Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hawk Nelson: Made

Release Date: 2 April 2013
Genre: Contemporary Christian, Indie Rock
Length: 44:07
Label: Fair Trade
Similar artists: Run Kid Run; Sanctus Real; FM Static; Stellar Kart
Rating: 4.5/5

Made took me completely by surprise when I played it for the first time. You see, what’s hard to explain about Made is although it carries the same feeling I’ve come to know and love when it comes to music produced by Hawk Nelson, the sound of Made is very different from anything they have given us before. This is Hawk Nelson, but it also isn’t.

Made is the sixth studio album and eighth album that Hawk Nelson has given us and is the first album the band has released since the departure of lead vocalist Jason Dunn (the lead vocalist for the band now is guitarist Jonathan Steingard). What I don’t want you to think however, is that the band are losing the plot and are making an attempt to recreate themselves amidst all this change and are failing. That is most certainly not the case.

Some may find that it doesn't rock enough for them, all I have to say though is that it is very easy to be skeptical and to just simply write something off without giving it a chance, but when you do that you may just be missing out on something very special, and I beg you, do not let that happen with Made because you may just be missing out on one of the best albums of the year. This album is marked by positive and powerful pop anthems, and not a single note, vocal, or emotion is out of place, but the band still holds onto some of its youthful enthusiasm. It is clear that these guys are definitely growing up and I believe that Made is a welcome change for Hawk Nelson’s maturing fan base.

Maybe the reason for their success is that, unlike many of the other Christian groups that have replaced their lead singer in the past, Hawk Nelson didn't look outside, but rather they turned inwards and replaced longtime front man Jason Dunn with a guy that's been in the band for almost 10 years. Lead guitarist and backup vocalist Jonathan Steingard takes the wheel for the group's sixth major release. So in a way, you could say that this is just a new chapter for Hawk Nelson. Or maybe even a sequel, it doesn't really matter. It's the same, but different. And that's not a bad thing.

Change doesn't always have to be a bad thing. When I listened to Made it was clearly evident that the passion and energy are still there, and the vocals are still in-your-face amazing. And possibly most important of all, the band’s mission is still there, and some may even say that it is stronger than it ever was. Some of you might know that this isn't the first change Hawk Nelson has had over the past couple of years, anyway. Three other members have left the band through the years, but they've been releasing solid albums regardless. Why should this time be any different? God is still using them, and their focus has always stayed the same.

Made is a welcomed change from a band that has continued and will continue to give us heartfelt melodies of redemption, hope and encouragement. It is clear that Hawk Nelson still have many albums left in them.

I love this album, and it would be a terrible shame for anyone to miss out on it.

The song of the week has to go to: "Made

Stay classy amigos


Sunday, 26 May 2013

You Cray, Crae? – My Thoughts on “Round of Applause”

Today we are trying something different. A good friend of ours over at Trans World Radio has written a post on his blog and has asked us to see what our readers think! He is incredibly passionate about the youth, as well as music, AND he has a keen eye for writing. So check out his post below and lets hear what you think! He touches on some important discussion points...enjoy!! 

The Christian community has been in an uproar today, and Christian rapper Lecrae is at the heart of it.
Yesterday, Lecrae released a track for 2013 graduates titled “Round of Applause.” On it, he featured highly acclaimed and very secular rapper B.O.B. aka Bobby Ray Simmons.

