Friday, 31 January 2014

Song of the Week: 31 January 2014

This week's top spot goes to Mike Mains and the Branches with Stop the Car.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Jamie Grace: Ready to Fly

Album Artist: Jamie Grace
Record/EP: Ready to Fly
Rating: 4/5
Social Media:

Similar artists: Group 1 Crew, Sidewalk Prophets, Moriah Peters
Genre: Christian Hip Hop, R&B
Release Date: 28 January 2014
Length: 42:33
Label: Gotee

“This record is about being in the waiting with God, yet while you’re, waiting being ready to move - ready to fly - when the timing is right."

Looking back on Grace’s first record there was a definite sense of excitement and enjoyment that was evident in the young singer’s tracks, and for her audience it worked perfectly, even if she only appealed to the younger generations. With her latest release Ready to Fly, functionally we get the same thing as before, both Jamie and her fans have grown up together. While this new record has shown some growth, as an artist I believe that Jamie is still lacking in maturity of sound and content. While this record is still good, I think it could have been so much better, it almost feels like something is still holding her back.
Lyrically there are a few very good tracks, and obviously as a Christian artist there are inspirational and helpful messages within the tracks, and it is clear that Jamie has tried to encourage people through her music, especially when you look at tracks like “Fighter” in which she touches on her own struggles since being diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome.

As far as musicality goes, Jamie has stuck to her old formula for her tracks, and even though it sort of makes sense to stick with what works and what is safe, in the long run it makes each track less interesting. The only noticeable change has come from the producer Chuck Butler, which has resulted in a few synth-laden tracks that offer some variety and new flavor and so because she follows this same formula, the album lacks any sort of surprises, pleasant or otherwise.

I think that if Jamie is really a great songwriter who desires to grow as a professional musician, Ready To Fly and any record like it will only serve to hinder her growth as an artist. So Ready to Fly is more of the same from Jamie, but I still have hope for her future, after all she is still young, she has time to grow and mature into a world-class performer.

Song of the Week: “Fighter”

Record Rating: 4/5

Stay choice Joyce


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Love Versus Accomplishments

Before I begin the post, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jordan, and this is my first post here. It’s an honour to be able to contribute to this community, and I pray that everything I write in this, and all posts to come, glorify God and serve in line with the mission of this great blog. Things about me you should know? I happen to be a fan of dolphins, I enjoy long walks on the beach, I occasionally like to speak in a New Zealand or British accent for no reason, and I have a sense of humour that has been described as ridiculous far more often than funny. Nice to meet you!

Anyway, in my Bible reading this morning, these verses jumped out at me: “Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honour you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy” -Psalm 63:2-5.

This struck me in a significantly humbling way. I felt this scripture talking directly to me, telling me that God is sufficient. In every way imaginable, God is sufficient. I felt this scripture telling me that we do not need to rely on a high quality of life in order to be satisfied. Specifically, although these words do not appear there, we do not need to be perceived as successful in order to be satisfied by the love of God. His presence in our lives, and all that He has done for us by sending Jesus to die for us, is all that will ever matter. Whether we are the president of the country, or a simple office worker, we can have an equally significant life in the eyes of Christ because no accomplishment alters his 100% love for us. Indeed, all that is required is “Jesus + nothing”.

The truth is, I often fall into the trap of feeling dissatisfied with myself based on a lack of accomplishments. The prospect of an “average” job and “average” life scares me. I often feel that as Christ followers, we are called to do something great and be used in great ways. But what I often don’t comprehend is that regardless of job and living circumstances, we can always be used by God in great ways. This is simply due to the fact that we always have influence in the lives of those around us, and positive influence by showing God’s love in our circles of connection should always be our goal. Yes, as Christ followers, we need to endeavour to further God’s Kingdom. Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean we need to be a pastor or a full time missionary. Our mission is the occupation and talent that God has given us, and we will be used in those circles.

Even in a life of poverty. A life consistently in desperation for food, shelter or humanly love… God’s love is enough. Because, in accordance with Jesus’ final words; “it is finished”. Christ has won the battle. If we declare Him as our Lord and saviour, we have everything we will ever need. We may not have an easy time on earth, but God has ensured that a blissful eternity in His presence awaits. That is worth praising with songs of joy!

So today I feel liberated. It is not about accomplishments, positions of responsibility, money etc. It is about God’s love. And God’s love has won!

