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Power by We Are Messengers Power by We Are Messengers
What You Need To Know
Few bands have ever burst onto the scene with a captivating...
Rescue Story by Zach Rescue Story by Zach
What You Need To Know
Few artists have broken into the Christian music scene...
Steady (Single) by Rachael Steady (Single) by Rachael
What You Need To Know
A young new artist bursting into the Christian music scene...

Showing 1-10 of 194 |   View Next 10 Album and Book Reviews
A Powerful Sophomore Record | Posted January-22-2020
What You Need To Know

Few bands have ever burst onto the scene with a captivating mix of outstanding talent, bold honesty and a life-changing heart for ministry like We Are Messengers did with their 2016 debut. The band quickly garnered an overwhelming fanbase with their pop sound and encouraging lyrics, and they've been raising the bar for their fellow artists ever since, both in the quality music they're creating and the rare rapport they've been intentional about having with their listeners. Following their breakout debut album and recent Honest EP that pulled at the hearts of all who heard lead single "Maybe It's Okay," We Are Messengers now introduces the next chapter of their career with their long-awaited sophomore record, Power.



What It Sounds Like

As is paramount in any well-rounded album, Power features a well-balanced mix of upbeat pop anthems and emotion-heavy ballads. A band that knows how to execute both sides of their sound flawlessly, the infectious feel-good pop tracks ("I Need To Feel It," "Power," "Never Change Your Mind," "Love") offer a dose of empowerment for your faith, while the more laid-back feel in "Maybe It's Okay," "Home," "Never Stop Singing" and "Always You" offers a chance for reflection and worship. 



Spiritual Highlights

Something I've admired since day one about We Are Messengers is their dedication to being boldly honest and transparent with their music, always leveraged in such a way that listeners are encouraged and God is glorified. That same songwriting prowess is evident in every lyric of Power, perhaps best of all in lead single "Maybe It's Okay." With this and other songs, the band uses their platform to inspire vulnerability in all who hear it, while also drawing the attention back to Christ. 



Best Song on the Album 

While "Maybe It's Ok" is the obvious standout on this record for aforementioned reasons, most fans will already be familiar with that cut from their previous Honest EP. In light of the new tracks on this album, "Knock Me Down" is the frontrunner for the song I just can't take off repeat. The track is contagiously empowering, inviting a smile on your face and a spark of strength into your bones. A track that feels like it could soon be brought to life as part of a movie or television show soundtrack, the chorus boasts words of confidence: "You can put me in a cage but Imma bust right out / no, there's nothing gonna hold me."



For Fans Of

Unspoken, Jason Gray, Sanctus Real



Final Word

Simply put, Power shows We Are Messengers at the top of their game, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Few bands have mastered their high-quality balance of talent and heart, continually giving fans a place to find music that both encourages them and makes them feel understood. Power is another win for the Messengers crew, proving once again why they're one of the best groups in music today and why they have so quickly become a fan-favorite across the board. 



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A Storyline of Redemption | Posted November-23-2019
What You Need To Know

Few artists have broken into the Christian music scene quite as strongly as Zach Williams has in the last few years. His 2016 debut EP Chain Breaker, named for the hit single that started everything for Williams, promised nothing but good things ahead for the promising artist's career. Three years later, Williams has had an unprecedented breakout run, including multiple Grammy nominations, national TV appearances and millions of testimonies flooding in about the impact that his music has had on fans. With a southern rock style that captures your attention right off the bat and songs that declare a powerful message of redemption, Williams now returns for his long-awaited sophomore studio album, Rescue Story



What It Sounds Like

From the first time we heard Zach Williams on "Chain Breaker," his signature sound seemed to be already spoken for--a southern rock flare brought to the contemporary and worship fronts. Zach brings something unique to the Christian music realm with Rescue Story, shifting between power-packed anthems of faith ("Walk With You," "Rescue Story," "Stand Up," "Slave To Nothing") and passionate moments of worship ("There Was Jesus," "Under My Feet," "Heaven Help Me," "Face to Face"). Backed by flawless instrumentation, Rescue Story stands as a musical masterpiece as Zach's raspy vocal brings life to a group of brilliantly produced tracks that draw you in within seconds and refuse to let go until the very last note. 



Spiritual Highlights

Redemption and salvation in Christ has been an overarching theme in all of Zach's previous work, and Rescue Story continues that storyline with every track. With songs like "Rescue Story," "There Was Jesus" and "Baptized," Williams sings of his own rescue story. "Slave To Nothing," "Under My Feet" and "Walk With You" take a shot at the enemy as a reminder that we have victory through Christ, while "Heaven Help Me" and "Less Like Me" stand as prayers that listeners can adopt as their own.



