Cherry Hills Worship
Cherry Hills Worship The folks from Cherry Hills Community church hail from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Their self-titled debut release Cherry Hills Worship is a collection of 13 original songs of worship to God. The...
Living in a Coffee World
Tim Tim Lovelace is a multi-talented, award nominated artist. He can work the keys, strum the strings, tickle funny bones and inspire souls. On May 7, 2017 he recorded his first release with StowTown Records...
Fresh Church Songs | Posted October-18-2017
The folks from Cherry Hills Community church hail from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Their self-titled debut release Cherry Hills Worship is a collection of 13 original songs of worship to God. The Cherry Hills worship team strives to reminder listeners of the power of God who is working in our midst, even when we do not recognize His hand.
"Stronger than the Grave" opens the album with a potent reminder of what Jesus did and continues to do for us. If the not even the grave could hold Him, what is stopping Him from being strong enough to meet our needs? Continuing in that theme is "Rest," a call for listeners to fall on Jesus in the hard times so that they can experience His peace and rest.
The Bottom Line: Upbeat and contemplative, the songs on Cherry Hills Worship definitely sound like something you'd hear in a contemporary church service Sunday morning. Overall, the album is centered around the message that God is there when we need Him, if we just call on His name.
Song to Download Now:
"Stronger Than the Grave" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Comedy with a Heart | Posted October-06-2017
Tim Lovelace is a multi-talented, award nominated artist. He can work the keys, strum the strings, tickle funny bones and inspire souls. On May 7, 2017 he recorded his first release with StowTown Records at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Living in a Coffee World is a combination of his many talents that will make you laugh until you cry, tap your toe and nod in agreement.
For all the coffee lovers of the world, Tim talks (and sings) about what makes the United States tick: coffee and sugar. He also sings a hilarious song about why tomatoes taste different than they used to. Face it, things just aren't as good as they were back in the old days!
The most impactful message Tim relates to listeners comes during "Black Belt to Black Eye Anti-Bullying Talk." He tells a story about a kid who bullied him when he was in elementary school. The story is quite funny, but at the end it gets serious when he calls everyone, especially kids in school, to do something about the bullying that goes on today. He ends the message with the most important words some people will ever hear: "Do not give up on hope. You are valuable, and God made you for a special reason."
The Bottom Line: If you like Mark Lowry, try Tim Lovelace. Not only is he funny, he's got a powerful message.
Song to Download Now:
"Black Belt to Black Eye Anti-Bullying Talk" (Get it on iTunes here.)
A Lot to Love | Posted August-11-2017
Mark Lowry is known in the Southern Gospel genre for being the hilarious yet sincere baritone for Gaither Vocal Band (and for having a hand in writing the beloved Christmas song "Mary, Did You Know"). In 2015, Lowry was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon those who have profoundly impacted Christian music. There is no debate that Lowry's work, in both music and comedy, has made a lasting impression on listeners of all ages. His latest release from Daywind Records, What's Not To Love?, is no exception. This 12-track album with songs co-written by Lowry, Reba Rambo-McGuire and Dony McGuire conveys the message of Christ's love in signature Lowry fashion.
Title track "What's Not To Love" asks that very question about God's grace. God sent His Son to die for us even though we didn't deserve it. How can anyone not love that through Jesus' sacrifice we are able to be adopted into God's family? "What's Not To Love" is a fun, upbeat take on the awesomeness of what God has done for us from the very beginning.
Everyone goes through hard times, some harder than others. "Feels Like I'm Already There" is a song for those who are broken and feel like they can't go on. Sometimes all we can do is hit our knees and cry out to God that we can't do it anymore. In this prayer of brokenness, Lowry sings the words that many people feel on a daily basis: "Said you wouldn't give me more than I can bear. Lord, it feels like I'm already there."
