LIGHTS This iTunes Session is absolutely fantastic. The production is wonderful and LIGHTS sounds even better live than on a studio recording. Definitely worth purchasing for all of LIGHTS' diehard fans....
NoiseTrade Sampler 2011
Plumb This album works as a great free sampler for those who havnen't heard Plumb's music. It includes six of her greatest hits, including two completely new remixes. The original studio versions of Beautiful...
Britt Nicole Britt Nicole is easily one of the most popular and youthful female artists in the Christian music industry. Her music is catchy, uplifting, and powerful. With two incredible releases under her belt...
Fantastic Sampler | Posted July-05-2012
This album works as a great free sampler for those who havnen't heard Plumb's music. It includes six of her greatest hits, including two completely new remixes. The original studio versions of Beautiful and History and In My Arms are beautiful as always, and I love the Cut and Hang On club mixes. The new version of Damaged is a darker, more brooding version of the song, while Blush takes on a more melancholy tone. Great free sampler. Go download it.
Fantastic | Posted July-05-2012
This iTunes Session is absolutely fantastic. The production is wonderful and LIGHTS sounds even better live than on a studio recording. Definitely worth purchasing for all of LIGHTS' diehard fans.
A Glittery Release | Posted March-26-2012
Britt Nicole is easily one of the most popular and youthful female artists in the Christian music industry. Her music is catchy, uplifting, and powerful. With two incredible releases under her belt (plus a great acoustic EP), Britt returns with Gold.
The album begins with "Gold", which is easily one of the best tracks on the album. It's a bouncy, upbeat track with inspiring lyrics and powerful vocals. "All This Time", Britt's third number-one hit, is a gorgeous piano-led adult contemporary track.
"Look Like Love" is a cheery midtempo song, while "Who You Say You Are" is a jingly guitar-driven track. "Ready or Not", featuring Lecrae, follows the mainstream trend of mixing pop artists with guest rap vocals. The song is an explosion of musical epic-ness that bursts at the seams with an incredible R&B flair.
"Breakthrough" is a brooding, dark track with a killer dubstep influenced bridge and powerful vocals. "Stand" is reminiscent of "Walk on the Water" from The Lost Get Found, while "The Sun Is Rising" is a tender ballad.
"Amazing Life" is a dancefloor anthem that is easily the best track on the album. The last two tracks, "Still That Girl" and "Seeing for the First Time", are gorgeous ballads.
The two bonus tracks are absolutely fantastic as well. The Capital Kings Remix of "Amazing Life" gives the song an even more incredible, polished makeover. "Straight for Your Heart" is another beautiful ballad.
Overall, Gold is a near-perfect pop album that is sure to please fans and invite new listeners as well.
The Beauty of Siberia | Posted October-04-2011
Two years ago, Canadian pop songstress Lights released her debut album The Listening, which opened to critical acclaim and spawned five hit singles. The album also found its way to America’s indie musical movement and charted in the lower regions of the Billboard 200. With new musical and lyrical inspirations, Lights invites us to join her on her journey to Siberia.
While The Listening was more of a soft electronic album with sparkling keyboards and intergalactic themes, Siberia shifts gears and experiments with the harder side of electronic music. Dabbling in the new musical fad of dubstep, songs such as “Everybody Breaks a Glass” and “Flux and Flow” offer up stuttering percussion beats laden with a heavy dose of bass. These two tracks also feature rapper Shad, who’s addition to the songs is a worthy one.
Surging new wave tracks such as “Timing is Everything” and “Suspension” provide a more mainstream approach on music with catchy hooks and upbeat choruses. “Where the Fence is Low” and “Banner” are power ballads with a buzzing electronic undercurrent.
If Lights’ musical mood could be summed up in word, it would probably be melancholy. “Heavy Rope“, “And Counting”, and “Cactus in the Valley” definitely reflect this idea with their soft backing track and introspective lyrics. However, the happy, carefree Lights that everyone has come to know and love is also represented here. “Toes” and “Peace Sign” are sunny pop tracks that could brighten the darkest of days.
The album’s only flat moments are found in tracks twelve and fourteen. “Fourth Dimension” is a strange song that sounds almost as if Lights is attempting to rap the verses, while the chorus is completely bland and uninteresting. The album closer “Day One” is a monotonous nine minute long meandering of random sound effects that resemble dying animals. It’s actually quite unfortunate because there is a beautiful, soft synth undertone in the song that is almost entirely covered up.
With only two misfires in the group, Siberia proves to be an exciting and delightful follow-up to The Listening. With her ever changing musical style, it will be interesting to see what Lights attempts on her third outing. But for now fans will have to settle in to the dazzling land of Siberia.