Now, initially, I didn’t have a problem with Lecrae’s collaboration. He’s an out-spoken Believer, I am confident in his faith, and he’s collaborated with non-Christian artists in the past. I trust that he knows what he’s doing, and I wouldn’t have given the track a second thought. But a friend and fellow blogger reached out to me, asking for my own thoughts on the matter. She’d seen quite a firestorm of activity surrounding Lecrae on Twitter and wasn’t quite sure what to think about it all herself. So I gladly looked into the matter. Here’s what I determined.
1. This is not the First Time Lecrae has Collaborated with a Secular Artist
The Christian community really shouldn’t be surprised – this isn’t the first time Lecrae has collaborated with “mainstream” or secular artists. In fact, Lecrae was under heavy fire back in early 2012, when he released his free mixtape called “Church Clothes.” The project created quite a stir within the Christian community for several reasons.  First, it was his first effort produced entirely by a “mainstream” producer - DJ Don Cannon. Secondly, Lecrae featured both Christian and non-Christian artists alike on his tracks. And thirdly, it was his most forward project yet, boldly approaching normally hush-hush topics in the church like hypocrisy. “Church Clothes” was met with mixed reviews from his Christian fans, some claiming he was going mainstream himself, while others were pleased to see him collaborating with – and, hopefully, ministering to – many of the secular artists he was working with.
2.1 We Need to Understand the Collaboration of the Song
While, I’m not surprised that Lecrae would feature a secular artist such as B.O.B., I can understand how this particular collaboration would raise some concern amongst Christian listeners. Though B.O.B’s debut album “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” was relatively clean and positive in its messages (I was a big fan of it, myself), the fame and success began to get to his head, I think, and his lyrics become more crude, vulgar, repulsive and worldly.
A big concern with this collaboration is that Lecrae – by choosing to feature B.O.B  on the track – was endorsing a notoriously secular rapper. I guess to say so is a matter of opinion, though I would agree that, yes – by allowing B.O.B to be featured on “Round of Applause,” Lecrae was, in effect, endorsing B.O.B. The question is – was he wrong for doing so? I’ve seen the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 6:14 & 15 thrown around:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
A relevant and appropriate passage for the topic. The commentary in my MacArthur Study Bible says this concerning being “unequally yoked together” “with unbelievers”:
By this analogy, Paul taught that it is not right to join together in common spiritual enterprise with those who are not of the same nature (unbelievers). It is impossible under such an arrangement fo things to be done to God’s glory. Christians are not to be bound together with non-Christians in any spiritual enterprise or relationship that would be detrimental to the Christian’s testimony within the body of Christ.”
It certainly seems as if Lecrae’s collaboration with B.O.B has been detrimental to the body of Christ, though these two questions come to mind: “(1) Was this song an intentionally spiritual enterprise (remember the occasion for the track), and (2) was Lecrae really bound to B.O.B (oftentimes this passage is brought up in the context of marriage – a lasting relationship)? I’m not attempting to defend Lecrae; they’re just questions I have that I don’t think we can know the answers to.
2.2 We Need to Understand the Collaboration of the Song cont.Lecrae’s “Round of Applause” featuring B.O.B (released yesterday, May 21) is not the only version of the song. Just over one week ago (May 14) Lecrae released this version on Youtube under his own record label Reach Records.