Best Song on the Album

"There Was Jesus," a well-paired duet with country music icon Dolly Parton, shines as the highlight on this record. Zach and Dolly's voices blend flawlessly to create a powerful moment of praise that declares the saving grace and goodness of God: "Every minute, every moment / where I've been and where I'm going / even when I didn't know it or couldn't see it / there was Jesus."



For Fans Of

Carrollton, Crowder, Austin French, Unspoken 



Final Word

Most artists are just ramping up when it comes to their sophomore album--Zach Williams, however, has already had quite a career. For an artist with such an exceptional last year, Rescue Story is the follow-up album we all hoped it would be. A lyrical storyline of redemption couched in Zach's bold southern rock style that only matures with each new release makes for a well-rounded record through and through. Rescue Story proves to be one of the best albums of the year, further solidifying Zach's place as one of the leading artists in the genre today.

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A Steady Start | Posted October-25-2019
What You Need To Know

A young new artist bursting into the Christian music scene with her bubbly personality and positive tunes, Rachael Nemiroff is a Pennsylvania native and Nashville, Tennessee local with a passion for the Church and for encouraging people. A display of her heart and for both inspiring her listeners and praising the Lord, her new single "Steady" is the first of much new music in the works.



What It Sounds Like

Rachael's sound has roots in the singer/songwriter feel her buttery voice has always been right at home in, and "Steady" takes those roots and moves into a more pop/electronic energy that suits Nemiroff well. Stylistically, "Steady" perfectly walks the hard-to-find balance of being lyrically deep and encouraging while also keeping fans engaged with the enthusiastic sound and hooky melody.



Spiritual Highlights

"Steady" offers a message of trust in the Lord, even in times of difficulty and uncertainty. A song that claims the victory we have in Christ because of His faithfulness and sovereignty, the chorus declares: "In the middle of the night when my fears have come around, I'm not giving up the fight / You are always by my side / You are ever steady.



For Fans Of

Caitie Hurst, Holly Starr, LoveCollide, Tasha Layton



Final Word

Rachael Nemiroff has been releasing singles since early last year, and fans are catching on quickly to the treasure that is her positive personality and high-energy pop tracks. "Steady" is another wonderful addition to her catalogue, leaving listeners looking forward to more from an artist who is off to a strong start.





Buy "Steady" on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.


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Citizen Way At Their Best | Posted October-23-2019
What You Need To Know

A band whose career has told the story of God's faithfulness through both the ups and downs of life, Citizen Way has walked a long road to get to where they are now. Their 2013 debut offered hits "Should've Been Me" and "How Sweet The Sound," followed by 2016's sophomore project 2.0. Now six years after the band first took off, their third album Love Is A Lion marks a triumphant "victory lap" after emerging from what the guys describe as the hardest season of their lives. 



What It Sounds Like

Lead single "The Lord's Prayer" kicks off the album with the signature pop sound we've come to love from Citizen Way. High-energy tracks carried by catchy melodies ("The Hope Song," "Mountains," "Hallowed Be Thy Name," "WaveWalker") make up the bulk of this album, sharing space with a handful of powerful worship anthems ("Love Has Won," "God You Are Good," "Be Still"). The title track gives a good overview of Citizen Way's sound at its best--uplifting, dynamic, vibrant, and full of passion. 



Spiritual Highlights

No matter if the track falls into the category of high-energy or stays more laid-back, one thing that remains constant is the way each moment offers Biblical truth and encouragement. An overarching theme of hope in times of difficulty appears throughout the album ("The Hope Song," "Peace Like A River," "Mountains"), alongside songs of praise to God for His goodness and love ("God You Are Good," "Love Is A Lion," "Love Has Won"). 



Best Song on the Album 

An album overflowing with strong cuts, the title track comes out on top as the best song on Love Is A Lion. Captivating listeners sonically from the very first seconds, this track keeps my attention and leaves me wishing for more. A chorus that will no doubt get stuck in your head after only one play, the song declares: "Doesn't matter what comes against us / our victory is in the name of Jesus / love is a lion." 



For Fans Of

The Afters, Sidewalk Prophets, Matthew West



Final Word

Citizen Way is no stranger to creating music that hits home with listeners, but I expect Love Is A Lion will take that resonance with fans to a whole new level. The strongest batch of songs we've ever heard from them, this album is a mile marker of growth and victory for Citizen Way and is a snapshot of the band at their very best. 





Buy Love Is A Lion on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.


