Love Out Loud
Jaci I was highly anticipating this latest album from Jaci. Her recent albums have disappointed me (ever since Crystal Clear), but I was hoping this album would be Jaci's big comeback. With Jaci's...
Until My Heart Caves In
Audio Adrenaline This is probably my least favorite Audio Adrenaline album. I expected more from them after such great rock albums like Underdog and Lift. UMHCI steps away from the gritty rock and...
The Greatest Hits
Newsboys When I first saw the Newsboys was putting out yet another greatest hits album, I thought, why bother? There are too many "greatest hits" albums from artists in the marketplace, recycling old material...
Not Jaci's big return | Posted June-24-2008
I was highly anticipating this latest album from Jaci. Her recent albums have disappointed me (ever since Crystal Clear), but I was hoping this album would be Jaci's big comeback. With Jaci's big voice, a producer like Mark Heimermann (who produced her first three albums and other numerous albums that I enjoy), and all the publicity, I was expecting big things. But while overall the album was better than just the few songs I heard ahead of time on her myspace, I'm afraid this will not mark Jaci's return.
I have a few issues with this album:
- First of all, Jaci sounds like she's holding back. I keep on waiting for her to belt it out, and maybe I've been watching too much "American Idol" these days, but Jaci has a beautiful powerful voice and so many times on the album I kept on thinking, where is the intensity of that voice? This was most evident to me on "Jesus (The Way)."¯ Perhaps this song was supposed to be a soft melodic song, but I felt like this beautiful worship ballad could've been more powerful with Jaci belting it.
- Jaci's voice lacks passion. On a video posted on Jaci's website, Jaci revealed she recorded this entire record while being pregnant and so "you hear a lot of emotion in there for sure."¯ The ironic thing is that I didn't hear that emotion and passion.
- Some lyrics lack depth. I found myself enjoying beginning verses only to find they were often followed by a cliche and uninspiring chorus (ex. "Nothing But Sky,"¯ "Love Out Loud,"¯ and "Jesus (The Way)".
Despite my disappointment over the aforementioned issues, there are a few redeeming moments on Love Out Loud: I love the latin flavor of "Tempo" (regardless of the lack of lyrical depth). I miss the Latin sound from Crystal Clear and was excited to hear its return. I also enjoyed "Into the Light," and the strongest moment on the album by far is "It's Not You, It's Me,"¯ which avoids all of my dislikes noted above. This song is one I would listen to on repeat.
Overall, it's not Jaci's big return, but it does have some great moments.
Change of musical stylings | Posted February-11-2008
I highly anticipated the release of Don't Wait as I love the music of her former band The Benjamin Gate, however this solo album from Adie Camp takes a different turn. How do I say this? This is not a bad thing, but these songs resemble the music of her husband (and co-writer of many of the album's songs) Jeremy Camp more than the music Adie was creating when she fronted The Benjamin Gate, both lyrically and musically. And while I loved the musical stylings with Adie's voice of The Benjamin Gate and wish she would've continued on with music more along those lines, this is nevertheless a good album. With solid songs and worshipful lyrics, Don't Wait is an album worth looking into.
Strong collection with two amazing new songs | Posted February-11-2008
When I first saw the Newsboys was putting out yet another greatest hits album, I thought, why bother? There are too many "greatest hits" albums from artists in the marketplace, recycling old material uncreatively. Well, I'm glad the Newsboys bothered. Compiling sixteen of their greatest hits with the addition of two new songs, this album is not only for die-hard Newsboys fans but for those wanting a sampling of the Newsboys' musical career. Including quirky songs such as "Reality" and "Take Me to Your Leader," the fun VeggieTales Jonah soundtrack song "In the Belly of the Whale," and their worship songs like "He Reigns," the Newsboys create a wonderful collection for those fans who don't own all of their albums.
The two new songs on this album, "I Fought The La..." and "Stay Strong," are also incredible songs that hold their own against the other Newsboys songs that have bested the test of time. "Stay Strong" is a passionate encouragement to stand strong when life seems bleak while "I Fought The La..." begins the album with a captivating start.
