Jars Of Clay This is Jars of Clay's first Christmas release since the Little Drummer Boy EP came out in 1997. It is well worth the wait! Jars really brings the Christmas spirit, mixing the old and the new with great...
Switchfoot Switchfoot experiments with a new sound this time around on Oh! Gravity. When I first listened to this album, I didn't know what to think of it. This outing takes a different approach. Musically, it sounds...
Jars Of Clay This EP comes nearly on the heels of Jars Of Clay's latest full-length album, Good Monsters. While all of the songs featured on this EP can be found on that album, this EP is still good. Live Monsters...
It's beginning to SOUND a lot like Christmas... | Posted October-15-2007
This is Jars of Clay's first Christmas release since the Little Drummer Boy EP came out in 1997. It is well worth the wait! Jars really brings the Christmas spirit, mixing the old and the new with great expertise. Their sound is better than ever. It is normal sometimes to grow tired of hearing the same Christmas songs over and over, but you don't have that issue here. What Jars of Clay does with these traditional songs is modern, without losing the integrity of the originals. They also mix in some original songs like "Hibernation Day" and "Winter Skin" that bring to mind postcard-perfect pictures of a snowy day. Personally, I would like to have heard a few more originals, but that is not really an issue here. This is truly a good album. With rich instrumentation and great melodies, this album will get you into the Christmas-y mood in no time.
Oh! Goodness | Posted September-17-2007
Switchfoot experiments with a new sound this time around on Oh! Gravity. When I first listened to this album, I didn't know what to think of it. This outing takes a different approach. Musically, it sounds like they are striving for a slightly less-produced feel. The music sounds more similar to a live show. Lyrically, the themes discussed are quite similar to past albums, speaking for love and against things like materialism. However, Oh! Gravity does have more to say about (and to) God, especially on songs like "Let Your Love Be Strong". Some songs have a more serious feel, but others just make you want to happily sing along. This album is truly unique... in a good way. Despite any misgivings about Switchfoot's "new sound", I urge you to give this disc a spin. Experimentation is generally hit-or-miss, but with Switchfoot it works.
These aren't the dead kind... | Posted September-11-2007
This EP comes nearly on the heels of Jars Of Clay's latest full-length album, Good Monsters. While all of the songs featured on this EP can be found on that album, this EP is still good. Live Monsters gives people a taste of what the band's live shows sound like. I'd recommend this album for die-hard fans and for those who have never heard the music. While there may not be enough new material here for a casual listener, Live Monsters still delivers as a very good (albeit, short) live album. With songs like "Dead Man (Carry Me)", "Work", and "Oh My God", this CD is definitely worth your attention.
Content with Divine Discontent | Posted August-23-2007
Divine Discontent was Sixpence's first album after more than 3 years. It was pretty much worth the wait. Leigh Nash's uniquely sweet-sounding voice and Matt Slocum's lyrics and musical arrangements give Sixpence None The Richer a good sound. This album starts off with the album's first radio hit "Breathe Your Name". "Tonight" is a surprisingly cheerful song about the difficulty of choosing direction. "Down And Out Of Time" sounds okay, but I was slightly bored with it. The next song, "Don't Dream It's Over", is a cover of the 1980's song by the band Crowded House. Melodic and original, "Still Burning" is next. "Melody Of You" is a highlight of the album with its worshipful lyrics and beautiful string arrangements. "Paralyzed" completely mixes things up with a very different rock sound. "Eyes Wide Open" is unusual; the band tries out a style that reminds me of The Beatles somewhat (but it doesn't quite work). The three remaining songs are smooth ballads that do deliver. This album is great despite its couple of flaws. It is not your typical pop/rock album... and that's more than okay. Sixpence injects their own unique sound into Divine Discontent. I'd recommend it!
Here it comes now... | Posted August-22-2007
The David Crowder Band's A Collision is truly a unique album. This CD is interesting to me because it very different from what you usually hear from the genre of worship music. It is eclectic and artistic. Rare indeed. The first thing making this album unique is the fact that it is divided into different parts. Each part brings a new sound. The A Part (tracks 1-5) is the radio hits section, including songs "Here Is Our King", Wholly Yours", and "Foreverandever, Etc...". Part B (6-11) takes a different turn, including the track that inspired the title, "A Beautiful Collision" and experimenting with spirituals and bluegrass and covering a song written by Sufjan Stevens. The C Part (12-16) is perhaps the most experimental section. "You Are My Joy" is one of my favorite songs on this album. Part D consists mostly of musical interludes. Good lyrics, good instrumentation, and unique vocals round out this grouping of songs. A Collision may be too unique for some, but I say this album is a great addition to a CD collection. The uniqueness of this album is just the beauty of it. David Crowder and his band have brought us something new... a departure from the crowded worship genre.