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The Story Continues | Posted September-23-2019
What You Need To Know

Few artists in Christian music have a story quite as heart-breakingly painful, yet beautifully hopeful as Jeremy Camp. After losing his first wife to cancer nearly two decades ago, the songs born from that experience breathed hope into listeners walking through their own dark seasons and became the hits that shaped his career. While Jeremy has since seen much redemption in his life, a message his music has continued to proclaim is one of relentless hope, even on the hardest days. This year is one of sharing that message more boldly than ever before for Camp, with a film hitting screens early next year based on his life story and the release of his twelfth studio album The Story's Not Over.



What It Sounds Like

Once an artist staying strongly in touch with his rock roots, Jeremy's style has evolved over the years into one that now leans more into the high-energy pop anthems realm--and we love it. So many of the songs on The Story's Not Over find their place in this category: "Only You Can," "Still Alive," "Dead Man Walking," "Indestructible Soul" and the title track, among others. As fans have come to expect from any Camp album, The Story's Not Over has its fair share of power ballads too: "Father," "Out Of My Hands" and "Wilderness." Sonically, a highlight on the album is Jeremy's collab with hip-hop duo Social Club Misfits, "You Don't."



Spiritual Highlights

Something that's always drawn listeners to Jeremy's music is his ability to not just tell a story in a song, but to tell a story of hope, encouragement and the Gospel--that's never been more true than it is with the collection of songs on The Story's Not Over. Every lyric of these eleven tracks brings the focus back to Christ, through reminders of His faithfulness ("Wilderness," "The Story's Not Over," "Still Alive," "Out of My Hands"), His grace in our lives ("Should've Been Me," "Dead Man Walking") and who He is to His children ("You Don't," "Only You Can," "Father"). 



Best Song on the Album 

Every track is power--packed and makes for an enjoyable listen beginning to end, but one that I keep finding on repeat is "Keep Me In The Moment." A song that asks for God's help to stay in the present and not get caught up in the future, the tune pairs a hard-hitting melody with lyrics that listeners will no doubt adopt as their own prayer: "Oh Lord, keep me in the moment / help me live with my eyes wide open 'cause I don't want to miss what You have for me / oh Lord, show me what matters / throw away what I'm chasing after 'cause I don't want to miss what You have for me."



For Fans Of

Matthew West, Tenth Avenue North, MercyMe



Final Word

Jeremy has been transparent in freely and boldly sharing his story with listeners for nearly two decades now, and Christian music is better for it. All these years later, he continues to bring an authenticity and passion to music that few others have matched. With songs that will uplift and encourage your heart, Jeremy uses this album to help you declare that, no matter what hard season you're up against, you can walk on in faith because The Story's Not Over yet.

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A Testimony of Praise | Posted September-12-2019
What You Need To Know

For the Big Daddy Weave crew, ministry is more than what they do--it's who they are. At the core of the band is a heart that authentically and passionately purses Christ and invites all who listen to join in. For nearly two decades now, that spirit has invaded every song and led to Big Daddy Weave becoming a leader in the worship genre with countless powerful anthems and live shows that leave an unforgettable impact. After a difficult past few years that have included severe sickness, heartbreaking diagnoses and a lot of loss for the band and their families, their tenacious faith is encompassed in the newest record, When The Light Comes, that declares God's goodness through it all. 



What It Sounds Like

In a mixture that has become signature for Big Daddy Weave, this record is split between feel-good pop anthems and emotionally-charged declarations of worship. "This Is What We Live For," "Turn On The Light," "What I've Got," and "Alive" bring the energy up while delivering power-packed lyrics, as moving yet reverent "All Things New," "I Know," "The Name of Jesus," and "Your Love Changes Everything" offer thought-provoking themes that invite listeners into a time of worship. 



Spiritual Highlights

As with every Big Daddy Weave project, the whole of this record points back to Jesus and focuses on ministry. With tracks that center on purpose in life ("This Is What We Live For," "I Want To Tell The World") and the power of Jesus at work in us ("What I've Got," "Alive," and "Your Love Changes Everything"), When The Light Comes will leave you feeling encouraged in your faith. Much of the record was written while the band walked through a series of deep difficulties, and their persistent faith in the midst of those trials is reflected in tracks "Turn On The Light," "I Know," "All Things New," and "The Name of Jesus." 



Best Song on the Album

One of the many powerful moments mentioned above, "I Know" is the kind of life-changing declaration that comes from clinging to authentic faith in the midst of intense suffering. If there were one song that sums up the heartbeat of this record--declaring the goodness of God despite life's challenges and disappointments--this is it. "Though my eyes have never seen You, I've seen enough to say, 'I Know that You are good, I know that You are kind, I know that You are so much more than what I leave behind," the chorus proclaims. 