"So You Will Know How To Pray" sounds like a show tune. There's a splash of humor mixed in with the vital message that prayer, done the right way, is important. It paves the way for Lowry to sing "Mama Prayed," a song in which he talks about the impact a mother's prayer has on her children. We may not see mountain-moving results, but that doesn't mean our prayers aren't working.
The Bottom Line: What's Not To Love? is a vitally important message of God's love and grace. Lowry's newest release is thought-provoking and moving, with little splashes of his signature humor along the way.
Song to Download Now:
"So You Will Know How To Pray" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Ballads of Hope | Posted June-14-2017
Brian Free of Brian Free and Assurance is known for his powerful ballads. After 23 years of amazing work, Daywind Records and Brian Free have released a compilation of the most requested ballads throughout his career. These 12 songs have touched many lives, and they're now on one album to reach even more people for Christ.
"Calvary's Cry" is one example of Brian's message of love and hope, showing that although some people think that what happened back in Bible times doesn't apply to life today, the sacrifice Jesus made for everyone when He died on the cross still applies. What was done on Calvary was done out of love and grace for us, and it's the only way to be saved. As Jesus said, He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that is exactly why "He Still Saves."
When we read the stories of the Bible, stories about seas parting, people being thrown into a fire and not being burned or walking on water, some of them seem unbelievable. "I Believe" should be the cry of every believer because it culminates in affirming that even the most miraculous story, that of Jesus' death and resurrection, is true.
Everyone in life goes through hard times. "He Will Carry You" is a song for the hurting, reminding us that we don't have to be the ones to put things back together. You may not be enough, but "He will be your strength when your strength is gone."
The Bottom Line: You might be thinking that all ballads are cheesy and emotional, but Brian Free's Signature Ballads flies in the face of ballad expectations. Every single track is the complete opposite of cheesy, even while being emotionally compelling. The lyrics by themselves are amazing reminders of God's goodness and love, but when combined with the stellar vocals and accompaniment, these ballads blow you away. Tissues are optional, but highly recommended.
Powerful Songs of Hope | Posted April-21-2017
Joseph Habedank hasn't always been a solo artist. In 2003, Joseph joined The Perrys as their new baritone after Curt Davis resigned. Three years later, he became the lead vocalist of the group. Joseph stunned fans in 2013 when he announced that he was stepping down from his position. After a battle with prescription drug addiction, Joseph released a very personal first solo album titled Welcome Home, a project which earned him Singing News Magazine's New Soloist of the Year award in 2014. Not only is Joseph Habedank an accomplished vocalist, he is also a talented songwriter, and he helped write two #1 nationally charting songs. His latest release Resurrection is more proof that he not only knows what he's doing, but he does it with a passion to reach people for Christ.
With ear-catching, attention-grabbing orchestration, Habedank opens the album with "Here He Comes." The song is a 4 minute and 17 second summary of the life of Christ. From His birth in Bethlehem to His second coming, "Here He Comes" is a song of hope and expectation that Christians around the world can relate to. In case anyone say that they can't relate because they've messed up too many times, Habedank's "Just When You Thought" that addresses that very thing. Written from his unique perspective, "Just When You Thought" reminds listeners that Jesus loves them too much to turn His back on them.
If anyone wonders just how much Jesus loves them, "I Love You (From An Old Rugged Cross)" paints a touching picture of that love. The lyrics "I gave all I had to give and it was worth the cost, to say I love you from an old rugged cross" make for a goosebump-worthy and tear-inducing chorus, especially when combined with the accompaniment and Habedank's strong vocals. From an old rugged cross to an empty grave, "Long Live the King" closes out the album with a song fit for Easter morning. The end track is a victorious anthem for Christians to sing until He returns.
The Bottom Line: Resurrection is a stunning album of hope. Joseph Habedank writes from a unique place of vulnerability that makes his songs that much more powerful. If you want a great summary of the Gospel in music form, Resurrection is a great place to start. There is no doubt that this album will reach people who can relate to, or are inspired by, Joseph's story.
