ichiben's Music and Book Reviews
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Blue Like Jazz by Christie Blue Like Jazz by Christie
Miller paints a vivid portrait of Christian faith with a very unique and insightful perspective. Without being "religious", he simply tells stories about his life, that even non-believers should appreciate,...
The Pawn by The Pawn by
If you are a fan of suspense, psychological thrillers, and serial killer novels, you should give this book a try. It's somewhat reminiscent of Ted Dekker, though I think I actually like it better. I don't...
The Powerless Rise by As I Lay Dying The Powerless Rise by As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying is a monster in Christian and mainstream metal. They are good at what they do and don't deviate much from their typical sound. This album seems like more of the same. That being said, it...

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Kept me turning the pages | Posted January-04-2011
If you are a fan of suspense, psychological thrillers, and serial killer novels, you should give this book a try. It's somewhat reminiscent of Ted Dekker, though I think I actually like it better. I don't finish many books as quickly as I did this one and I look forward to reading more from James in the future. Christianity is not overly present, but is subtly weaved into the story and I get the feeling it may be included more as the main character progresses in the series.

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Great | Posted January-04-2011
Miller paints a vivid portrait of Christian faith with a very unique and insightful perspective. Without being "religious", he simply tells stories about his life, that even non-believers should appreciate, but in the end ties everything back to Jesus.

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Great | Posted January-03-2011
I got this album for free in a contest, not really knowing what to expect. I heard The Wall and really liked it, but didn't know how the album would stand up to it. It is still my favorite song, but the album is very good as a whole. Some songs are more country-oriented than I like, but some may enjoy them. I don't find many acoustic albums I get into, but I'm sure I will be using this heavily as study music. It also has great lyrics. Highlights include The Wall, He Who Feeds the Ravens, Our God is Present.

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Brutal | Posted January-03-2011
Josh Scogin is amazing. His scream is like no other. Before moving on to The Chariot, he made this album with NJ and put them on the map. It is excellent, the only downsides being a very raw sound (which I'm sure some people love) and some of the songs can drag on. Highlights include Memphis Will be Laid to Waste, The Entire World is Counting on Me and They Don't Even Know It, Organized Beyond Recognition.

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Album of the year | Posted January-03-2011
I've enjoyed The Chariot for some time. Their last couple albums were quite good. The things being said about Long Live before it came out prompted me to preorder it. I had high expectations and Long Live didn't fall short. Rather, it exceeded them. This album is incredible. I don't give 5 stars easily and I almost didn't, simply because it's a short album and left me itching for more. However, they do this on purpose, making the songs short with the mindset that if someone likes a song, they can listen again. The album is as brutal as ever, with enough variety to really keep me interested. I can't get enough. Highlights include The City, The Heavens, David De La Hoz, Calvin McKenzie.

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Get this album | Posted January-03-2011
This album is free on comeandlive.com. I highly recommend it. As a Showbread fanatic, it is probably not my favorite album of theirs, but it is awesome all the same. It is a huge style change, eliminating everything resembling a scream and slowing things down a lot. However, it still sounds great. If you have enjoyed any of their ballads or more mellow songs from Age of Reptiles, you will love it. Highlights include You're Like a Taxi, The Heart is Deceibtful Above All Things, A Man With a Hammer, Hydra.

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Awesome | Posted January-03-2011
Norma Jean toned things down with their last album, the experimental venture, The Anti-Mother. This album keeps some of the stylistic success of that album, while amping the intensity back up a bit. This may be their best album to date. Highlights include Deathbed Athiest, A Media Friendly Turn For the Worse, Blood Burner, Everlasting Tapeworm.

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Decent | Posted January-03-2011
I have always enjoyed the occasional Grits song, but never actually bought an album. I bought this on a whim based on a good review. While I wasn't necessarily disappointed, it hasn't blown me away. It has some very good songs, some mediocre songs, and a couple that downright annoy me. For someone who is more of a rap fan, it may be more enjoyable. Highlights include Quarantine, We All We Got, Do It Again.

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Living Sacrifice is back and better than ever | Posted January-03-2011
Living Sacrifice are the forefathers of Christian metal, period. After taking an extended hiatus, they returned on a tour with Demon Hunter and soon announced the recording of a new album. It is clear that they didn't gain any rust while taking a few years off. This album is amazing. From top to bottom, it is heavy metal the way only LS can do it. Highlights include Rules of Engagement, Nietzche's Madness, Love Forgives, God Is My Home.

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Masterful album | Posted January-03-2011
Switchfoot is a staple of Christian music and there's a reason for that. They consistently put out quality albums and this is one of their best. The album flows very well, with some upbeat jams and beautiful ballads. They always manage to tweak their sound just enough to keep it interesting. Highlights include Mess of Me, Your Love is a Song, The Sound, Free.

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