The original track consists of Lecrae’s hook and two verses and lasts 3:50. In the version featuring B.O.B (some versions even say “Remix”), B.O.B adds his own verse for a total length of 4:54. Depending on the website you go to, it seems clear to me that B.O.B’s verse was added well after Lecrae originally released the track. An article from Hip Hop Wired even says,
Lecrae makes a cosmetic change to his congratulatory track “Round of Applause” by adding a verse from Hustle Gang rapper B.o.B.. The religious spitter keeps his lyrics from the original, while Bobby Ray shares his take on achieving his goals despite the naysayers and haters.”
I’m curious to know who reached out to who – did Lecrae invite B.O.B to jump on the track, or did B.O.B ask Lecrae if he could add a verse? Either way, I don’t have a problem.
3. We Need to Understand the Occasion for the Song
Remember, “Round of Applause” is dedicated to 2013 graduates. As far as I know, no other artist – hip hop/rap or otherwise, Christian or secular – produced such a track. It makes sense to me that B.O.B. – after hearing Lecrae’s song – would want to add a verse. Also, this song is a celebration song. It recognizes and congratulates graduates for their dedication, hard work, and achievements. Many have literally just beaten the odds. They’ve done it. And that deserves a “Round of Applause.”
4. We Need to Understand the Lyrics of the Song
Finally, after reading through various twitter feeds I could see that a lot of Christians were disappointed that Lecrae’s track was very self-centered, focusing more on himself and his own abilities to rise above the odds than God’s grace and mercy in his life.  I think people are failing to listen to the lyrics. Though Lecrae identifies his (and our) own responsibilities for our lives – how we use them, what we do with them – it’s actually quite clear that Lecrae gives due credit to God for where he is today:
[Verse 1]See I’m a black man who beat them odds. Supposed to be locked up with no job. Never should of went to college or learned who God is. You add it up it’s all odd….Running from God man turning my back. Never would of made it, Marvin Sapp. But He opened up my eyes and I can’t look back. Why they look surprised, I just took my cap. Yeah he did it, he did it. He changed me and I’m with it. He made me what I’m supposed to be. You get close to me, you might get it
[Hook]We ain’t supposed to be here, never thought we see it. Now we living proof, tell the world to believe it yeah. Congratulations, thank God we made it. They told us we was nothing, now I know they hate it. Round of applause, round of applause. Congratulations, we beat them odds. Round of applause, round of applause Congratulations, we beat them odds.
He did it, he did it, He changed me and I’m with it. He made me what I’m supposed to be, you get close to me, you might get it.” I don’t know what more people want to hear. If you read the rest of the lyrics, you’ll find that Lecrae shares more of his own testimony. He also shares the story of a single mom who overcomes her own life issues and graduates college. His message to high school and college graduates is this: your hard work has paid off, you’ve beaten the odds, you’ve got a promising life ahead of you. But remember that every good thing comes from God (James 1:17).
At the end of the day, people are entitled to their own opinions; I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything. The fact is, Lecrae’s collaboration with B.O.B. is controversial. I think that any final decisions/conclusions will be based on personal convictions, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just hope that in the process of sharing convictions and opinions, we don’t cause any further detriment or discord to an already shaken body of Believers.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Afters: Life Is Beautiful

Release Date: 16 April 2013
Genre: Contemporary Christian, Pop Rock
Length: 48:05
Label: Fair Trade
Similar artists: Building 429; Kutless; Matthew West; Tenth Avenue North; Sanctus Real
Rating: 4/5

From the first words of the first track, I was captivated. There is something about this album that makes you want to listen to it again and again and again. The tracks just seem to flow seamlessly from one to the other, resulting in an fully immersive musical experience.

Whether it’s the lyrics, the sound quality, Joshua Havens incredible voice, or a combination of these, it seems like The Afters have done it again by producing a really quality feel-good album. From their label debut I Wish We All Could Win to their latest release Life is Beautiful, The Afters have proven themselves masters of meaningful pop.

This, the band's first full album in three years is filled with radio-ready anthems that celebrate the human experience. Life is Beautiful is filled with fun, encouraging and several heart-touching moments that are about how life's beauty rings throughout creation, and each track is sure to stick with you long after each listen.

The fact that it has been three years since The Afters released their last album can cause some concern as many music lovers will know, a bands entire sound and feel can change so easily between albums, often resulting in disappointment as fans will have fallen in love with their original sound. To be honest some of the songs don't have the intensity that I have come to know with The Afters, however this is not necessarily a bad thing at all, this ‘new’ sound is brilliant. Somehow The Afters have managed to produce songs that are mellow and thought provoking yet they still make you want to stand up and dance.

It’s true that The Afters do not crank out albums at the speed some other bands do, but when they do, you can be sure that it's going to be quality. With all the makings of a great modern pop/rock Christian album, the production on this album is brilliant, the songs are strong, and the sound is top notch.

Life Is Beautiful has given twelve songs destined to be in the hearts and sung on the lips of many listeners of the band, long-time fans and new fans alike.

Overall a really spectacular album, definitely one to keep in your collection

Song of the week goes to… Broken Hallelujah

Have a rocking week everyone

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Act of Worship

Hello beautiful people of the internet! I am so excited to be writing for this awesome blog, and hope to be a regular poster from now on! Let me briefly introduce myself…I’m Bronwyn, a 24 year-old Sociology Honours graduate trying to open my heart to God’s purpose for my life. I love God, I love people, I love writing. So this opportunity suits me perfectly J I’m hoping to bring a bit of a womanly touch to the blog and hope you’ll enjoy the topics I choose to explore. I’m not as clued up on the music side of things as the boys so bear with me and allow we to wander a little off track…literally (get it? Track? No? Moving on…).