Song to Download Now:
"I Love You (From An Old Rugged Cross)" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Worship with a Pop Flair | Posted March-22-2017
It's been five years since the world was presented with an album from Christian pop icon Jaci Velasquez. In that time, she's been busy being a wife, mom and radio host, just to name a few of her many hats. Jaci is a woman of many talents, and her new album Trust is just more proof of that. Trust is not only her first solely worship album, it's also her first album to be released in English and Spanish at the same time (its counterpart is Confío).
We all go through struggles and trials in life, and Jaci has let the world know with her newest release exactly who has sustained her during some of the dark days of her own life. Jaci has shared from her own experience just how important it is to know that God is the one in control. When her oldest son was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, it was a time when her own faith and trust were tested. It is out of those days of learning that Trust was formed.
"Trust You" kicks off the album by lifting up praise to God for always being there with us no matter what, an anthem for those going through trials. He is the "God Who Moves the Mountains" in our lives. When we're broken and call on Him, all He asks of us is to trust Him, because He's capable of changing those things we can't.
In those hard moments, sometimes we come to realize that one of our mountains is just being too busy. Jaci sings "Rest" from a place of vulnerability. As any parent knows, sometimes there are days where you're just on the go constantly. Unfortunately, those can be the days where we don't take the time to pray or spend time with God. "Rest" is not only a reminder for us, but a prayer to God to help us remember to take the time to just stop and rest in Him.
The Bottom Line: Jaci has done a spectacular job sharing her heart with the world through her album Trust. Her honesty shines through her music, and her willingness to listen when God prompted her to go in a new direction are what make for a stunning work to add to her collection. God will do big things through Jaci's newest work.
Song to Download Now:
"God Who Moves Mountains" (Get it on iTunes here.)
The New Face of Worship | Posted February-28-2017
Fearless BND is the face of worship at Fearless L.A. Grown out of a desire to provide quality material for pastors and worship leaders nationwide, Fearless BND has released a number of singles leading up to the much-anticipated full-length album release We Are Fearless. If you are expecting the mellow, hymn-like praise and worship that is common in many churches, you will be surprised to hear something totally different from Fearless.
The name of Fearless L.A. church is based on an A.W. Tozer quote that talks about the world needing a fearless church. It is no surprise, then, that there is a track titled "We Are Fearless." It talks about Jesus dying in our place so that as we follow Him, we can live fearless lives. God will guide us, and because of that we can walk in confidence and victory-- and dance a little bit along the way.
"Revival" is a prayer for renewal of the flame for God in our lives. We have so much stuff in our lives that stifles the flame. Our prayer should be something like the one presented in "Revival," that God would give us the strength to move beyond our idols and fill us with holy fire in their place.
As a whole, We Are Fearless is something one would expect to hear in a dance club, which is actually rather appropriate since Fearless L.A. meets in a popular nightclub. Despite being less hymn-like and more club, the message remains the same: God loves you and wants you to come to Him, Jesus is victorious, and when we come to Him, we can be fearless.
The Bottom Line: Catchy, with the age-old Gospel message embedded firmly within: without a doubt, We Are Fearless will reach those who wouldn't think to step foot in a "traditional" church.
Quiet Power | Posted February-08-2017
Often times, the most powerful praise and worship is in the most simple songs. The album may not be a huge production, and all the lyrics may not talk specifically about God, but the message behind it all is what makes it praise and worship. Joe Deegan has nailed this concept. Basic instrumentation, solid vocals and someone willing to give him a chance are all he needs to make an impact with his new release Cover & Title Page.
"Hosea" is a spectacular summary of the Biblical account, but underneath that there is the message that God loves people. Even if they walk away, they are still deeply loved by Him who would send His own Son as a sacrifice for them. "The Monotony of Love" and "Land of Memory" are touching songs about family that remind listeners just how precious their loved ones really are. "Further Up and Further In" brings to mind C.S. Lewis as it references a chapter title in The Last Battle. The song really parallels not only the Narnia novel, but the Bible as a whole. Our stories here on earth are incomplete; our lives here are just a chapter of the whole. Even after we have gone "Further Up and Further In" to eternity, the grand story of our lives is not over.