Rachael Lampa Returns with "All We Need" | Posted September-23-2011
Since the year 2000, Rachael Lampa has been one of the most successful female artists in the industry. With four number one singles to her name and three highly acclaimed studio albums, Lampa returns to music after a few years of musical quietness. She first came back on the scene with her independent EP Human. Now in 2011, she is married, signed to a major label, and ready to take the world by storm again with her fourth full-length studio album All We Need.
The album starts out with the incredibly upbeat and optimistic title track. Lampa’s soaring vocals fit perfectly over the light pop beat as she belts out “Love is all we need!”
Lead single “Remedy” is the second song on the album. This piano-led track features sick urban beats, glossy strings, and inspiring lyrics. This was the perfect song to re-introduce Rachael’s voice to radio.
“Savior’s Face” is a sunny track that speaks of how humans can only be saved by Jesus Christ. Rachael’s vocals are particularly strong and urgent in the song’s sonic chorus.
The album’s first ballad “Beauty’s Just a Word” comes next. A beautiful song with moving lyrics shows off Rachael’s incredible vocal prowess. The backing strings provide an epic feeling to the song.
“No Escape” is a funky urban with zesty horn programming and a sing-a-long chorus. “Uncharted Territory” is a touching pop ballad that addresses the topic of feeling vulnerable and unprepared for something.
“Elevate” is an incredibly gorgeous song that sounds musically similar to Rebecca St. James or Charmaine. Lyrically, the song is an inspiring track about changing your life.
“My One and Only” at first seems like a ballad with a soft piano intro. However, the track suddenly switches gears an turns into a full-fledged dance track. It’s nice to hear a catchy dance song with a great vocalist to go along as well.
“Run to You” is a pop ballad with steady beats and a light chorus. “Feel”, the album’s final main track is a beautiful piano-driven song that showcases Rachael’s incredible, breathy vocals.
“Human”, the first of two bonus tracks, is the title track from Rachael’s EP of the same name. A duet with Johnny Lang, the song mainly uses guitar and piano as far as instrumentation goes, while lyrically it speaks of how even celebrities are human and make mistakes.
“Live for You (2011)” is the final song on the album. Originally recorded for her debut album by the same name, this version has been completely updated with a light-dance vibe. Also, Rachael’s vocals have been refined in these eleven years so it sounds smoother and clearer than on the first release.
Digital versions of the album also include an acoustic version of her song “Blessed” from her debut album.
Overall, All We Need is a wonderful addition to Rachael Lampa’s extensive musical catalogue and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Solid Release | Posted June-27-2011
Beckah Shae's message and music caught my attention earlier this year with the song "#putyourloveglasseson" and I eventually downloaded this release. It's a pretty solid release with catchy lyrics and bouncy hip-hop beats. The first four tracks are my favorites, especially the title track, however after that each track starts to sound the same. Not that they are bad at all. In fact they are quite good, I just wish the music was a little more out-of-the-box and each individual track had a better idenity.
All in all, Life is a solid album from Beckah Shae and I'm excited to see what she does in the future.
Another so-so greatest hits album from an artist that deserves more... | Posted May-14-2011
For over seven years, Bethany Dillon has been one of the defining women in Christian music. With five albums and a handful of hits to her name, Bethany is known for her earthy, acoustic sound that is perfect for sunny days.
Beautiful: The Hits Collection is the first greatest hits album released by Bethany and it’s an interesting mix of music. The album starts out with the title track from her debut album self-titled album. “Beautiful” is a lovely song about honoring and blessing God. One of her biggest hits, it fits nicely here and works well as the title of the collection. “All I Need” comes next. Arguably her biggest hit of all time, this bouncy little ditty is a praiseful song about God’s love.
“Lead Me On” is a fantastic rendition of Amy Grant’s number-one hit. Bethany’s vocals fit the song well and the production as an updated, rock feel to it. “For My Love” is a beautiful song about Bethany’s then future husband (as she is married now). It’s a nice track, although I feel “Great Big Mystery” or “Exodus”, also from her debut, would have worked just as well.
After the four tracks from her debut, the album launches right into her sophomore album Imagination. Imagination was, in my opinion, a very dry album with only a few interesting tracks. “Dreamer” is one of the better tracks from the album. Used in the film Dreamer starring Dakota Fanning, the song is very reminiscent of “All I Need”.
“Hallelujah” is a worshipful hit from Imagination that sounds strangely similar to Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway”. “All That I Can Do”, the biggest hit and my favorite track from Imagination, is an exciting pop/rock track that resembles Rebecca St. James or Joy Williams.
The final representation of Imagination is the track “I Believe In You”. This one of the most boring tracks from the album and feels very generic. “New” or “Vagabond” would have been a much better choice, but like I said, the pickings from Imagination are thin.
Two of the “rare” tracks follow. This marketing campaign of 4 “rare” tracks is a little misleading considering you can get all four songs off of iTunes individually. However, “Holy is the Lord” and “Hero” are both fantastic tracks that are definitely worthy enough to be included.
