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Black Thorn by Flatfoot 56 Black Thorn by Flatfoot 56
Ever heard of this band? Maybe? I listened to some of their earlier songs and was hooked! I mean, how many bands in the US make Christian Irish Punk Rock? The style itself is enough to make me a fan... That...
Who Speaks for Planet Earth? by And Then There Were None Who Speaks for Planet Earth? by And Then There Were None
...some of the best genres in the industry, and this album packs 'em in! with driving synths and pounding bass in each song, the energy never dies even when the tempo slows. their use of a variety of...
Black by Natalie Black by Natalie
easily one of the greatest trilogies ever written, the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker is packed with adventure, action, a Tolkien-ish world and even a good bit of romance mixed in all over the place! reminding...

Showing 1-10 of 12 |   View Next 10 Album and Book Reviews
Very different... | Posted June-08-2010
Ever heard of this band? Maybe? I listened to some of their earlier songs and was hooked! I mean, how many bands in the US make Christian Irish Punk Rock? The style itself is enough to make me a fan...
That said, does having a different sound mean good? Sometimes... Before this album, the vocalist was aggressive, the bagpipes were prominent, and the rhythm was always driving! But Black Thorn showed a different side of Flatfoot 56. The lead vocalist was seemingly trying to get a more mellow and melodic feel with his voice. Not a smart move, in my opinion, since he had an extremely rough sound perfect for the more upbeat, crazy, manly songs of the older albums.
On the other hand of that, the songs in Black Thorn weren't always total punk rock. They had some ballads thrown in which gave the album a good balance, but i would still argue that his vocals weren't the best for them.
They did switch singers at times (i think) and put a rougher voice in for the harder songs. Though the main guy could've handled it himself, the hard songs did sound good voice-wise...
Instrumentally, there was a lot more mandolin than before, less bagpipes, and, unfortunately, an accordion. Very upset about the accordion. And I did prefer more bagpipes, but some of you may not, so that could go either way. But the mandolin gave many of the songs a distinctly softer sound, almost combating the electric guitars. Not really a good thing in my mind... "Hourglass" was made into a Mexican fiesta song. Very bizarre for a Celtic band to do, but i think they succeeded.
Overall, i was disappointed by the changes. Flatfoot 56 is still a great band and there are several songs i liked. "Black Thorn", "Courage", "Born for This", "Smoke Blower", "Son of Shame", and "Shiny Eyes" were all worth buying. Fortunately, i got the album for $6 at Amazon and feel like it was worth it.
Overall, it was still a good album, but it could've been lots better!

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Electronica, techno, and dance... | Posted June-07-2010
...some of the best genres in the industry, and this album packs 'em in! with driving synths and pounding bass in each song, the energy never dies even when the tempo slows. their use of a variety of instruments and sounds keeps each song fresh and unique even though the general feel of the album remains the same through each track. the lyrics aren't that incredible, however, and really don't mean much to the listener. it's a lot of open-ended poetry. not my favorite style, but the music more than makes up for it!
the vocalist really adds so much to the music and just floods the songs with emotion and passion. and he really has a talented, ear-pleasing voice that is as good as any synth...
the main cons are the lyrics, which while not bad, aren't really anything incredible. i bought a few tracks, but don't feel horrible about not owning every song. looking forward to their next release!

DrJ

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epic beginning to an epic trilogy! | Posted March-29-2010
easily one of the greatest trilogies ever written, the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker is packed with adventure, action, a Tolkien-ish world and even a good bit of romance mixed in all over the place!
reminding me of Frank Peretti at times and Tolkien at others, this book has an amazing plot from start to "finish." since it's only the first part of three, it doesn't really "end" totally, but it is still an amazing ending even if it doesn't close up many loose ends. that's left for White, the final book in the trilogy.
the plot is unlike anything you've ever read! it took a mind as unique as Dekker's to think up a man living in two worlds at the same time with the fate of each in his hands. to not spoil anything, that's about as much as i'll say...
so read this trilogy. it's insanely amazing...