Solid greatest hits album | Posted December-19-2007
Solid album of greatest hits. All of their greatest songs are on here, however they also completely ignore their first two albums. Granted, those albums didn't have any major hits on them, however if you want a full spectrum of dc talk's career, this album will not do it. Overall, however, dc talk has so many hits to choose from and this is a good collection of their greatest songs. The two previously unreleased songs ("Chance" and SugarCoat It") also hold their own on this album and have actually become some of my favorite dc talk songs.
Only for worship fans | Posted December-19-2007
Decent worship album; was expecting something different, but overall okay. The liner notes state that he (Seth Gilbert) is a worship leader at his church and recorded this album in his church studio, which is definitely noticeable. Coming from BEC records, I was expecting an album beyond a church worship band. Nothing notable about this album or band, yet if you're looking for an album without frills to worship to, you might be interested in this one.
You might just rock out.... | Posted September-26-2007
This third album from Plus One takes a major turn as they change their musical style, drop two members, lose their boy band status, and come into an element of their own. With Cole, Combs, and Walters writing all of the songs (with the exception of their version of Tim Hughes's "Here I Am to Worship") and production by Peter Furler and Jeff Frankenstein from the Newsboys, you get the feeling that this is truly who these men are musically as they shed their boy band past. With introspective lyrics and strong melodies, this album marks a new beginning for the men of Plus One. Unfortunately, I'm guessing many people didn't give this album a chance, but even if you weren't a fan of Plus One's former albums, give this album an opportunity because it's completely different and might just make you a fan.
diversifying Christian music | Posted September-26-2007
This second album from Toby Mac takes a slightly different turn stylistically and creates an album almost as powerful as his debut Momentum. "The Slam" isn't quite as strong lyrically or musically as the similar rock songs "Momentum" or "Extreme Days" on Toby's debut album. I could also do without the speaking interludes (ex. "Poetically Correct"), which were tolerable in Momentum but are not as good here. They create an interesting break between songs but in general I don't like them. However, a welcome surprise to the end of the album is a remix of "Atmosphere" featuring the other two members of dc talk, Michael Tait and Kevin Max, reminding me how much I miss hearing their voices together. Overall though, this is a great album as Toby creates an album unlike anyone else in this industry, combining great songs and production with many different music genres.
different style, still good for genre | Posted September-26-2007
This second album from Plus One puts a different twist on their debut "strictly boy band" album by creating an edgier album and incorporating their own song writing abilities and an electronica feel. Their upbeat songs are the stand-outs on this album ("Use Me," "Under the Influence," and "I Don't Care") while the ballads sometimes drag and prompt the pressing of the Skip button. However, it is during these ballads that Plus One showcases their still strong harmonies. Another downfall of this album are the superfluous and cheesy lyrics. Even I love some of these songs, but with lyrics such as "Under the influence of what you got/Under the influence of what is true/I'm goin' higher than I've ever been" ("Under the Influence"), it isn't exactly profound. Nevertheless, due to the uptempo songs and the smooth mixing of their voices, this album continues to find its way into my cd player every now and again.
Fails to meet expectations | Posted September-26-2007
I've heard a fair amount about this band before listening to this album and I normally enjoy artists on the Flicker Record label, however this is not an album that will remain in my collection. With weird and slightly disturbing lyrics such as "Hang me tonight in the false and jaded light/In the center of the square, murder's breeding in the air" ("Last Day of 1888"), I had a hard time digesting their lyrics and discerning what they were actually talking about. Musically they weren't very strong either. From the awkward singing of the lyrics in "The Seed We've Sown" to the darker choice of words (many songs have references to death), this album fails to hold my interest. The title track is a fairly good single, as well as the melodic final song "This Could Be The Song That Will Change Your Life," however those are the only two songs that I would care to listen to again.
Solid hits album with two great new songs | Posted August-29-2007
This album is a classic mid-career greatest hits album for Audio Adrenaline. You have to wonder why artists make "greatest hits" albums when they're obviously not done making music yet, but nevertheless, I enjoy this album, particularly the two new songs, "Will Not Fade" and "One Like You," some of my favorite Audio A songs.