Today I’ve decided to stick with the music theme and talk a little bit about worship. I love to sing – I cannot claim to sing well, but that’s never stopped me before. Worship is one of my favourite parts of a church service and I feel most connected to God when there’s music playing and I’m able to express how I feel to Him in the eloquent words of someone else. Worship brings out the warm fuzzy feelings in me that I think a lot of us search for when we spend time with the Lord. As a bit of background, I’ve been a Christian my whole life really but over the last 2 years, most specifically my year spent in South Korea, my faith took a knock and I’ve been on a very bumpy road. I’d like to think I’m “back on track” though and since coming home, the Lord has been opening my eyes to all sorts of things…worship being one of them. So back to the warmth and fuzziness – I think a lot of Christians, maybe especially in the beginning of our walk with Christ, long for the feeling of God being near. We seek His presence, we long to be overcome by the Holy Spirit. This is awesome, and a great goal to have. As this blog has often pointed out, music is a great way to bring these feelings and bring us closer to God. But today I want to argue that we need to look at worship as so much more than music.

I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and one of his days prompted my thinking on this topic. He talks about different kinds of worship music and what worship is all about. He refers to worship as an act of surrender. What stuck out for me is the way he gets you thinking about how as Christians, everything we do should be a form of worship, a form of surrender. Our lives should be lived in a way that is worshipfull (making new words, roll with it). The way we treat people, the way we go about our jobs and everyday tasks can all be used to worship God if we offer up everything we do to Him. Driving is such a huge part of a lot of our lives and in South Africa, being on the roads can prove to be a huge test of patience. The way we deal with taxis, learner drivers, road works etc can all become part of the way we worship if we chose to deal with the situation in a God-honouring way.

Another example that relates back to church, somewhere where worship of the musical kind happens most. Worship can be the way we treat fellow church members, visitors, our pastors and leaders. The new person who’s standing alone awkwardly in the corner (chances are it’s me) – go to them, welcome them with open arms and make them feel included in God’s family. Worship – a brilliant excuse to live our lives in a way that makes God smile. Warren suggests that if we give everything to God, hold nothing back from Him but practice complete surrender, then we’ll come to understand true worship. Maybe musical worship fails to really connect you to God, maybe you hate singing? Then worship in a million other ways. Just because we call the time of singing ‘worship’ does not mean we need to box it up and leave it there. A pastor from another church asked me the other day where I worship, not where I go to church and I loved that because ALL of our church activities can be regarded as worship if we do them to please and honour God. Our whole lives can be an act of everyday worship.

Maybe I’m not making sense and my first post has flopped completely but I’ve just so enjoyed trying to look at worship differently recently and wanted to share that with you all. How exciting to think that we can worship God wherever we are, at whatever time, even without the brilliant guitar solos and piano melodies because worship is so much more than just music. If we see worship like that, it doesn’t only become the best part of a Sunday service – it becomes the best part of the other 6 days of the week too.

Let go and let God. Until next time :)


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Jeremy Camp: Reckless

Release Date: 12 February 2013
Genre: Contemporary Christian, Contemporary rock
Length: 41:04
Label: BEC Recordings
Similar artists: Todd Agnew; Jars of Clay; Mercyme; Natalie Grant; Matthew West
Rating: 4/5

Seven studio albums does something… it creates something… it sometimes makes an artist Reckless. Jeremy camp has been active for 13 years, and in those 13 years he has produced 7 albums. Of the 7 albums, there are very few which have fallen flat, most of them have been well received in the world markets.

In an interview about his new endeavour, Camp was asked what the significance of the ‘reckless’ theme was. In response to the question he stated that as believers we all need to live our lives with a sense of recklessness, living for Christ not concerned of the consequences. In this new album, he tells the story of that reckless faith, and he puts it to a pretty great beat too.