Signing out for now

Friday, 24 January 2014

Song of the week: 24 January 2014

This week's song of the week goes to "Your love is forever" by The Kingdom. Check it out.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Bright Road: Norway

Artist: The Bright Road
Record/EP: Norway
Rating: 4/5
Social Media:
Similar artists: Bon Iver, Sigur Ros
Genre: Indie Pop
Release Date: 2012
Length: 31:00
Label: Ma Mer
Haha ok…now I fell so in love with this band’s sound that I just HAD to put this album up here! I’m not 100% if these guys are Christian, but their songs with their intimate lyrics really spoke to me. I cannot really explain the joy and excitement one encounters after finding gems like these randomly on Noisetrade.
The Bright Road, based in Montreal, started with Phillipe Garceau and various collaborations around the year 2010. The current five members only met a few months after the release of the 2012 album, Norway.
They label their genre “Dream Pop” and “Indie Pop Ambient”…I think they hit the nail on the head when they use the words “dream” and “ambient”. The music off this album is extremely mellow and, to an extent, enchanting. The charming, heartfelt lyrics capture you immediately…whisking you off to a tranquil state of mind.
“And how can I say I don’t need your grace
What would I do far from your face?
My life has purpose only
When you take control
AS I pressed ‘play’ their impeccable vocals caught my attention. They mix common instruments (like the guitar and drum) with various digital media in order to create a different atmosphere for each song. I found that the almost “chant-like” singing in songs like Du was amazing to play in the background during my quiet times.
If you are looking for a perfectly executed mellow and relaxing album…look no further than Norway! I am so excited to see what they produce in the future!
Listen to their title track "Norway" below.
Peace and Love

Sunday, 19 January 2014

God's Calling

Wow...after speaking about one’s “calling” at men’s group this morning and AGAIN at church this evening, I thought what better topic to discuss than God’s calling for one’s life!? :p

The discussion started off with a reading from Psalm 23…I’m sure you are familiar with it…”The Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want.” To our surprise that’s where the reading stopped. It did not carry on to the well-known “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
The discussion carried on with the question “What does the Bible mean when it says the Lord is our ‘shepherd’? A shepherd is someone who looks after the sheep. It is up to the shepherd to not only protect the sheep from threats, but also to lead the sheep from pasture to pasture. I am not too familiar with the art of “shepherding” so for the sake of this article let’s say that’s all there is to it. I sincerely apologise if any shepherds are offended by this simple job description...

Now I for one must admit that I am a bit of a control freak. I like to call the shots and must know what’s going in around me, but as I approach the final year of my studies I am faced with a formidable beast…that of the unknown! I have NO idea where I am going to be or what exactly I will be doing. Normally this would frighten me to death, but after a lot of prayer and spending time in God’s word I realise that He is my shepherd. HE WANT’S WHAT IS BEST FOR US! He knows the plans He has for me so why should I worry!?

This evening our pastor said that our calling is often found where our passions, skills and interests intersect. He also said that, to some, our callings are revealed suddenly, whilst to others it is more of a journey. He said that no matter how our calling comes about we must just remain faithful to God in our day-to-day activities and our calling will become apparent in time. Be faithful to God with the small things and you will be entrusted with larger things…
If, like me, you do not yet know where God is calling you exactly, don’t fret! He has such amazing plans for us all! We just have to remain obedient. I just want to encourage you to pray to God, asking Him for guidance and direction. Be patient and wait on the Lord. If an answer does not come your way immediately remember that God’s timing is perfect…carry on being faithful and obedient to Him.

I know I have only just scratched the surface of this topic and I will carry on with it at a later stage. I just pray that over the coming week you will remember that our God is also our Loving Father…our Protector…our Shepherd! Trust in Him and he will guide you on the right path.
Peace and Love


Friday, 17 January 2014

Song of the Week: 17 January 2014

Hey everybody! An awesome, mellow tune from The Bright Road's album, "Norway"....hope you enjoy!
"You're the reason for all that I am
When I gave you my heart you made it new
And how can I thank you for all that you've done for me?"

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Vintage Kings: One Life

Album Artist: Vintage Kings
Record/EP: One Life
Rating: 4/5
Social Media:

Sound Cloud:

Similar artists: Breaking Benjamin, Prime Circle, Three Days Grace, Skillet
Genre: Post-grunge, Alternative
Length: 35:24
Label: Indie

Vintage Kings is a four piece rock band that was founded in 2011 with the desire to share their musical passion with the world…and One Life is definitely not short of passion.

