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Poets & Saints by All Sons And Daughters Poets & Saints by All Sons And Daughters
With first single "I Surrender" already released, Poets & Saints is set to release this September as All Sons & Daughters' fourth album. Leslie Jordan and...
Awaken by Christopher and Jennifer Awaken by Christopher and Jennifer
Christopher and Jennifer Hopper have been creating music and touring for over a decade, leading worship in North America, Latin America and Europe. They are beloved at festivals for their congregational...
Children of God by Phil Children of God by Phil
Phil Wickham has been a household name in the worship genre for years-- and for good reason. The California-raised singer/songwriter has released eight albums since 2003, with each album receiving well-earned...

Showing 11-20 of 13 | View Previous 10 Album and Book Reviews  
A Refreshing Masterpiece | Posted November-04-2015
Two years after 2013's Hurricane, Dove Award-winning Christian music veteran Natalie Grant is back with Be One. Natalie has delivered passionate and powerful songs since her debut in 1999. This album is a very personal reflection of how she still continues to grow every day in both her music and her personal life, as the perspective behind the title track was a key in Natalie overcoming depression in the last year.

Musically speaking, Be One takes a refreshing new route for Natalie, following a few of the current alt-pop trends-- but only the best ones. The uplifting beat consistent through much of the album is flawless, with songs like "Good Day," "Love Has Won" and "Never Miss A Beat" invoking the urge to get up and dance. There is also a slower and more emotional tempo in songs such as "King Of The World" and "Symphonies," providing something for everyone's tastes.

The two covers on this album, "Ever Be" (featuring Natalie's three daughters) and "Nothing But The Blood" (featuring Natalie's brother, Steve), are beautiful takes on a beloved worship song and a classic hymn. "Ever Be" feels as if it could almost be a live performance, which adds to the power of the song. "Nothing But The Blood" is ethereal and entirely acoustic with some lyrical alterations, taking the favorite hymn to a new level with its intricate guitar work and Steve's voice complementing his sister's.

Closing Thoughts:

Natalie Grant has always been a powerhouse, not just because of her incredible voice, but because of the nature of the songs she sings. This album is no different, and its raw honesty and polished, current musical style come together to create yet another masterpiece for Natalie. Be sure to pick up Be One on November 13th!

Song To Download Now:

"King Of The World" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Graceful Worship | Posted October-14-2015
Austin Stone Worship's website says "Worship is communal. Worship is collective. Worship is eternal. We exist to exalt the name of Jesus Christ here and now, always and forever." Truer words could not be spoken to describe this group of Austin, TX natives. The group is a worship collective based out of Austin Stone Community Church. Their latest release, This Glorious Grace, is a live worship album which perfectly reflects the heart of the church's worship ministry.

The group hits the ground running in this album with the opening song "Center My Life." The song is an upbeat cry to God, asking that He turn our eyes from the things of this world and teach our hearts to follow Him. The following track, titled "Trust," continues with a similar theme: trust in Jesus for all circumstances.

The third song on the album, "You Never Change," is a powerful change in pace for the album as the atmosphere shifts from excitement to passionate worship. This song is a declaration of the unchanging goodness of God: "You are my life, may You be lifted high / There is no other like Jesus Christ / You are my story, You're my everything / You are my glory, my God, and my King / You are my Rock, and You never change." The slowed-down style and consideration of God's goodness carries over into "You Are God And You Are Good." The song that follows, "Jesus True and Only," begins with a reminder of what Jesus suffered to rescue us from destruction, and is a shout of worship to Jesus for who He is.

"This Glorious Grace" is perfect as the title track of the album. It is easy to follow along with, but strong as a worship song praising God for His grace: "God, pour out Your grace, glorious grace / That I would be held by Your perfect embrace / I am undeserving, You are high and worthy / All of my praise for this glorious grace." In the following song, "Gracious Redeemer," we are met with a story all can relate to-- being lost in sin, only to be rescued by a Redeemer who made a way for our freedom and will return soon.

The final four songs on the album are Austin Stone Worship's masterful renditions of well-known worship songs. "How Deep The Father's Love For Us" is atmospheric in sound, and the slightly heightened tempo makes for a memorable version of this favorite. "Everything And Nothing Less" is an offering of one's entire self to God. The group's version of "Cornerstone" is familiar yet unique, and also a favorite in worship. The final song on the album, "It Is Well," closes out with the authoritative declaration from the well-known hymn: "And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight / The clouds be rolled back as a scroll / The drums shall resound, and the Lord shall descend / Even so, it is well with my soul."

Closing Thoughts:

The transition from leading worship in a home church as the worship ministry to being known as a worship group can be daunting, and Austin Stone Worship is crossing that bridge well. This Glorious Grace is a fantastic live worship album, and this is definitely not the last anyone will hear of Austin Stone Worship.

Song to Download Now:

"You Never Change" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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A Magnificent Shout Of Praise | Posted October-08-2015
Following the release of her live album Majestic in 2014, Grammy-nominated worship artist Kari Jobe kept going and never stopped. Kari announced her engagement to Cody Carnes in August of the same year, and the pair tied the knot that November. In summer 2015, they made two announcements: the couple was expecting their first child, and Kari would be releasing a studio album called Majestic: Revisited. The album was released on September 25, 2015, and featuring a beautifully unique, synth-and-strings studio take on 12 tracks from the original Majestic album.

Kari's heartfelt songwriting is meant to bring revelation of the power of God, and it achieves exactly that, as exemplified in "Let The Heavens Open." From the first lingering notes to the bridge and onward, this song sets an ambient but powerful worship perspective: "Let the heavens open / Let Your Kingdom move / All our faith and hope in / Our great God." The first track leads right into the second, "Keeper of My Heart," a proclamation of trust that God knows all things in our lives and has control over it all.

"Only Your Love" takes the album to a much more upbeat level as the dance-worthy worship song expresses awe over the love of God. The album slows back down with "Always Enough" before settling into "Breathe On Us," which adds a unique dubstep feel to the chorus while inviting the presence of God.

"Holy Spirit" is the only song on the album not written by Kari, but her rendition is so unique that it's captivating. The back-and-forth male-female vocals provided by Cody and Kari combine with the uniqueness of the song's structure to form a pleasantly different version of the song. "I Am Not Alone" opens into a musically atmospheric track, with the lyrics serving as a reminder that through the darkness, we are not alone-- God is with us. 

The atmospheric feel continues with "How Majestic Is Your Name" and "When You Walk In The Room." "Forever" is a powerful song in itself, and its new makeover adds a contemplative feel. "Hands To The Heavens" is another track inviting the presence of God, while "Lord Over All" closes out the album with praise and reassurance that He will rescue us if we trust Him.

Closing Thoughts:

Since her debut album sent her skyrocketing to the top of iTunes' Christian music chart in 2009, we have watched Kari grow from her already powerful stance as a worship leader into a truly spectacular worship artist. Her ability to sonically lead others into the presence of God is made evident in the ethereal nature of Majestic: Revisited. This album is a success as Kari provides a glimpse into her heart full of love for God, inviting us to worship with her in awe of His majesty.

Song To Download Now:

"Let The Heavens Open (Revisited)" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Showing 11-20 of 13 | View Previous 10 Album and Book Reviews  

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