Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Who Can Know It? by Showbread: “Expect the unexpected” is what I’ve come to, well, “expect”  from Showbread. So, unsurprisingly, their fifth endeavor sounds nothing like their previous four. The most obvious difference is the absence of screaming, so the casual Showbread fans will once again be haters. Not that Showbread cares. If you’re like me and listen to Showbread for their lyrics, you will love this record. The lyrics are typical Showbread- potent, unabashed, and thought-provoking (the only aspect of Showbread that is consistent). But the topics are heavier this time around, perhaps the reason for the more subdued, mellow music. http://www.myspace.com/showbread

 

Paper Tongues by Paper Tongues: Even though it was still quite early in the year when Paper Tongues released their mind-blowingly spectacular debut, I knew that this would be my favorite new band of 2010. Their debut is a glorious fusion of hip/hop, rock, and soul. An undeniably catchy, accessible release like this will surely propel Paper Tongues into the mainstream limelight. This is definitely the band to watch for in 2011. http://www.myspace.com/papertongues

 

 

Miracle by Robbie Seay Band: Authenticity- for me, that’s one of the most important things in an artist. Robbie Seay is one the most humble and legit dudes I’ve ever met, and Miracle is a reflection of that. The lyrical poignancy and honesty on Miracle is truly a breath of fresh air from the cookie-cutter, sugarcoated lyrics that are all too common in mainstream worship music today. Case in point, “Kingdom & A King.” http://www.myspace.com/robbieseayband

 

 

Horseshoes & Handgrenades by Disciple: I expected this. And by this I mean a change in Disciple’s sound. With only one original member remaining, it was inevitable. Say goodbye to the days of Scars Remain, and hello to mid-tempo rock songs. …I make it sound worse than it is though. There’s still some explosiveness in the new record (after all, “handgrenades” is in the title). It’s just not the same… *sigh* http://www.myspace.com/disciplerocks

 

 

15 Live by Project 86: Being one of my all-time favorite bands, I’ve been waiting for these guys to release a live album for some time now. And it almost turned out to be what I had hoped forraw, chaotic, and containing everything that’s awesome about Project 86. Two key ingredients are missing however, Randy and Steve (neither member has officially announced their departure, but they no longer tour with the band so…). Project 86 is promoting this album as a celebration of the band’s long and prosperous career, yet with the absence of two founding members all Project 86 really is anymore is Andrew Schwab. Now don’t get me wrong, Schwab is one awesome dude, but one dude doesn’t make a band (unless you’re The Rocket Summer). This leaves me wondering if P86 will make it to their 16th anniversary... http://www.myspace.com/project86

The Medicine by John Mark McMillan: Every year there’s at least one record that wows me. For 2010, The Medicine would be that album. A review of this wonderfully organic folk/rock record would not do it justice. So I’ll simply tell you to just buy it. http://www.myspace.com/johnmarkmcmillan

 

 

 

Hymns: Take The World, But Give Me Jesus by Ascend The Hill: Is it just me or are a lot of worship bands covering hymns these days? Looking at the tracklist as I downloaded this album, I was admittedly bummed to see yet another worship band covering traditional hymns. My sentiment completely changed less than thirty seconds into the album. These renditions are so modern and creative that if I wasn’t familiar with these songs, I would have never guessed them to be hymns. If you only pick up one worship album this year, make it this one (and it’s available for free at comeandlive.com, so you really have no excuse). http://myspace.com/ascendthehill

 

The Light Meets The Dark by Tenth Avenue North: I like this album. There I said it. I’ve ruined all the music snob credibility that I had in one simple sentence (if I ever had any?). It’s overproduced and cliche at times, but hey, I’m entitled to at least one guilty pleasure album a year, right? http://myspace.com/tenthavenuenorth

 

 

 