With a total of ten tracks this record is a little bit shorter than your average record, but what it lacks in length it most certainly makes up for in quality and enthusiasm. This is a good, old fashioned, rock album. The beauty is in the simplicity of its sound. I think it is very easy when working in the music industry for a band to lose itself in an attempt to conform to what they think people will like to listen to. Vintage Kings have not done this however. Instead they have stuck to their own standards and made a solid rock record that is just full of slamming guitar solos, ribcage rattling drum beats and passionately delivered vocals.

In terms of lyrics you get track after track of meaningful, relevant tracks lyrics. As far as I can tell, and given that the records name is One Life, the central theme that this record addresses is our own mortality. So not only does this record provide profound thought provoking lyrics, but mortality is a subject that everyone can connect to, and thus I believe a lot of people will fall in love with these tracks. I’m reminded of a popular track by Irish rock band, The Script, named “Live like We’re Dying” when I listen to many of these lyrics. In addition to these meaningful lyrics this record delivers the kind of sound that any rock loving person would really enjoy jamming along to.

I do feel that this is the kind of record that you can listen to over and over again. The sound is consistent enough that pretty much all the tracks are within the same range of awesomeness and therefore are a pleasure to listen to, while at the same time each track is individual enough relative to the others that  you don’t get bored listening to the entire record from start to finish.

Overall this is a solid record, with a great sound, interesting lyrics and plenty of room to grow and develop into something even more awesome

Song of The Week goes to: “Look Me in the Eye”

Record Rating: 4/5

Stay a fan of Batman


Sunday, 12 January 2014

What I Learned in Italy

Welcome to 2014 everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic start to the New Year. They say the best thing about a new year is that it’s a brand new start for us all. Some may even say it’s a clean slate. During the holidays my family and I decided to go away and get out of one big city, only to land up in another. We went to the beautiful country known as Italy. This is one of my top 5 places I’ve ever wanted to go to. In fact, it probably ranks either number one or two…depending on my mood. If you are ever fortunate enough to travel, definitely consider Italy as your destination. To say that I was as excited as a kid in a candy store would be a massive under exaggeration.

We started off in Venice, seeing the amazing canals and going on a small gondola through some parts of the huge city. Venice was a great way to start off our trip, but I felt like a little icicle after just a few days there. Our journey then took us to Florence. Florence is pretty epic, from there you can see so much such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Sienna. More importantly, it is a city in Assassin’s Creed 2. In Assassin’s Creed 2 you run around the city in the 15th century, climbing buildings, doing spectacular feats. While we were there my main thought was “I climbed that building, I ran through there...” it was pretty cool. The great cathedrals that were built during those times, ones that still stand today, are just a testament to our desire to make things that last. Some of the buildings have survived for over 500 years. However, on our trip things would only get more interesting as we arrived in Rome...

Rome had a lot to live up to. With it being the capital of an empire about 2000 years ago, and then the “central hub” of Christianity some years later. Of course we went to see the main tourists attractions; the colossus that is the Coliseum, the magnificent Trevi Fountain, and of course we went to The Vatican, amongst many other places. One thing that stood out to me while we were there was something that my dad mentioned to us. As we gazed in awe at Saint Peter’s Basilica my dad turned to us and said something that I hopefully won’t ever forget. We were standing around and he said “One thing that came from Christians being persecuted is that they spread themselves out, going as far and as wide as possibly. This meant that people all over Europe were hearing the Gospel, people who maybe would not have heard it otherwise.”

My dad is probably one of the wisest people I know. So the fact that he said something so profound wasn’t a shock. In fact, on that trip he had something profound to say every second day. However, it was the thought process that followed that was quite mind blowing. I couldn’t help but think of how Christians 2000 years ago would feel if they knew that what they had fought and died for paid off. Christianity would become one of the biggest religions in the world, reaching all corners of this round world. This plays into some of my previous posts, the fact that we can never really see what will happen at the time. Sometimes we may never see what comes from the things we do with our lives. The Word was spread all across Europe because Christians at the time had to flee to safer parts of the world.

My trip to Italy was insightful in so many ways. I got to see a great country with amazing food (finally I can say that the pizza and pasta in Italy really is that good). The sights were magnificent, the history was rich, and I felt extremely blessed to be there.