DrJ

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Like musical fudge... | Posted February-12-2010
...rich, tasty, and nearly perfect!
This third album by SK is, in my opinion, easily better than their previous works! They have a spectacular lineup of songs with track after track a unique masterpiece of music. They keep the energy cranking through each and every tune up until a bit of a "cool-down" song at the end, which has a sort of quiet intensity at times that matches the feel of the album. The only possible fault in the album is the slight cheesiness of some of the lyrics, which i find easily forgivable. They keep the words fun, but they deliver a message with each song. Lots of band like the whole "open for interpritation" style, (or as i call it: nearly meaningless) Stellar Kart gets their points across crystal-clearly! Which was a step up from We Can't Stand Sitting Down, if you ask me...
"Innocent" kicks it off as one of the best on the cd, followed by the deja vu experience of "Automatic", which should've been a few tracks away from "Innocent", but whatever... it's still cool! "Pray", "Me and Jesus", and "Letters" are the least rocky on the cd and are definitely not worse because of it! "Shine Like the Stars" is a sweet song with a rock/techno feel to it thanks to the synths fused with the guitars. "The Right One", "Eyes", and "Sunshine" are more upbeat with a touch of the feel you got from "Innocent" thrown in, but without making them sound the same.
I could go on, but i have no idea if you're still even reading this or not. So i'll just end by saying this album rocks, is amazing, and you need to get it. Like, now. Right now. Immediately. As in, fire up iTunes or open a new tab and buy it off Amazon...

DrJ

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Looks like i stand alone... | Posted February-03-2010
i hate to be the only guy that didn't like this book, but i'm gonna go ahead and speak my mind...
Ted Dekker is amazing. his books are all action packed, written with incredible plots and complex characters! the Circle Trilogy is easily one of the greatest trilogies ever written, ranked up with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. but i thought Green was pretty lame.
for one thing, the Circle trilogy was fine without having Green "complete" it! it had enough of a beginning and end to leave the reader feeling satisfied. but Green was the connecting piece and left you feeling like you'd just read a book with no beginning and no end! (which, in fact, you did!)
and even that woulnd't necessarily have made it bad. but it was so dark and full of the villains sick acts of evil that it just gave the book an evil feel all the way to just before the ending. the other books he's written had plenty of dark and evil characters doing bad-guy stuff, but he always had a balance with good-guy stuff and justice in the ending! you don't get that in Green. (i'm not going into much detail so i don't spoil any plot for the readers)
all in all, i thought this book just tainted an otherwise perfect trilogy and left you feeling like you were stuck in a loop. he had successfully made a looped story before without this book and adding it made you feel unsatisfied.
i love Ted Dekker as much as the next fan, but was very disappointed by this book. so if you're reading this Mr. Dekker, sorry. i still think you're awesome!

DrJ

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nicely done, could've been better... | Posted February-03-2010
if you look at the review by art10, it's gonna sound a lot like mine, only probably more eloquently put. anyway...
i'd heard of this album after hearing the title track on RadioU and was instantly hooked as this is probably the best track on the CD. when i got the dance remix of it of Amazon (which i recommend), i listened to some other songs on that album and decided i wanted to hear more than just 30-second samples to get a picture of what this band was like. so after getting it from the library, i was happy, but not overjoyed...
they have a nice sound: a bit of Switchfoot mixed with Stellar Kart. the lyrics are pretty good, but not outstanding. some would complain about them being too cheesy, but i've seen much worse cheesiness and didn't mind at all. i just prefer some deeper messages, but was satisfied with the last track "One Moment Away" with its inspiring message. aside from those two tracks, the rest were just "good." i enjoyed the album, but don't really feel a need for it. i'll be getting it again and will pay attention when they get played on the radio, but i don't think it's an album worth purchasing. it's the kind i only get a few tracks from...
but despite the somewhat critical view, i would still say you should give it a chance! these guys may not have made the next best-seller, but they have talent that deserves a listen!