Dillon’s third album, Waking Up was her absolute best in my opinion and it’s sad to see that only tracks are lifted from it. “Let Your Light Shine” is an absolutely stunning piano-led ballad and “When You Love Someone” is a jingly pop/country tune. However, where is lead single “The Kingdom”? It’s absolutely nowhere to be found, which is quite a shame.
Even more distasteful is the shunning of Bethany’s fourth album Stop & Listen. Another solid release, only lead single “Everyone to Know” is included (which is fantastic). Where is “Stop & Listen” or “Get Up and Walk”? Two very strong songs that would have made great inclusions.
The final track of the album is a cover of “How Great Is Our God”, which is a nice addition and a soft closing to the album.
Overall, the album could have been much worse, but Beautiful is still not a perfect release. Bethany could have easily squeeze three or more songs on the album, preferably from her last two albums and maybe “We Can Work It Out” from 2008’s So Far: The Acoustic Sessions, which has no inclusions. This is a probably an album worthy of skipping unless you are just discovering Bethany or are a diehard fan needing to complete your collection.
A nice collection for the casual fan. | Posted April-25-2011
Although this is probably a pointless release for the diehard Rebecca St. James fans, like myself, Back 2 Back Hits is a pretty good release for someone interested in her music and is just testing it out or are just a casual fan that wants some of her music. Worship God (2002) and If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something (2005) are, in my opinion, Rebecca's best releases and each album is represented by 6 songs.
Worship God appears first with "Song of Love", "God of Wonders", "Breathe", "Above All", "Let My Words Be Few", and "Better Is One Day". The first is an original pop/worship song by the songstress and should be well known by anyone who listens to Christian radio as it was once a big single. The other five are well known church songs that have Rebecca's signature sound printed all over them.
The last 6 songs are from If I Had One Chance... This album shows a grittier rock vibe from Rebecca that contrasts nicely with the first half of this album. The first four tracks are upbeat rock numbers that showcase St. James' passionate vocals and urgent, inspiring lyrical message. The final tracks of the entire album are the softest on the CD. They are both deep, beautiful songs that prove Rebecca can sing just about anything.
Overall, Back 2 Back Hits is a nice collection to introduce listeners to some of Rebecca's greatest music.
Not Too Shabby | Posted April-08-2011
Although it sounds EXTREMELY dated, Refresh My Heart is pretty good for a thirteen year old. Her voice sounds strong and confident. It's a solid cornerstone to a very long and exceedingly successful career. Good job Rebecca. :)
A Flawless Comeback for Rebecca | Posted April-04-2011
It’s been almost five and a half years since a new Rebecca St. James albums has been available for her devoted fans. Now in 2011, St. James sheds her rock image and presents the third worship album of her career I Will Praise You.
The album begins with the effervescent title track that is upbeat, worshipful, and exciting. The song has St. James’ signature style stamped all over it. It’s a compelling, catchy tune that will sure to stick in your head for days.
Unlike previous worship albums such Worship God and Live Worship, I Will Praise You is almost completely void of cover songs, opting for an original approach. However, two covers are included, one of them being “You Never Let Go” originally by Matt Redman. Rebecca adds a wonderful pop/rock flavor to the song and her voice is in top form.
Lead single “Shine Your Glory Down” is a rock-infused gem that will make you want to rock out and praise God. The song has an extremely cheerful melody and undeniably catchy lyrics.
“You Still Amaze Me” is a heartfelt mid-tempo track reminiscent of “Take All of Me” from 2005’s If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something. “In a Moment” is one of the album highlights with a soft, piano-driven beginning that builds into an epic crescendo with full drums and echoing background vocals. The song is a passionate, worshipful moment.
“The Kindness of Our God” is a beautiful song that features Rebecca’s flawless upper vocal register. It’s laden with gorgeous bagpipes that add a wonderful flavor to the track. “When the Stars Burn Down (Blessing and Honor)” is a soft, fervent piece of art that Rebecca paints with her gorgeous vocals.
“Almighty God” is an urgent message to those searching for a loving God. Rebecca sings gleefully about Jesus’ powerful love. “You Hold Me Now” is a musical masterpiece with stunning vocals and deep, honest lyrics.
The final track on the album, “You Make Everything Beautiful” is a tender piece that showcases Rebecca’s absolutely beautiful voice. Throughout all of the beautiful instrumentation and sincere lyrics, Rebecca’s voice is the true standout gem of the album with its delicate accent and passionate urgency. She easily hits every note with perfect ease, something that many mainstream artists can’t do without the use of auotune.
Overall, I Will Praise You is one of Rebecca St. James’ finest works to date. It’s very different than her other releases, but that’s the beauty of Rebecca; she’s always building in her previous works and maturing the sound of her music. Congratulations to you Rebecca, for making a beautiful album that stands out above the rest.