albums start and end strong, with a few filler songs in the middle. Oxygen, however, starts gaining traction three songs in at “Made New” and pushes through, almost to the end. “Whole Again (Come Alive)” especially shines with meaningful songwriting and rich, emotional vocals. “Heartbeat” is the strong closer to this section.
I just can’t help but wonder if Oxygen would have been better served by cutting a few songs. There seems to be a misconception that mainstream albums need to have a certain amount of tracks to be considered marketable. In this time when consumers can download individual songs, it is unnecessary and frivolous. Instead, Oxygen is going to get picked over and one or two of the better songs are going to get lost in the mix. That’s a shame.