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Haven't Seen It Yet by Danny Haven't Seen It Yet by Danny
What You Need To Know
When Danny...
Honest EP by We Are Messengers Honest EP by We Are Messengers
What You Need To Know 
A group that has more than made their mark on the...
Warrior by Natasha Warrior by Natasha
What You Need To Know
The songs that you hear from Natasha...

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The Best Yet | Posted April-12-2019
What You Need To Know

When Danny Gokey broke through in 2014 with his debut single "Hope In Front of Me," the CCM community knew something special was happening. With a deeply personal story of finding hope and healing after a season of loss and heartbreak, Danny's passion for his music from day one has been to spread that message of hope with others walking through their own seasons of difficulty. The Grammy-nominated artist has well accomplished that goal over the last five years with songs like the aforementioned "Hope In Front of Me," "Tell Your Heart To Beat Again," "More Than You Think I Am," "Rise," "Masterpiece," and more. Now with his highly-anticipated fifth studio album Haven't Seen It Yet, Gokey continues to offer his signature encouragement with heartfelt ballads and high-energy tunes that come together to create his best record yet. 



What It Sounds Like

It wouldn't be a Danny Gokey album if we didn't have both the uptempo dance jams that are perfect for those windows-down feel-good kind of days ("New Day," "Craziest Thing," "Fighter") and the heart-gripping tracks that hit us right in the feels and give us a good cry ("Haven't Seen It Yet," "Wanted," "Better Because Of It," "More Than I Could Be"). Gokey has obviously found a sound (or combination of sounds, rather) that works for him, and while he doesn't stray far from what we've heard sonically on past records, he finds innovative ways to keep it sounding fresh, creative and new. 



Spiritual Highlights

This whole album is one huge dose of encouragement--per usual for anything we hear from Gokey. He truly has a gift for creating quality music that also carries messages of great significance. From reminders of the importance of love ("Love God Love People") to moments that spur you on in your faith ("Finish Strong") and a call to just be yourself ("No Pressure"), the topics on this album cover a wide variety of struggles. The overarching theme though, as it has been in past releases, is hope in times of suffering. From the bold declarations of the title track to the positive outlook of "Better Because Of It" and the profound motivation in "Fighter," these songs are anthems for anyone walking through a season of hurt.



Best Song on the Album

There are so many home-run songs on Haven't Seen It Yet, but when it comes to picking the standout moment, I just can't get away from the title track. With its confident promise of better things still to come, it feels like a brilliant follow-up to "Hope In Front Of Me" as it infuses captivating hope into every lyric: "You're closer than you think you are / only moments from the break of dawn / all His promises are just up ahead / maybe you just haven't seen it yet.



For Fans Of

Jordan Feliz, Matthew West, Mandisa



Final Word

From his powerhouse vocal skills to the masterful production and chart-topping songwriting, Danny Gokey just never stops getting better. Hope In Front of Me was a remarkable debut album, followed by the equally noteworthy release of Rise, proving that Danny continues to raise the bar with each new offering-- Haven't Seen It Yet continues that trend and presents itself as his best work to date. A must-listen for anyone in need of an album to soundtrack a difficult season with encouragement, Haven't Seen It Yet is yet another winner from one of the most hope-filled artists in music today. 

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Authenticity At Its Best | Posted March-26-2019
What You Need To Know 

A group that has more than made their mark on the CCM community since their 2016 debut, We Are Messengers has become known for their powerful live show, vulnerable ministry, and life-changing authenticity. Fronted by former The Remission Flow member Darren Mulligan, the desire to offer listeners something real has played a vital role in We Are Messengers' music from the very beginning. Three years after radio hit "Everything Comes Alive" shot them to an unexpected place as leaders in their genre, Darren and the crew are back with new music that declares God's healing, freedom, and nearness through an EP with a title that clearly states what their entire career has been about: being Honest



What It Sounds Like

The bold pop/rock sound that quickly became signature for We Are Messengers is present in every bit of the six tracks on Honest. Energetic moments that will keep you moving make their appearance in the first notes of the opening title track, flowing over into rock-influenced "The Devil Is A Liar" and electronic-vibed "Gold and Glory." A We Are Messengers record wouldn't be complete without a few emotion-stirring ballads, and that's exactly what we get in the remaining half of the EP with laid-back "Abide," a heart-cry for intimacy with God, followed by a moving message to Darren's wife in "Wolves," and finally beautifully transparent lead single "Maybe It's Okay." 