For Fans Of

Casting Crowns, Sanctus Real, MercyMe



Final Word

When The Light Comes encapsulates the mission that we've seen from the very beginning of Big Daddy Weave's career--sharing declarations of faith for those in all walks of life. Regardless of what you're dealing with in your current season of life, you'll find some truth in these songs to carry you through and spur you on. When The Light Comes is another win for the Big Daddy Weave crew, standing as a true testimony to what it looks like to faithfully worship through the darkness of life and come out on the other side with a revived praise. 

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A Master Storyteller | Posted August-07-2019
What You Need To Know

One thing that has always set Jason Gray apart from the rest of the CCM community is his exceptional way to tell an authentic, honest story within three minutes of a song that leaves you feeling seen and known. That gift has been present in Jason's music from the very beginning of his career, but has continued to get bolder and brighter with every new project. The next release in that series comes as a trilogy, each part unfolding to tell the story of Order, Disorder and Reorder. Each piece a five-song journey that digs deeper into the story, Gray kicks off the series with Order



What It Sounds Like

Sonically varying from Jason's last release that saw him branch out to a more pop vibe in an EP partnered with producer/son Kipper Gray, Order finds Jason back at his singer/songwriter roots, while still keeping elements of the contemporary pop sound that has garnered him much radio success. A re-worked "Becoming" (originally from the Kipper Gray Sessions EP) opens the album, inviting the hopeful sound that has become signature in Jason's music. "Maker of Mornings" and "Wonder" stay upbeat, running into lead single "I'm Gonna Let It Go," the feel-good anthem of the summer that is sure to get you moving. 



Spiritual Highlights

The whole of this project centers around the process of Order, Disorder, Reorder-- that is, that we are constantly being remade and redeemed, even through the things that break our hearts, because we have a Father who will do whatever He has to to make us look more like Him. That idea can be found weaving itself through each song, notably: "Becoming," which acknowledges the painful process of becoming the person you want to be, "Maker Of Mornings," which roots us in the truth that we are loved by the Creator of all, regardless of where we're at in our journey of becoming, and "I'm Gonna Let It Go," which encourages listeners to loosen their grip of control and allow God to take charge of the becoming process. 



Best Song on the Album

Every song on Order is noteworthy, but the pop melodies, catchy hook and fun gang vocals on "Wonder" make it a track you'll find difficult to keep off repeat. "Fill me up / fill me up with the wonder / give me a childlike heart / God, help me rediscover how wonderful You are," the song prays in longing for a spiritual awakening and childlike faith. 



For Fans Of

Andrew Peterson, Unspoken, Tenth Avenue North



Final Word

Heard clearly in the outline of the project as a whole, then detailed in every song that takes us along the storyline of Order, Disorder, Reorder, every new release seems to scream it a little louder-- Jason Gray is a master storyteller. With two more pieces of this story still to come, Order sets the stage beautifully and stands tall as Jason continues to raise the bar for songwriters and artists everywhere. 

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A Bold New Direction | Posted July-28-2019
What You Need To Know

Never a band to stay stagnant, Tenth Avenue North has come a long way since their debut album released just over a decade ago. With five successfully impactful studio albums behind them, Tenth Avenue North recently found themselves in a season of transition, carefully crafting the message of what they wanted to say next. The result of that season is No Shame, an offering that finds the band tackling more vulnerable topics than ever with a newfound boldness and refreshing sense of freedom.



What It Sounds Like

For longtime Tenth Avenue North listeners, No Shame may take some getting used to, as it sees the band move into a sonic direction we haven't heard from them before. The new sound grabs your attention, adding an extra punch to the hard-hitting lyrics found on the record, especially on tracks "Someone To Talk To," "Paranoia" (which feels reminiscent of "We Won't Numb The Pain" from their 2014 Cathedrals album), "Call My Name," "Reaching" and the title track (featuring The Young Escape). It wouldn't be a Tenth Avenue North record without the thought-provoking worship ballads, though, and the band delivers on that front with lead single "Greater Than All My Regrets," as well as  "Space To Speak" and "Always Been You." 



Spiritual Highlights

I've been a Tenth Avenue North fan from the very beginning, largely because of their willingness to talk about hard topics with grace and boldness–while their sound may be changing, that much hasn't wavered. With a sense of freedom and honesty we haven't heard quite like this, Tenth tackles the issue of shame by offering songs that speak of the forgiveness found in Christ ("Greater Than All My Regrets," "No Shame") and the power found in community ("Someone To Talk To"). 