Vessels by Ivoryline: There are very few bands that I don’t get. Even if I don’t like a band, be it because it’s not my style or bad musicianship, I can usually figure out why others may enjoy it. Ivoryline is one those bands that I don’t get. At all. I didn’t see the draw of their debut record, and I don’t understand the praise for Vessels. So, I’m humbly asking for an Ivoryline fan to explain their love of this band to me in the comments section. Thanks. http://myspace.com/ivoryline

 

 

Dark is the Way, Light is the Place by Anberlin: Anberlin is back. Not in an epic way like Cities, but they have certainly made a comeback from their first major label release, New Surrender, which was slightly above a flop. Dark Is The Way is Anberlin’s maturest album yet; a happy medium between the pop sound of New Surrender and the dark rock of Cities. With this solid release, Anberlin is finally receiving the mainstream attention that they deserve. http://myspace.com/anberlin

 

 

Born Again by Newsboys: Wow, okay, here we go. Michael Tait taking over for Peter Furler totally baffled me. Actually, I should say “baffles me,” because I’m still confused even a year later after this bizarre and startling announcement. Obviously, with this huge change, the new album sounds quite different from previous ones. Less pop, plus more rock, plus… tobyMac? Yup, some tracks sound like they could have come right off of a tobyMac record, which is actually no surprise considering Toby had a hand in the album. It’s a catchy and likable album, but sadly marks the end of the quirky pop that made the Newsboys a CCM sensation. http://myspace.com/newsboys

 

Flags by Brooke Fraser: Last but not least, we arrive at my favorite album of the year. I could gush on and on about this album, or even just Fraser’s flawless vocals and impeccable tone. But I’ll try to keep it short. Sonically, Flags is a mixed bag. The upbeat songs are mostly cute and fun folk/rock, while the slower tunes are almost ethereal yet still fall into the folk genre. And then there are songs like “Jack Kerouac” that fit neither of the previous categories. Lyrically, I have yet to really dive in, but one song that has caught me thus far is “Crows + Locusts.” I honestly haven’t even dug into the song’s meaning yet; I just love the lyrical imagery. And at the risk of blubbering on for eternity, I’ll shut up now. http://myspace.com/brookefraser

Agree? Disagree? Comments on any other 2010 albums? Sound off below.

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Holding Onto Hope – Needs YOUR Help!

Experimental hardcore band Holding Onto Hope is funding their next album through kickstarter. After the albums completion, it will be given away through the non-profit label Come&Live! The band’s kickstarter project expires in 38 hours, and they still need to raise a substantial amount of funds. Please consider helping them out if you have the means! And if you are unable to, I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers!

Kickstarter link:
http://bit.ly/e6EDtL

To check out their music:
http://www.myspace.com/hohband

Top 30 Songs Of 2009

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

1. Have We Lost – Flyleaf
2. Swept Away – Flyleaf
3. Your Love Is A Song – Switchfoot
4. The Fear Of God – Showbread
5. The Part That Hurts The Most – TFK
6. Destroyer – Project 86
7. The Way I Come To You – Bethany Dillon
8. Valley Of Tomorrow – Needtobreathe
9. Reveries Of Flight – Oh Sleeper
10. Dance On Our Graves – Paper Route
11. Heaven & Earth – Phil Wickham
12. Beautiful Ending – BarlowGirl
13. If You Believe Me – Relient K
14. Turn It Off – Paramore
15. Stay (In My Arms) – Nevertheless
16. Believe – Skillet
17. Lose It All – Pillar
18. Never Be Ready – Mat Kearney
19. Scarecrow – Between The Trees
20. Wake Her Up – We Shot The Moon
21. Excuses – Deas Vail
22. Beautiful History – Plumb
23. The Lost Get Found – Britt Nicole
24. Cutthroat Collapse – Emery
25. Everyone I Know Has Fangs – He Is Legend
26. Meddler – August Burns Red
27. Surface Of The Sun – All Star United
28. Mystery Of You – Red
29. Shadows – David Crowder* Band
30. Chorus Of The Saints – Revive

Top Albums of 2009

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

Well, it’s almost the end of 2009, which means it’s time to rank album releases. My ratings here are based on my playback value. I’ve listened to probably over 50 albums this year, but I’ve only included ones that I’ve listened to thoroughly. Also, I should probably mention that while most of these releases come from what are considered “Christian” artists, a few listed are not. Last note- this list excludes EPs, live albums, and Christmas albums.

