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Above The Golden State by Above The Golden State Above The Golden State by Above The Golden State
I know this review is a year and a half late, but I thought this album a worthy mention for your thoughts, or maybe a deserving addition to your music collection. Now, I want you to understand, I usually...
The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe
MercyMe is releasing their seventh full-length album this week, and listening to their music, it’s pretty obvious they are sticking with their tried and true pop/worship style. But it’s not the music that...
The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe
MercyMe is releasing their seventh full-length album this week, and listening to their music, it’s pretty obvious they are sticking with their tried and true pop/worship style. But it’s not the music that...

Showing 1-10 of 4 |   
Over and Underneath - Tenth Avenue North | Posted May-09-2010
Tenth Avenue North's major label debut is really a treasure, with moving lyrics and stirring melodies that clearly indicate this band is off to a great career. The first half of the album is somewhat more upbeat, with lead single “Love is Here” to start things off, followed by “Lift Us Up to Fall”, a strong Praise and Worship track with a great chorus. “By Your Side,” a personal favorite, slows things down a bit and is lyrically deeper than the other two, telling how God will never leave our side, from His perspective. “Hold My Heart” and “Times” brings out more of the band’s serious side, while “Break Me Down” is another stand-out, featuring lead singer Mike Donehey’s very Jon Foreman sounding voice. While the album is not perfect, and this may not be ground-breaking material, all of the songs are above average for a such young band and show that these guys are the real deal. So, sit back and enjoy this great album, and look forward to their sophomore release! ~ Christian Lingner

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"Lovewell" | Posted May-09-2010
MercyMe is releasing their seventh full-length album this week, and listening to their music, it’s pretty obvious they are sticking with their tried and true pop/worship style. But it’s not the music that is original this time, but the album title, “The Generous Mr. Lovewell.” After searching around on the Internet for a while, I eventually found what the unique name was all about. Kinda. What this CD really is, is just a concept. Mr. Lovewell is an original character that these guys came up with representing the loving and giving spirit inside all of us. An interesting idea, but did they pull off a some good music too? I’ll answer in the paragraphs below.


Beginning on an upbeat, somewhat techno note, “This Life” is a good start with a lot of fun styling and big beats to go along. The title track comes up next with a feel similar to their earlier hit “So Long Self,” and is a favorite right off the bat with a catchy chorus and some well-produced melodies. Their “Lovewell” message is clear here at the start, but it fades into the mix of things as we edge farther along.


Around halfway comes the lead single from the disc, “All of Creation,” and in genuine MercyMe style, this one is on it’s way to the top with bright worship verses and worth-while lyrics. “Back to You” adds a bit of music flavor to the collection with an irresistible chorus, and though the message is overplayed often, this track is a highlight and fans will enjoy it as well. Later on they settle into an over-produced praise feel, with lengthy, but nicely put to together songs like “Only You Remain” and “Won’t You Be My Love.”


While some might call this a concept album, I would have to disagree. It floats around with this “Mr. Lovewell” brainstorm throughout, but actually never gets to the heart of the whole notion. Aside from the title track, they give some thoughts and gestures toward the image, but overall it doesn’t end up capturing it thoroughly. If the name wasn’t the main advertisement for the album, than I would say that they have conquered what they set out to do: creating a good album. But since “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” is the headliner, I’d say that didn’t quite accomplish what they were wanting. Otherwise, I’d say this CD is full of great songs, and it is worth the money for any fan of MercyMe or CCM music of any kind. ~ Christian Lingner

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"Lovewell" | Posted May-09-2010
MercyMe is releasing their seventh full-length album this week, and listening to their music, it’s pretty obvious they are sticking with their tried and true pop/worship style. But it’s not the music that is original this time, but the album title, “The Generous Mr. Lovewell.” After searching around on the Internet for a while, I eventually found what the unique name was all about. Kinda. What this CD really is, is just a concept. Mr. Lovewell is an original character that these guys came up with representing the loving and giving spirit inside all of us. An interesting idea, but did they pull off a some good music too? I’ll answer in the paragraphs below.


Beginning on an upbeat, somewhat techno note, “This Life” is a good start with a lot of fun styling and big beats to go along. The title track comes up next with a feel similar to their earlier hit “So Long Self,” and is a favorite right off the bat with a catchy chorus and some well-produced melodies. Their “Lovewell” message is clear here at the start, but it fades into the mix of things as we edge farther along.


Around halfway comes the lead single from the disc, “All of Creation,” and in genuine MercyMe style, this one is on it’s way to the top with bright worship verses and worth-while lyrics. “Back to You” adds a bit of music flavor to the collection with an irresistible chorus, and though the message is overplayed often, this track is a highlight and fans will enjoy it as well. Later on they settle into an over-produced praise feel, with lengthy, but nicely put to together songs like “Only You Remain” and “Won’t You Be My Love.”


While some might call this a concept album, I would have to disagree. It floats around with this “Mr. Lovewell” brainstorm throughout, but actually never gets to the heart of the whole notion. Aside from the title track, they give some thoughts and gestures toward the image, but overall it doesn’t end up capturing it thoroughly. If the name wasn’t the main advertisement for the album, than I would say that they have conquered what they set out to do: creating a good album. But since “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” is the headliner, I’d say that didn’t quite accomplish what they were wanting. Otherwise, I’d say this CD is full of great songs, and it is worth the money for any fan of MercyMe or CCM music of any kind. ~ Christian Lingner

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Above the Average Pop/Rock | Posted May-09-2010
I know this review is a year and a half late, but I thought this album a worthy mention for your thoughts, or maybe a deserving addition to your music collection. Now, I want you to understand, I usually don’t end up promoting over-produced, sing-a-long type pop due to it’s lyrical conformity and overall lack of substance. But if you are looking for something in-between the vibes of teenybopper and the adult contemporary of Tenth Avenue North, then you have probably come to the right place. Signed to Sparrow Records in early 2008, this self-titled debut put Above the Golden State on a platform for success, but due to under-hyped publicity and (not much more actually,) they somehow found themselves in the back of the genre while other similar bands were making progress with the same styling and sound. Though it’s unfortunate how much talent has gotten overlooked here, this is only their first project, and they have music still to come that is for sure. But, predicting careers isn’t my job, so I’ll get back to the point.


Kicking things off with a catchy chorus and unblemished production, “Loud and Clear” has plenty of nice radio ready effects and lyrics that, while it seems you find plenty of these sort on every effort around the corner, foreman Matt Watson’s laid back vocals are one of the best aspects here, and it is a clever beginning for the listener. Ensuing that fun start, “Gaze into Your Eyes” may not new material, but for once it seems worth it to ignore some negative aspects, for the sake of delighting yourself with this utterly irresistible tune. “I Love You So” is another one of these pieces, the perfectly upbeat feel taking us through the half-mark with ease, and creating one of most pleasurable songs yet.


Although I have been mostly focusing on the more fast-paced numbers, the mid-tempo tracks are where the band find themselves at their helm, with their theme turning to Love, this part of the first verse of “Streets” features this transition well: When love flows through the cities/Through the grid of all the streets /Under bridges in the alleys/Like blood through our veins. “Scared” looks again to their acoustic side as well, mandolin licks and Relient K tinged harmonies pulled into another tight pop melody that also adds to the album as we move into the later part of the record.


So thought this album isn’t perfect, it does accomplish what I think they set out to do: invent a slink, even if not original sounding, contemporary Christian music album that will be a fun listen as well as give you something to think about along the way. And in my opinion, they have achieved that goal thoroughly, and I certainly look forward to more great music on the way. ~ Christian Lingner

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