DrJ

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best album ever in so many different ways... | Posted October-11-2009
Christian rap can't get any better than this.
From the bounciness of "Live Free" to the in-your-face pounding of "Go Hard," every track on this album has an amazing message, beat, and just plain awesomely talented vocals! The energy and passion really comes through and it's easy to see this artist is as real as they come.
Starting with "Rebel" (the intro track), Lecrae makes sure you know where he stands with blatantly Christian Lyrics. A lot of bands like to make it "poetic" or "open to the listener's interpretation," but I love it when the lyrics can't be heard wrong and God is glorifed. No mistake. And if you like that type of lyrics, Lecrae is your man! Even though the intro track isn't the longest and might be a touch simple, the simplicity just makes the power come through all the more. And it just keeps getting better!
"Don't Waste Your Life" has to be the best track on the CD and is played often by RadioU, so listeners of that station probably would recognize it. It's a call to everybody, but especially Christians, to quit wasting time, take it seriously, and do EVERYTHING for God. Nothing else matters or lasts, only Jesus.
Another favorite is "Go Hard." Some people don't like hard rap as much, but i love it! And this song has some serious passion in it. Tedashii, the guest on this song, adds to the feel of it. It's got a similar message as "Don't Waste Your Life," but the feel of it is very different. Strong lyrics, beat, and vocals in this one: for people that drink their coffee black...
On the more electronic side is "Fall Back," a track about fleeing temptation, being wary of the world's tricks, and not taking any crap that the media dishes out. A wise warning, and it's nice to have someone not afraid to give one. Some of the time peeps don't like to be the guy that tells you to watch out, but not this rapper! Yet another sign that shows Lecrae is real.
I could go on and on, but by now I'm sure a lot have you have skipped to the end, so I'll just finish this off by saying that all the tracks have great messages and I am always encouraged and re-focused every time I listen to this CD.
I can't wait for his next album!

DrJ

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Epic... simply epic... | Posted September-30-2009
I first saw this CD at a Best Buy just sitting there by the Christian section, the last copy left. I don't usually guy stuff before listening to it, though, so I just made a note of it and left.
Weeks later, after getting it from the library, I wonder how I lived life before owning this album.
Kick starting the album (after the 20-second intro) is arguably the best track on the CD: "Love in Your Arms." A perfect mix of rock and techno, this song is a perfect example of the band's style. Most of the rest of the album sounds similar (really the only possible fault with it) and maintains the energy level even with an acoustic song thrown in the mix. The passion just becomes more evident when the tempo slows at all.
My other favorite tracks are: "Galaxies Collide," a bouncy tune about being desperate for God and ready to serve; "Feel Ok," a song saying that we don't need to feel good to be doing good, again full of that perfect Rock/Techno mix that Eleventyseven has perfected; "How it Feels," a track on what it's like to be with God. Also, there are two remixes (available with the extended digital album) that are easily my favorites. Intense and happy!
Overall, there aren't really any cons to this album except the possibility of feeling that the songs all sound the same. However, I've found that listening to them a couple times is all it takes to appreciate the differences. The tracks are like members of family now: individual and special. =P

In one word: Epic.

DrJ

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great way to kick it off! | Posted September-26-2009
I don't even remember how I heard about this band, but I'm very glad I did! This is a great debut album with examples of skill, talent, and passion for God. The lyrics are pretty good; simple at times, but they get their points across fairly clearly unlike some bands. Now apparently some fans prefer vague, poetic lyrics that they can interpret for themselves, but I like the solid, unmistakable kind which is in most of the songs on this album.
Specifically, my personal favorites were Through the Fire, To Fly, Rain Song, and I Am the Door. They have great power in those songs with the guitars driving them along! Loved it! They sound a little bit the same, but still great for a first album.
A touch of variety is mixed into this work with Rain Song and Fade Away being slower (though definitely not in a bad way) and even an instrumental track thrown in. Shows a bit of the band's musical abilities to produce songs on different levels.
Overall, a strong debut, definitely worth a listen! And because it tends to get into your head and stick with you, I ended up buying the CD...
DrJ

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Book of heroes | Posted September-22-2009
This book is full of story after story of martyrs. Yes, that is simple. Not a complex plot, but it doesn't need one. Simple means powerful.
Hearing about our persecuted brothers and sisters can sometimes get you down, but these stories can really get you pumped for Christ! These guys took their stands and didn't give in! They were unashamedly bold for their Savior and weren't afraid to speak out for Him. These people are my heroes and I love to hear that they were willing to give their lives for the One that gave it all.
Packed with inspiring messages, this book is an masterpiece!
Read it.

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