Spiritual Highlights

Everything about this EP points us back to the truth of scripture and a God who desires honesty in our relationships, both with Him ("Abide," "Maybe It's Okay") and with others ("Honest," "Wolves"). With bold challenges about choosing the glory of God over the treasures of this world ("Gold and Glory") and declarations that shed light on the enemy's schemes ("The Devil Is A Liar"), Honest captures the perfect balance of being personally relatable while still being vertically worshipful. 



Best Song on the Album

For an EP carrying the title of Honest, "Maybe It's Okay" is everything the community of music-lovers longing for something boldly genuine needed it to be. A radio hit that's been impacting the lives of thousands of listeners since its release last fall, the song offers a safe space for people to admit that they are broken and hurting, backed by a chorus that promises the resounding truth of God's grace: "Maybe it's okay if I'm not okay 'cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me.



For Fans Of

Jordan Feliz, Unspoken, Tauren Wells 



Final Word

For a Christian music culture that wrestles with vulnerability and desires something real in the songs they sing along with, Honest is authenticity at it's best. These six tracks are packed with the truths of Scripture and wrapped in encouragement for the weary listener who longs to be seen, heard, and ministered to. This EP goes above and beyond in accomplishing its mission to be Honest, and yet again proves that We Are Messengers are in a class of their own when it comes to crafting music that is both carefully genuine and creatively brilliant. 



Buy Honest on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.


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A Story of Perseverance | Posted March-25-2019
What You Need To Know

The songs that you hear from Natasha Owens are born from a journey that has held both great joy and great sorrow. With her debut album, I Made It Through, she chronicled the devastating loss of her father, the crippling depression that held her in the aftermath, and the hope she found as Jesus led her to emotional healing through music ministry. Award-winning We Will Rise, a sophomore release that offered soaring encouragement in times of hardship, followed in 2017. With a lot of life behind her since her last release, including a near-death experience during a diagnostic procedure, Natasha is taking her story of overcoming hope and sharing it in her third full-length album, carried by a title that sums up the artist perfectly--Warrior



What it Sounds Like

Warrior, as suggested by its name, sounds triumphant from the opening notes of "Escape." With upbeat moments that offer melodic encouragement ("Warrior," "Race To Be Run," "Get Behind Me") alongside worshipful tracks that make space for reverent praise ("Fear Less," "Rock Of Our Salvation," "Surrender"), this album covers all the bases on the sonic landscape. 



Spiritual Highlights

Owens touches on a variety of topics with Warrior, from the importance of love in our lives ("Just Love") and the authority we have in Christ over our doubt and anxieties ("Get Behind Me," "Fear Less"), to the faithfulness of Christ when we put our trust in Him ("Surrender," "Rock of Our Salvation"). With the attitude of a triumphant overcomer, songs like "Best Days of My Life" and the title track offer encouragement for listeners in need of spiritual uplifting. 



Best Song on the Album

With hope and encouragement spilling out of every song, the title track stands tall as the best song on Warrior. Lyrically, the song is both honest and victorious: "I am beat up and bruised, but I see glimpses of glory when I stand with You / I'm a warrior.

 


For Fans Of

Hannah Kerr, JJ Weeks, Mandisa 

 

Final Word

Natasha Owens has always been an artist determined to spread a message of hope with her work--Warrior definitely continues that effort successfully. The album offers truths of Scripture wrapped in both fun and worshipful melodies, creating an uplifting listen for fans as Owens continues to make her mark on the CCM community with her story of undying perseverance in the face of difficulty. 

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Profound, Personal Worship | Posted February-11-2019
What You Need To Know:

When The City Harmonic came to an end in 2016, fans mourned the loss of what had been an impactful voice in the CCM/worship community. Much to their excitement though, founding member and frontman Elias Dummer is ready to carry on the spirit of worship with a voice and vibe all his own. Now stepping boldly into his solo debut, Elias releases The Work Vol. 1



What it Sounds Like:

An album that is primarily worship-focused in content, the sound can't be contained to one specific category. Some songs are acoustic-driven and laid-back ("Enough," "Heartbeat") while others are energetic and engaging ("What Are We Waiting For?"). Elias's unique voice carries each song in a way that automatically captures the listener's attention and keeps them hanging on every word. 