The album itself is one that is difficult to fault. The age old quality of Camp’s voice and the quality musicians all make for a very ear pleasing album. That goes to show how Camp tries to approach his music. He is not simply trying to get people to listen to his music by having a catchy tune. Instead he is trying to convey a message and he is trying to get people to take action with his music. The love of ministry Camp has is very clear from his lyrics. He is trying to get people to take that reckless step of faith, doing something they would not ordinarily do.

The album produces a rather varied feel. Not as diverse as some other artists have been, yet still diverse enough to appeal to everyone. Songs like Reckless, and My God give you a glimpse into the ‘rock-side’ of Camp. Then you get songs like Free and Without You which have a more contemporary feel to them. It would be an interesting project to determine how many fans prefer his rockier style or his more contemporary style. Personally I prefer his rockier style, but that’s because I am a fan of the musicality that Camp presents in his rockier songs.

The down side of the album is that some people have said it lacks originality, its typical Camp. To them I say that it is incredibly difficult to write your own songs constantly without there being some repetition, and even so, in this album, when there is repetition, it still feels original as contradictory as that sounds. The only complaint I would have about this album would be that perhaps in a couple songs, Camp isn’t as reckless as he could have been. But that’s just if I am nitpicking.

Camp has yet again managed to produce a superb album. No doubt about it. And if something isn’t broken, then why fix it? I reckon Camp will be around for many years to come, and you can bet that he will never stop being reckless for his Father.

I highly recommend this album to anyone wishing to add to their collection an album that can be listened to regardless of your mood. I also want to recommend his “Live Unplugged” album; it has a lot of acoustic tracks that will add quality to anyone’s collection.

Song of the week goes to… My God

Have a rocking week everyone

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Hypocrisy and Christian Music

Hmm... Ok, maybe this isn’t the correct title for this article but I really don’t know what else to call it. Earlier this week I heard that Brian “Head” Welch (check out his testimonial here) had gone back to Korn! My immediate reaction was “Oh no...” but after doing some research I found out that he hadn’t left his Christian Rock band, Love and Death and was in fact taking them on tours WITH Korn. I was talking to Jay and we said how amazing it would be if, instead of Korn affecting Welch negatively, Welch would impact Korn positively. The thought of Welch backsliding into his old ways of 'drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll' freaked us out as it would be terrible for the Christian Music Industry. But what an amazing opportunity Welch and his band have of being able to witness to Korn.

I never really thought about this before but once a musician states publicly that they are Christian they are held accountable by EVERYONE. Can you imagine Jon Foreman, front man of Switchfoot, praising God in all his songs and then living a life totally against all that we, as Christians, believe? How then are we supposed to take him and his music seriously?

Granted, we all fall... No one is perfect but it must be so difficult for Christian musicians, especially the ones we look up to, to live the “spotless” lives we almost expect of them.

Now I don’t know too much about this guy but he is ALL the rage in South Africa at the moment... I found out the other day that Justin Bieber is a Christian! I was shocked! Whenever he was in the news it was either for him being a drug addict or making a girl pregnant or whatever else the media could conjure up. But apparently he is a very strong Christian!? In my opinion, once you voice your faith (especially on a public platform like Bieber has done) you become an ambassador (of sorts) for Christians everywhere.
I don’t know him personally, so I’m not sure what stories are true or not, but being such a massive role model, it is crucial for him to set a good, Christian example for his fans! What kind of example is he setting if the media stories are true?! He is in such a prime position to be an amazing ambassador for Christ. I’m not too familiar with his music, so I don’t know if his lyrics are God-honouring... But I ask you, what kind of message is he sending to the millions of fans around the world?

Other Christian musicians who are prominent figures in the world include Carrie Underwood, Alice Cooper and Lecrae to name a few...

I can’t stress how important it is for such people to be good role models for the millions of people who listen to them. Our modern-day culture has given celebrities such immense power... Just look at Lady Gaga and the influences she has on her “Little Monsters” - it’s frightening!!