Anything else just wouldn't be Fair... | Posted July-27-2007
The band Fair is sort of a "side project" for well-known producer Aaron Sprinkle. However, it seems unfair to label The Best Worst-Case scenario as a mere side project. It's just too good for that. In fact, I'd call this album great. This album is composed of calm and melodic modern rock (but don't let the "calm and melodic" part scare you away). This album rocks. "The Attic", "Carelessness", and "Unglued" are highlights, but there is hardly a bad song on this CD. Lyrically, this album explores subjects such as love, nostalgia, and apathy. Songs like "Cut Down Sideways" and "Blurry Eyed" experiment with different sounds. This variety keeps you from getting bored. Bottom line, the instrumentation is quality, Sprinkle brings a good voice, and this band is unique. I'd recommend that you check this one out!
I wrote in someone's journal that: | Posted July-19-2007
Barlowgirl has really improved since their last album. Their self-titled debut was okay, but it lacked lyrical depth. Another Journal Entry finds the band with more experience... and it shows.
They have really stepped things up with their sound and lyrics. "Grey", a tune warning against hypocrisy, starts the album off. "Let Go" and "I Need You To Love Me" both had radio hit written all over them from the start. "Enough" is a cover of Chris Tomlin's worship anthem. It is a good song, but I would have loved to see another original in its place. "Take Me Away" lies more on the pop side of the musical spectrum... I personally like them better on other songs. "Psalm 73 (My God's Enough)", featuring Todd Agnew's backing vocals, is an unflinching declaration of what God means to them. "5 Minutes Of Fame" ruins. It just seems out of place. "Thoughts of You" is a pretty ballad about meditating on God. "No One Like You", a cover of the David Crowder Band song, is another that isn't original to them. "Never Alone (Acoustic)" is fine for fans of the original song, but I would've rather just heard a new one. Overall, this album delivers. Barlowgirl has really gotten better over the course of making this album. They are more able to show off their voices and instrumentation skills... and gain new fans. This album is a vast improvement. I'd recommend it!
Flyleaf... turning the page on a new band's story | Posted July-18-2007
This is Flyleaf's debut album after having put out an EP that was also self-titled. Here we are. This album starts out with the aggressive screams of frontwoman Lacey Mosley on the song "I'm So Sick". It then goes on to slightly more tame "Fully Alive", which is a highlight of the album. "Perfect", the anthemic sing-along that claims that we are only perfect in God alone, is another. "Cassie" is a chaotic song that tells the story of a girl who was martyred in the Columbine High School attack. The hopeful "Sorrow" and worshipful "All Around Me" also tie this album together. While Mosley's voice may be too unique for some, the guitar work and melodic sound make the band's sound more accessible. They have already experienced some popularity in the music world, and they have many directions to travel from here. Yes, this is a good first effort for Flyleaf.
Don't be apathetic about this one! | Posted July-18-2007
Relient K is consistent. They continue getting better with each album or EP they put out. The Apathetic EP starts out with highlight "The Truth", an upbeat song that is, in essence, talking about faith ("Put the emphasis on the evidence begging for the proof/Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth") Next is "Apathetic Way To Be", complete with Relient K's typically witty lyrics ("And the half of me is all about apathy,And the other half just doesn't care") This EP includes acoustic versions of three songs from previous albums: "Be My Escape", "Which to Bury, Us Or The Hachet?", and "Over Thinking".
While these are all songs we've heard before, they are definitely worth a listen because of their new arrangements. "In Like A Lion (Always Winter)" is a pretty ballad inspired by C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. "The Thief" is a piano-driven ballad that one could assume is about a dating relationship. Relient K has had the habit of releasing an EP in between two full-length albums. That's great because fans of the band keep waiting for more. This EP is quite different from their earliest albums, but does bear similarities to MMHMM. Overall, The Apathetic EP has a more serious tone (and that's fine with me!).
My only complaint is that this CD is a bit too short. Really, this is an EP to whet fans' appetites until new material comes along.
Yet, This CD is an essential addition to their discography. It is arguably some of their best work. People tend to pass on EPs because they aren't full-lengths. Just be sure that you don't pass this one up!
"Marvelous Things"... now that's a fitting title. | Posted July-17-2007
This album is great. I'd even go so far say that it is underrated.
Eisley's music consists of acoustic pop/rock (in the vein of Sixpence None The Richer) with beautiful vocal harmonies and dreamy lyrics that take you to another place.
What's not to love?
This is Eisley's first full-length album after having released a couple of EPs.
This is not your typical debut, to be sure.
There's not a song that I don't enjoy.
"Memories" provides the album with a surprisingly melancholy start, and the rest of the album weaves a fairytale of a story.
I like that the band seems unafraid to try different styles of music.
If you compare "Golly Sandra" to "One Day I Slowly Floated Away" to "My Lovely", you'll see what I mean.
While not "spiritual" lyrically, this album explores emotions, young love, and innocence in a positive way.
This band is slowly gaining attention, though you may not have heard of them yet.
Rest assured, you most likely will in the future. I'd like to see where they go next.