Spiritual Highlights:

Elias describes The Work Vol. 1 as his "wrestling with prayers [he's] needed to sing for a long time." With that in mind while listening through the album, it becomes all the more moving as Elias fills these songs with profound lyrical content while still keeping the overall tone worshipful in nature. Substance and reverence seem to be a hard balance to find these days, especially in the worship genre, but Elias tackles it here with brilliance. 



Best Song on the Album:

"Enough" kicks off the album with deep theological truths from the opening lines: "I am not what I make / I am what You make me to be." Backed by its simple yet bold acoustic sound, the powerful lyrics that declare Jesus' sufficiency get their chance to shine as Elias' raspy vocal brings the song to life. 

 

For Fans Of:

The City Harmonic, Iron Bell Music, Pat Barrett 

 

Final Word:

The Work Vol. 1 is absolutely a worship album, but not the kind of worship we've grown to expect from that label. These songs intentionally shy away from being big and congregational–-instead, they are profound and personal, wrestling with questions of faith and offering resolve in gentle moments of reverence. Elias Dummer has crafted a one-of-a-kind debut album with The Work Vol. 1, and it will no doubt leave listeners ready to hear what creativity flows next from the now-solo artist.  

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Anthems Of Redemption | Posted February-06-2019
What You Need To Know:

The voice and pen behind fan favorites such as "Just Say Jesus" and "God Is On The Move," anthemic declarations of faith wrapped in bold pop/rock vibes have become the signature for BEC group 7eventh Time Down. Now heading towards their fourth studio release, Brand New Day, the band offers an evolution of the sound we've come to love from them, paired with lyrics of freedom, mercy, and redemption.



What it Sounds Like:

Brand New Day hangs in the realm of the defining 7eventh Time Down's pop/rock sound, often wandering more into the electronic/pop side of things. That being said, 7eventh Time Down brilliantly avoids making an album that sounds the same track after track, creatively adding elements and mixing things up enough to leave us feeling like we've heard a nice spectrum of sounds. From heartfelt ballads to empowering declarations, Brand New Day offers a sound that will suit every listener. 



Spiritual Highlights:

No matter the sound of the track, one thing is constant from the beginning of this album to the end–the way it lifts up the name and message of Jesus. Themes span from the relentless grace of Jesus ("The 99") to His faithfulness ("Trust," "Can You"), then jump over to proclamations of our own faith ("I Have Decided," "Let Me Tell You") and the importance of living our lives well ("Make It Count," "Brand New Day"). 



Best Song on the Album:

Captivating my attention from its opening moments with frontman Mikey Howard's soulful vocal, "The 99" is a true highlight. Melodically, this track stands tall with a powerful beat and catchy chorus. With a message that speaks of redemption and grace, the song uplifts listeners while also being an enjoyable listen on the sonic front. 

 

For Fans Of:

Sanctus Real, The Afters, Hawk Nelson

 

Final Word:

Brand New Day is another success from the 7eventh Time Down crew. From sound to content, this release offers something fresh while still keeping some of the elements that are trademark to 7eventh Time Down's music over the past few records. Anthems that speak a message of redemption with every line, fans are sure to be encouraged by Brand New Day

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Making Their Mark | Posted November-17-2018
What You Need To Know:

With a soulful pop sound that no one else has quite crafted, Unspoken has long been one of the most underrated bands in Christian music. From the very beginning of their career, these guys have been making art that rivals the quality of artists who have been in the industry for decades, keeping fans excitedly looking forward to each new release. The follow up to their 2016 homerun sophomore album Follow Through, Unspoken now offers their Just Give Me Jesus EP. 



What it Sounds Like:

An often energetic mix of soul, pop and folk influences blend to create the signature Unspoken sound--and it honestly gets better with each release. Sonically, this EP stays in the same field as their previous work, but there's still a growth in the quality and production that continues to evolve their carefully-crafted sound. Lead singer Chad Mattson's vocals are as smooth and intriguing as ever, drawing listeners into each lyric and always leaving us wanting to hear more. 



Spiritual Highlights:

While not a worship album entirely, all of these five tracks have some sort of worship element thrown in. With topics ranging from the greatness of God's grace in our mistakes and human brokenness to His sovereignty in our lives and our eternal need for Him, this EP is overflowing with more of the brilliant songwriting depth that has also become standard from the Unspoken crew. 