This is all very large scale, but Christians are ALL ambassadors for Christ, you do not have to be famous to make an impact. Luke 15:10 says “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”. God has placed those around you for a reason... Living in line with God can impact those you may not even expect! Don’t miss the opportunity to shine God’s light into all your relationships - there are few things worse than missing such an opportunity.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Nine Lashes: World We View

Release Date: 14 February 2012
Genre: Alternative; Christian Rock; Christian metal
Length: 38:40
Label: Tooth & Nail
Producer: Aaron Sprinkle; Trevor McNevan
Similar artists: Disciple, Sent by Ravens, Thousand Foot Krutch, Skillet
Rating: 3.75/5

Very few albums have put me in such a good mood from the first track before. This album successfully did that, every time I listen to the album. Anthem of the Lonely is one of the greatest songs I have heard in a long time, and when an album starts in such a manner, you expect the rest of the album to keep up. To be fair, Anthem of the Lonely was top of the Christian Rock charts. Regardless, we are here to speak about the whole album, not one track.

Nine Lashes has a very good sound, they have musicians in their band who are able to play most genres. This is an asset to them as they try to provide the listener with an array of sounds throughout the album. This is done successfully for the most part. The album is split into different sounds, from ballads such as Afterglow, to screamo metal with Our Darkest Day (with the help of Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter. The bands core genre I would say is an alternative rock sound. The band has face melting guitar riffs in every song, yet you are able to hear the lyrics in their music. Hard rock music fused with melodic lyrical talent; definitely a plus.

The band was picked up by Trevor McNevan and thanks to his connections at Tooth & Nail records; he got the guys a record deal. Trevor McNevan does not just get involved with any band that has potential; this means that Nine Lashes must have given him something special to think about. And they are a great band, with a great deal of potential. You can feel Trevor’s influence in the album through a couple songs, notably the song in which he actually performs Adrenaline.

I wanted, with all of my being, to give this album 5. And for a while I thought I was going to, but unfortunately there is one snag with the album. The first time you listen to the album full through, you love it; it is honestly one of the best albums out there. But then the more you listen, the more you seem to think that all the songs could fit together. This is either the work of some seriously awesome mixing, or, and unfortunately I believe this to be the case in this album, the music seems to be repetitive. For that reason I cannot give the album full credit.

The negatives of this album do not outweigh the positives, not by a long shot. It is still a fantastic album by a band that needs to be very closely watched. Under the supervision of McNevan and the guys from Tooth & Nail, Nine Lashes are going to make waves in the rock scene. This is definitely an album to have in your rock collection.

Song of the week goes to… Anthem of the Lonely

Have a rocking week everyone

Monday, 6 May 2013

Christian Music News: May 2013

Music City Unites as Nashville Artists Come Together to Perform A Benefit Concert for Boston Marathon Victims 
Recording artists based in Tennessee are going to be coming together on Sunday, May 12th for "Music City Unites!" – which is going to be a benefit concert to raise funds for the victims of the Boston Marathon bomb attack. Some of the artists that have been confirmed for the event include Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer), Collin Raye, Lee Roy Parnell, Gary Chapman, Trae Edwards, Wes Harllee and more to be announced!

Alliance Festival Releases Line Up for Their First Annual Event in 2013!!  
Alliance Festival is an annual Christian charity benefit festival, that will be taking place on August 3rd 2013. Alliance Festival is designed to ignite a positive impact throughout the region through music, entertainment, community, and all to aid a great cause. With artists such as The Word Alive, Demon Hunter, The Devil Wear Prada and many more it is sure to be a rip roaring success

Artist Shane & Shane Give Us a Little Taste of Something from Their New Album, Bring Your Nothing 
Shane & Shane shed some light on the meaning behind their debut radio single "That's How You Forgive," from the duo's new album, Bring Your Nothing, to be release on May 14th
"This song is a simple doxology of sorts, a meditation on Psalm 145. 'The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love' (v 8). 'The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them' (vv 18-19). His AMAZING GRACE! The chorus of this song declares it: You lived the life I could never live/You died the death that I deserve/You rose to life and now You live!/That's how You forgive. The Gospel empowers us. Not just at one moment in our lives, but every day, every hour. Because of what He did, we are free! Free to live. Free to fail. Free to love. Free to give without return because all of the return we would ever need is found in Him!"