The Bottom Line: If you like Jars of Clay, do not miss Joe Deegan. His music is simple but powerful in a way that not even the most expensive polishing and producing can buy.
Contemplative Worship | Posted November-30-2016
Jean Watson is no stranger to the trials and triumphs of life. What sets her apart is her humble attitude towards it all. Her goal is to live a life of worship as a witness to others, no matter where she is. Her new album Wonder not only showcases her unique style, but also does a spectacular job ushering listeners into worship.
The title track "Wonder" is a striking reminder that God is deserving of all the awe and wonder we can possibly have. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He does things that are incomprehensible to human minds, and He makes us stand in awe at what He has done. The lyrics are beautifully simple and set the stage for worship.
A number of tracks on the album are solely instrumental. Jean Watson is an amazingly talented violinist, and these tracks let her playing shine. "St. Peter's Warmsworth in D Minor" is beautiful, one of those songs you could have playing quietly during daily prayer or Bible reading. "Cooley's Reel" is very Celtic/Irish in sound and another brilliant take on her violin ability. "Czardas" clearly demonstrates the amazing skill required to play the violin like Jean Watson does.
"It Is Well" is a dazzlingly written and performed piece that incorporates pieces of the old hymn. The message is the same: no matter what is happening in life, when we look to God through it, we can say "it is well." The lyrics, once again, are simple but perfect.
As a whole, this worship album is less about being big and showy and more about taking the time to be quiet and let God really be able to speak in the stillness. If you're into Celtic music, violin or just plain great quiet time music, this is it.
The Bottom Line: Jean Watson's Wonder is calm and soothing music to usher you into worship. She is a big talent being used for God's glory.
Song to Download Now:
"St. Peter's Warmsworth in D Minor" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Truth of Christmas | Posted October-31-2016
Worship leader Christy Nockels is no stranger to sharing the truth about who God is through her involvement with the Passion movement. The Christmas season is an especially wonderful time to do that, and how better than her first solo Christmas album? With a little help from fans through pre-orders and other purchases on her website, Christy Nockels was able to bring a dream to life. The Thrill of Hope is a beautiful Christmas album with a mix of old classics and touching originals.
Christmas albums usually come with a fairly obvious track list, drawing on beloved classics that no album is complete without. What makes a Christmas album really standout is not only how the artist transforms the classics, but what original pieces they bring to the mix. Christy Nockels did a tremendous job mixing the old with the new and coming up with a cohesive blend to usher in the holiday season.
Opening the album is "The King is Coming Prelude." There is no better way to usher people into the Christmas spirit than by reminding them why Christmas is special. Jesus's coming as a baby to accomplish mind-blowing things is worth rejoicing over, and the wonderfully Celtic sounds of "Dance at Migdal Eder" capture that sentiment. Migdal Eder is mentioned in the Bible as being near present-day Bethlehem. If you're wondering why would there be a dance at Migdal Eder, Micah 4:8 is thought to be a prophetic revelation that Jesus's birth would be revealed from that very place. We know the angels sang when they announced the birth to the shepherds. The shepherds may well have danced when they heard the news!
Those same shepherds were in charge of setting apart the sacrificial lambs, and "Wrap This One Up" celebrates that Jesus was the final, spotless sacrificial Lamb. From His birth in a lowly manger to His final breath on the cross, He is the King who defeated death and will reign forever. His mother may not have fully realized just how special He was when she wrapped Him up, but looking back we can see the significance.
The Bottom Line: Without Jesus coming to earth, we would have no reason to dance and rejoice. The classics and Christy's original songs blend together on The Thrill of Hope to remind listeners in a powerful way just how important Christ is.