Best Song on the Album:

There's not a single track on this EP that doesn't deserve a listen, but from the first time I heard "You've Always Been," I deemed it the album highlight. The song mixes pop elements with a worshipful spirit and anthemic lines that declare the faithfulness of Christ to create a powerful moment. As if that wasn't already enough, the key change at the end seals the deal with an extra dose of creativity and talent.

 

For Fans Of:

Tenth Avenue North, Matthew West, Sidewalk Prophets 

 

Final Word:

For a band that started out so strong, one might wonder just how much more they can raise the bar. However, the Just Give Me Jesus EP is yet another win for a band who keeps proving that they genuinely get better every time we hear them. From production and vocals to melodies and songwriting, this EP shines as Unspoken continues to make their mark as one of the best bands CCM has seen in quite a while.





But the Just Give Me Jesus EP on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.

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Pop and Worship Collide | Posted October-18-2018
What You Need To Know:

It's been a whirlwind of a career for pop artist and worship leader Sarah Reeves. What started as a major label debut almost a decade ago soon turned to a few years of riding the waves as an independent artist with her popular YouTube covers, all leading up to her return to a major label in 2016. Now with a new sound that continues to mature with every song, Sarah offers her full-length album Easy Never Needed You



What it Sounds Like:

The first era of Sarah Reeves music showed us the strength of her pop sensibilities, while the "covers" era showed more of her heart for worship. The beautiful thing about her current record is that it combines the best of both of those sides of Sarah's talents, blending pop melodies ("Something About You," "Right Where You Want Me," "Details") with worshipful prayers ("Just Want You," "Fall Afresh," "Faithful") for a project that carries a matured sound all her own. 

 

Spiritual Highlights:

Whether the moment is high-energy or reverent praise, the lyrical content on this album is all vertical and pointing back to Christ. With messages of the faithfulness of Christ and His sovereignty to lead us where He wants us, the whole record is a breath of fresh air that encourages listeners on a spiritual level.



Best Song on the Album:

There are many noteworthy tracks on Easy Never Needed You, but one that stands out in every area of production is "Right Where You Want Me." With an uplifting and positive message of confidence, Sarah's unique vocal carries this song with grace as the vibrant beat invites fans into a fun listen. 

 

For Fans Of:

Francesca Battistelli, Hollyn, Meredith Andrews 

 

Final Word:

Easy Never Needed You is a home-run of an album. As Sarah Reeves makes a bold return to the forefront of Christian music, this project makes it clear that she's raising the bar for her fellow artists and songwriters. A high-quality collection of songs that bring out the best of her abilities in both the pop and worship worlds, this is Sarah Reeves at the top of her game.  



Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.

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Worship for the Fight | Posted September-30-2018
What You Need To Know:

While Fighting For Us may technically be a debut album, Michael Farren is far from a new artist. The former Pocket Full of Rocks frontman has been impacting the music community for well over a decade now as a worship leader, award-winning producer and songwriter, but has recently stepped into a new role as a solo artist with Integrity Music. Farren now offers up his first project on his own, Fighting For Us-- an album that encourages listeners with hope and faith ingrained into every worshipful lyric. 



What it Sounds Like:

As you would expect from one of the most heartfelt and authentic worship leaders around, this album is one that creates an atmosphere of praise from it's first to final notes. A project that holds both personal anthems and congregational declarations, Fighting For Us is victorious, spirit-shaking worship. From the uptempo vibes of "Prisoners" and "Goodness and Mercy" to the beautifully profound lyricism in ballads "Loved & Known" and "Always Have Jesus," you can hear Michael's passion for worship in every carefully-crafted melody.  



Spiritual Highlights:

Themes on Fighting For Us range from identity ("Loved & Known," "I Belong To Jesus") to the faithfulness of God in times of trial ("Fighting For Us," "Always Have Jesus") and powerful songs of praise ("Praise The King," "Oh Praise"), but one thing that stays constant in every track is the focus on glorifying God. Each lyric is rooted in Biblical truths, weaving encouragement into every line and pointing listeners to hope in Christ. 