King & Country Caught Dreaming with Andy Mineo 
For King & Country’s momentous 2013 continues as the Australian duo were featured on Christian hip hop artist, Andy Mineo’s No.1 charting debut album Heroes For Sale, in the song “Caught Dreaming”. Their own debut album, Crave, was name 2012’s “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of the Year”, a year after its release is still making noteworthy strides, and in March it climbed to No. 2 on iTunes’ Christian & Gospel chart.

"Are you sick of it?" asks Skillet front-man John Cooper

Skillet continues to tease with their crushingly catchy new single entitled “Sick of It”. The one thing we won't ever get sick of is Skillet's infectious and thrilling hard rock. "Sick of It", is just the first sliver from their upcoming album Rise to be released on June 25th , and is said to be their biggest anthem to date. Can you feel the anticipation beginning to Rise??

Martin Smith's First Solo Album, God's Great Dance Floor, Step 01 
Martin Smith’s first full-length solo debut album, called God’s Great Dance Floor, Step 01, released recently  amidst five-star acclaim and almost immediately seemed to rocket to the top of iTunes’ Christian & Gospel chart. A free download of the track “Catch Every Teardrop” is available now at

Josh Wilson's Most Personal Album Yet, Carry Me
Josh Wilson’s brand new record, Carry Me is his fourth project with Sparrow Records. In Carry Me, Wilson opens up his heart more than ever and shares details about a very personal health issue, dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, these new songs ultimately spread the message that through life’s difficult trials, it is only God who can carry us through it all.

Casting Crowns Nominated for Two "2013 Billboard Music Awards"
This week, the multi-Platinum selling band Casting Crowns receives recognition from the magazine Billboard, with two distinguished “2013 Billboard Music Award” nominations.  The group appears in the Top Christian Artist and Top Christian Album categories for its album, Come To The Well, (Oct. 18, 2011).  The “2013 Billboard Music Awards” will air live May 19th 2013

John Elefante Is On His Way Back To Us This May With His New Album
John Elefante is back on the music scene with a new solo album, titled On My Way to the Sun. This 10-track album is due to be released on May 7th. The 4X Grammy Award winner is best known for his time as the lead vocalist for the rock band Kansas. And many fans will be delighted to know that the opening track, “This Is How The Story Goes,” reunites Elefante with former Kansas bandmates Rich Williams and David Ragsdale!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Building 429: Listen to the Sound

Release date: May 10 2011
Genre: Christian Rock
Length: 37:10
Label: Provident
Similar artists: Skillet, Chris Tomlin, Jars of Clay, We As Human
Rating: 4/5

This is the seventh studio album by arguably one of the world’s most popular Christian Rock bands. The album is said to be written with the specific intention of enabling people to see the amount of noise that is present in this world, hence the title Listen to the Sound.

The 10 tracks present on this album give you a feel that the guys at 429 have reached full stride. This album, having been compiled largely while on the road, presents the listener with a pleasant listening sound throughout. Building 429 has never been a band that looks to heavy music to get their point across; they prefer a more melodic rock vibe which allows the listener numerous listens to the album.

Building 429 is a lucky band. They have the vocals of Jason Roy to lead them. Don’t get me wrong, the entire band is made up of truly talented individuals, but for those that know Building 429, it is very difficult to imagine them without the vocals of Roy. Roy gives the band a new dimension, he allows them to try new techniques with the music, and over the years those experiments have paid dividends. The years of trial and error have, in my opinion, created a sound unique to Building 429. The individuality of the band is captured in this album of theirs and I believe it is one of their greatest achievements to date.

For those that are wondering who the female vocalist is in track 2 Right Beside You. That is none other than Dawn Michele from Fireflight.

This is definitely an album that anyone and everyone could enjoy, I highly recommend it.

Song of the week this week goes to… Where I belong

Have a rocking week everyone

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