1. The Fear Of GodShowbread (5/5)
2. Hello HurricaneSwitchfoot (5/5)
3. Memento MoriFlyleaf (4.5/5)
4. Son Of The MorningOh Sleeper (4.5/5)
5. The End Is Not The EndHouse Of Heroes (4.5/5)*
6. Brand New EyesParamore (4.5/5)
7. Welcome To The MasqueradeThousand Foot Krutch (4.5/5)
8. The OutsidersNeedtobreathe (4.5/5)
9. It Hates YouHe Is Legend (4/5)
10. Picket Fence CartelProject 86 (4/5)
11. Forget And Not Slow DownRelient K (4/5)
12. Church MusicDavid Crowder* Band (4/5)
13. Love And WarBarlowGirl (4/5)
14. AbsencePaper Route (4/5)
15. Heaven And EarthPhil Wickham (4/5)
16. City Of Black And WhiteMat Kearney (4/5)
17. Birds And CagesDeas Vail (4/5)
18. Stop And ListenBethany Dillon (3.5/5)
19. The Good AlbumAll Star United (3.5/5)
20. In Shallow Seas We SailEmery (3.5/5)
21. Innocence And InstinctRed (3.5/5)
22. The Lost Get FoundBritt Nicole (3.5/5)
23. SpainBetween The Trees (3.5/5)
24. ComedownDreampilots (3.5/5)
25. BlueManic Drive (3.5/5)
26. Beauty Will RiseSteven Curtis Chapman (3.5/5)
27. Fireflies And SongsSara Groves (3.5/5)
28. The Now And The Not YetJeremy Riddle (3.5/5)
29. Dear Future, Come Get MeThe Fold (3.5/5)
30. It Is WellKutless (3/5)

Others (not in any particular order): VOTAVOTA (3/5)* AwakeSkillet (3/5), Live Life LoudHawk Nelson (3/5), ConfessionsPillar (3/5), Fangs!Falling Up (3/5), Tear Down The WallsHillsong United (3/5), In The Hands Of GodNewsboys (3/5), Love Is On The MoveLeeland (3/5), Stand For YouJonny Diaz (3/5), Best Night Of Our LivesEveryday Sunday (3/5), CrashDecyfer Down (3/5), The FrayThe Fray (3/5), Back And ForthLanae Hale (3/5), Until The Whole World HearsCasting Crowns (3/5), Who Speaks For Planet EarthAnd Then There Were None (3/5), God Of This CityBluetree (3/5), Hope RisingFee (3/5)

Still have to check out: IIIMaylene And The Sons Of Disaster, ConstellationsAugust Burns Red, Monster MonsterThe Almost, Rocks Into RiversSeabird

Disappointments: Skillet, Newsboys, Falling Up

Could Have Done Better:
Emery, Bethany Dillon, Flyleaf, Paramore (I enjoyed all of these releases; I just had really high expectations since these are some of my favorite bands.)

Surprises: Showbread, House Of Heroes, Thousand Foot Krutch, Switchfoot

Looking Forward To In 2010: After Edmund, Children 18:3, Sanctus Real, Disciple, Fireflight, The Wedding, Wavorly, Vicky Beeching, Rebecca St. James, RunKidRun, Demon Hunter

*House Of Heroes’ album released digitally in 2008, but the hard copy (which I have) was not available until 2009. Same goes for VOTA, the digital album released at the end of 2008 and the hard copy in 2009.