Best Song on the Album:

There truly isn't a less-than-remarkable track on the entire album, but if we're picking favorites, the obvious choice has to be the title track. A bold anthem that speaks of the fierce love and protection Christ provides for His children, "Fighting For Us" is a song to be played on repeat for anyone walking through a season of struggle: "You won't hold back when it comes to Your children / You fiercely defend us 'til we stand delivered / You're fighting for us / always fighting for us."

 

For Fans Of:

Alisa Turner, Corey Voss, Iron Bell Music, Here Be Lions

 

Final Word:

For someone as well-seasoned in writing impactful songs for the Church as Michael Farren is, it should come as no surprise that Fighting For Us is one of the best worship records of 2018. Every element, from the brilliant songwriting to the high-quality sound and everything in between, combines to make this a flawless solo debut for an artist we already can't wait to hear more from. These songs will resonate with you no matter where you are in your journey. However, especially if you find yourself in a season of difficulty, they will be a soundtrack of worship in the midst of your fight, serving as an emphatic reminder that the Father is always fighting with you and for you.





Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.

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A Major Win | Posted September-21-2018
What You Need To Know:

Diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 5 years to live 17 years ago, Tim Timmons has a story that will stop anyone in their tracks and testify to the overwhelming faithfulness of God. The singer/songwriter has a gift for infusing deep Scriptural truths into fun pop melodies, and whether the task at hand is a worship set or a children's album, Timmons tackles it with meaning and authenticity. His first bit of new music since 2015's Awake Our Souls (save a children's record last year), Tim is back with a brand new single featuring longtime Christian music icon Amy Grant



What it Sounds Like:

A song that could easily hold its own in either a CCM radio setting or a congregational worship service, "I Belong" offers an acoustic-tinted pop vibe that suits Timmons' soulful voice well. Though Tim carries the song flawlessly on his own, the added bonus of Amy Grant's sweet vocal on the bridge takes the song up another notch.  



Spiritual Highlights:

The message of this song is one we could all use a frequent reminder of: we belong to Christ, and we are safe with Him. Written as an anthem in response to walking his community through a "really dark season dealing with loss, depression, shame and anxiety," this song speaks to the truth that we have a Living Hope in Christ, and He is always near to us: "I see Hope coming on the horizon / there's no need for hiding 'cause I belong.



For Fans Of:

Matt Hammitt, Jason Gray, Aaron Shust

 

Final Word:

Truly one of the most underrated artists in this genre, Timmons continues to craft songs that sonically raise the bar for other artists and lyrically uplift anyone who listens. Every aspect of this single, from production and melody to vocals and songwriting, is approached in ways that make me excited to hear what comes next from Timmons. Hopefully an indicator of more new music on the way, "I Belong" is a major win in Tim's catalog.  



Buy it on itunes or listen on Spotify.

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High Quality Empowerment Anthems | Posted September-20-2018
What You Need To Know:

Ever since their debut in early 2014, Centricity Music group Carrollton has marked themselves as an act to keep an eye on. Their pop/rock/worship blended sound felt more like a seasoned effort than that of a newcomer, setting them apart in a way that continues to make them one of the most underrated artists out there. Following up last year's full-length debut record, the band offers a new four-track EP, Made For This.  



What it Sounds Like:

A band that has long balanced the lines between acoustic pop tones and a more grungy rock vibe, this EP sees Carrollton stay predominately in the high-energy rocker realm. From the opening moments of the empowering "This Is My Time" to the final notes of guitar-heavy "Hey Kids," this is an EP you'll have a hard time listening to while sitting still. 



Spiritual Highlights:

Themes of God-given confidence run through this EP, especially on tracks "Untouchable" and "Made For This" (perhaps you caught that one on a Jeep commercial earlier this summer). Another confidence-driven track, "This Is My Time" speaks to walking in God's plan for your life and silencing the doubters as you continue on in faith. 



Best Song on the Record:

There isn't a sour note in any of the four tracks on this EP, but "Untouchable" is the one I keep coming back to on repeat. The infectious melody paired with power-packed lyrics and gritty lead vocals combine to create a final product well worth your listen. 



For Fans Of:

Micah Tyler, Finding Favour, Rhett Walker Band

 

Final Word:

Carrollton has done it again, somehow producing music of a quality far greater than what most would expect from a band in only their fifth year. Short but sweet, Made For This furthers the winning streak for Carrollton as they continue to step into the fullness of their sound and make an undeniable footprint in Christian music.



Buy it on itunes or liste on Spotify.

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