Best Song on the Album

One of several songs on No Shame that combines the best of Tenth's staple sound that we all know and love with the best elements of this new project, "Heaven Is Now" offers a message of living in the fullness of Heaven's power right now on earth. "Let your kingdom come here in my heart / let me be the place where Heaven starts," the song prays. 



For Fans Of

Switchfoot, MercyMe, Matthew West 



Final Word

Through both high-energy tracks and softer moments, No Shame uses every single second to deliver high-quality content that will leave you thinking more deeply about your relationship with God and your relationships with others. To the credit of a band who continues to evolve and mature their sound and from the production to the songwriting, every element of this album screams "well done." We've never heard Tenth Avenue North like this before–and it's well worth the listen. 





Find No Shame on Spotify or Apple Music


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Unspoken At Their Very Best | Posted June-18-2019
What You Need To Know:

From the opening seconds of their debut album in 2014, Unspoken captured my attention--and they haven't lost it since. A band who has crafted a unique blend of soulful pop and heartfelt worship, Unspoken has long been a fan favorite at radio with hits like "Who You Are," "Good Fight," and recently, "Just Give Me Jesus." Continuing to raise the bar with each new release, the guys in Unspoken are back at it again with their first full-length project in three years, Reason



What It Sounds Like:

One thing is for sure-- though Unspoken has found their signature sound with soulful pop vibes and aren't straying from it anytime soon, every record is still fresh thanks to creative and fun sounds. Songs like "Can't Even Love Myself," "Already Won," "Human Condition," and "Never Would've Made It" showcase those sonically-intriguing elements, while "Let It Be Love," "If We Only Knew," "You've Always Been" and "Wasted Time" all tap into gospel and soul influences. 



Spiritual Highlights:

With the themes of this record being born from seasons of hardship and trial for the band, every song carries a message that points back to the goodness of God. The importance of love is discussed in "Let It Be Love" and the title track, while the value of grace in our lives is brought up in "Human Condition" and "Mistakes." "You've Always Been" focuses on the faithfulness of God, and radio hit "Just Give Me Jesus" is a beautiful declaration of longing for the Lord above all else. 



Best Song on the Album:

There are so many songs on Reason that could take the number one spot when picking favorites (a testimony to the high quality of this album), but the one that consistently rises to the top for me is "Help Is On The Way." The song is Unspoken at their very best, with it's energetic pop tendencies and hope-filled message of redemption: "You are not alone / all of Heaven's on your side / every prayer is heard / your rescue's coming just in time.



For Fans Of:

Sidewalk Prophets, The Afters, Building 429



Final Word:

With each passing release over the last few years, Unspoken has hit nothing but home runs--and Reason is no different. Their ever-evolving sound still captures my attention within seconds of a song beginning, and the lyrical content is as impactful as ever, wrapping timely messages of encouragement and praise inside melodies you'll have a hard time getting out of your head. Unspoken continues to be one of the most remarkably strong and consistently high quality bands CCM has to offer listeners, and Reason sees them at the very top of their game.





Buy Reason on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.


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A Promising Follow-Up | Posted June-14-2019
What You Need To Know:

With a passion for music that traces all the way back to her childhood, new artist Teressa Mahoney has been a singer/songwriter for most of her life. After taking a brief hiatus to raise her family, Teressa returned to the music scene in 2017 with her indie/folk debut album Made New. Now, two years later, Mahoney offers her highly-anticipated sophomore follow-up, Beyond



What It Sounds Like:

Imagine the vivid storytelling qualities of Andrew Peterson's songwriting, the tender passion of Audrey Assad's piano melodies, and the soft sweetness of JJ Heller's voice all colliding together--that gives you a good preview of what you'll hear from Beyond. With her captivating voice and style, Teressa is sure to draw your attention within seconds of pressing play on this album. 



Spiritual Highlights:

From singing Scripture in "Restore (Psalm 23)" to a breathtaking look at the story of Abraham and Isaac in "Let Go," Beyond visits spiritual topics in creative, moving ways. Teressa dives further into Scripture with "Save Me O God (Psalm 69)" and the benediction of sorts found in "As You Go" that borrows from Philippians 1:3. 



Best Song on the Album:

"Restore (Psalm 23)" is a highlight on Beyond, both for its peaceful, lullaby-like melody and the beautiful way Teressa weaves the promises of the well-known Psalm into a singable declaration. 



For Fans Of:

Andrew Peterson, Audrey Assad, JJ Heller



Final Word:

With a sound that is beautifully reminiscent of the aforementioned artists yet ultimately it's own creation, Beyond feels both familiar and brand new, in all the best ways. An album that fills the space of both storytelling and scripture-speaking, Beyond is a promising addition to Teressa Mahoney's discography. 





Buy Beyond on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.


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