Let me leave you with this thought to hold onto for the rest of this year. Are you going to do something worth remembering? It doesn’t have to be a huge monument, if Italy taught me anything, it’s that the great tragedy of the Roman Empire is that their legacy isn’t in all the gigantic buildings, because all those were destroyed by nature or by man. Instead, the legacy of this empire is in their actions and the things they did when they were at their most powerful.

So what will your actions be this year? Will you choose to be like Pinky and the Brain, doing the same thing every day? Or will you try something different? Maybe you could try better yourself every day, or help others be the best that they can be.

I wish you all the best for this brand new year. Make it the best you possibly can.

Stay awesome everyone.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Glen Hartmann: For the Hurricane Chaser

Artist: Glen Hartmann
Record/EP: For the Hurricane Chaser
Rating: 5/5
Social Media:
 - Facebook:
 - Twitter: @glenhartman
 - Soundcloud:
 - Youtube:
Similar artists: Matthew Mole, Flint Meet Spark, Angus Stone, She & Him
Genre: Synth Folk
Length: 24:36
Label: Independent

For the Hurricane Chaser is the EP of yet another Cape Town musician, Glen Hartmann. This EP, amongst many things, shows a lot of potential for another young, humble, music loving, local musician to take South Africa by storm.
Even though this is Hartmann’s first release, it has the kind of mature, polished sound that you would come to expect from a most seasoned artist. In addition there is a wide variety between tracks that keeps you captivated and makes you want to come back for more. Lyrically you get a depth and passion with every song and it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the making of each track. Since Hartmann writes all of his material for himself you get a real sense of there being a truly genuine message behind each track, something that makes it very easy to fall in love with his music.

Listening to this EP puts a smile on my face; it’s a feel good album with a folky, upbeat, expressive sound that really deserves the highest praise. The spectacular synths, remarkable riffs and the heartwarming harmonies with back up vocalist, Kelly Mole, really make this EP stand out as something special.

The only thing I wish this EP could deliver is more tracks, but since it is an EP it cannot be faulted for being short!

Overall I think this is a really great EP that deserves to be part of any good folk music fan’s ultimate playlist; I know it is part of mine! As far as the rating for this EP goes, I am giving it a 5 out of 5 which may be the highest rated review we’ve ever done, however I would like to point out that this is the highest rate EP we have ever had and isn’t necessarily the best ‘album’ we have ever had. However I don’t wish to take away from this EP at all, because it really is just that good.

Song of The Week: "I Don' Breathe"

Stay wry Steven Fry 


Rating: 5/5

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Greatest Among You

"God is not a vending machine..." - these were the words my pastor spoke a few months ago in a sermon about serving God and others. I still remember them as if the sermon was last night....they definitely struck a chord with me.

With the New Year comes a host of resolutions and goals..."I want to lose 10 kilograms.", "I want to make more time for friends.", "I want to get a balance between work and my private life."...and although these are all good, this year I felt extremely challenged to changed my whole approach to things in general.

A few weeks ago, while at LIV Village on outreach, I felt a great weight placed on my heart. Being an architecture student I found very little time to do anything else but work. Time and time again I'd pray for God to give me the strength to push through my troublesome studies. Night after night I'd ask him to help me with this or that - but I never thanked Him for all the blessings that He poured over me day after day. I rarely praised His glorious Name. It was all about me. me. ME! "God is not a vending machine..."

For a while I felt like I was living a rather selfish existence...God has called us to serve others, yet time and time again I placed work above God and above other people. That night at LIV everything changed...I was reading Matthew and I came across Matthew 23:11 which states: "The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." I realised that I was placing a lot of emphasis on "achieving" so much in my studies that, not only was I neglecting those around me, but I was neglecting my Loving Father! For a ling time I was just focusing on the here and now. I forgot about the bigger picture. I was so focused on being "successful" by worldly standards. I was not seeing my life through the eyes of eternity...

On numerous occasions in the Bible we are told to serve God and serve others. I mean just look at the life of Jesus!! He is the Son of God, Maker of the Heavens and Earth, yet He came down to serve US!? What an incredible, amazing, confusing, scandalous thought!! It hardly makes any sense....

It is my prayer and challenge for everyone to truly LOVE one another this year. That we will put others' needs above our own. We are called by our God to serve one another.

"Don't just pretend to love others. REALLY love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, keep on praying. WHEN GOD'S PEOPLE ARE IN NEED, BE READY TO HELP THEM. Always be eager to practice hospitality." - Romans 12:9-13

Peace and Love