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Luminate Fits in Nicely with the Current Pop/Rock Landscape

Luminate's sound is often hard to pinpoint. However you categorize their music, the five-piece band fits in nicely with the current pop/rock landscape. The only downfall is that in an effort to maintain a unified sound, many of the tracks run together and end up sounding the same.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • January 27, 2011 |
  • comments
Versatile Kings is Hard to Pin Down

It's always a good sign when a band's debut is full of nods to its influences, but never mimicry, exuberant but composed. That's a fine line to walk, but California rock quintet I Am Empire makes a fine go at it with Kings, a surprisingly versatile project that's hard to pin down.

Brandon Heath: Leaving Eden, Headed Home

The road to Leaving Eden, Brandon Heath's third album, was a long one—a journey Heath didn't expect to be quite so hard. "There was a little more pressure for this one following on the heels of ‘Give Me Your Eyes.' It just had to be good," Heath explains.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • January 20, 2011 |
  • comments
Deeper Thinking Inspired by Leaving Eden

Winner of the Male Vocalist Dove Award for the past two years, Brandon Heath's hot streak could well continue with Leaving Eden, another set of hummable tunes that never really comes at you with fireworks but nevertheless provides more sparks of inspiration toward deeper thinking.

Mountains Move in Kristian Stanfill's Sophomore Collection

Kristian Stanfill's sophomore project is appropriately titled Mountains Move, with an overt thematic focus on faith. According to the graciously burgeoning songwriter, this worshipful collection centers on "believing that God is who he says he is" despite our circumstances.

Collaboration is Key in Phil Keaggy's Inter-Dimensional Traveler

Collaboration is probably why Inter-Dimensional Traveler, the latest release from Phil Keaggy, is so effective. Rather than placing his formidable guitar chops front and center, Keaggy prefers to allow his work to emerge organically from arrangements which give equal time to his two collaborators.

Level 3:16 Makes a Statement on Self-Titled Debut

Members of new Christian hip-hop group Level 3:16 were strangers to each other until summer 2009 when they met on a music-based mission trip. One year later this troupe has already assembled a refreshingly honest, cohesive statement on its self-titled debut.

Seabird's Over the Hills EP a Gift to Fans

This album is more of a gift to Seabird's fans than a definitive career step. The overall sonic texture of the album is light: a bed of acoustic guitar covered with piano, strings, and electric guitar, with lead singer Aaron Morgan charting a new course through seven familiar carols.

There's Something Fresh and Vulnerable in Achor

There's something duly fresh about Josh White's Achor, which consists of substantive folkie songs, a mix of transparent originals and some creative public domain reinterpretations that dabble in styles ranging from unplugged rockabilly to bluegrass.

Poema Sweetens the Holidays with Once a Year

Poema definitely has talent with lots of room to grow and blossom in their musical ambitions (they are 18 and 20!). No matter where you are, if you want to feel cozy and warm with your cup of cocoa, turn on their holiday EP, Once a Year, for a Christmas treat.

Introducing the City Harmonic a Welcome, Noteworthy Debut

Though pensive at times, this expressive mix has a collective worshipful attitude with a healthy dose of humility. Overall, The City Harmonic's six-song introduction proves a noteworthy project and may leave listeners with the hope of more to come.

Joey + Rory: Embracing the Simple Life

Country music husband-and-wife duo Joey + Rory may have been popular contestants on CMT’s hit show Can You Duet and have an ACM Award to their name, but the pair is the happiest holding hands on their farm in Tennessee.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • December 09, 2010 |
  • comments
Tapestry Weaves Together the Promise of Holly Starr

New artist Holly Starr's latest work and second full-length independent release, Tapestry, is so slick and polished, no one would ever guess that she's a young, 19-year-old independent artist from a tiny town in Washington.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • December 02, 2010 |
  • comments
Take 6 Helps Make It The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

In comparison to Take 6's past holiday efforts, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is the hap-happiest of them all, largely focused on being of good cheer, but still duly reverent to the real reason for the season on two of ten tracks.

Have a Very Merry Christmas Courtesy of Dave Barnes

On his first Christmas album, Dave Barnes’ voice is pure sugar and spice. Barnes’ trademark acoustic musings mark the majority of this Very Merry Christmas collection, with the acclaimed singer/songwriter penning six of the ten tracks.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • November 25, 2010 |
  • comments
Jesus Culture Captures Live Worship on Come Away

For raw emotion and moments of unpolished serendipity, nothing matches a live album. Jesus Culture taps into this dynamic on its latest, Come Away, a recording of a worship conference held at the band's home base of Bethel Church in Redding, California.

Chris Tomlin's Latest Has a Been-There-Heard-That Sensibility

If anything, And If Our God Is for Us can't help but make someone wonder if Chris Tomlin might benefit from—and even enjoy—stepping out of his familiar role as a worship leader for a moment to try something new artistically.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 18, 2010 |
  • comments
Jason Castro Hits Christian Music Scene with Who I Am

Seven months after his self-titled debut—and two years after finding American Idol fame—Jason Castro offers more material with Who I Am, which is essentially the dreadlocked Texan's introduction to the Christian music scene.

Susan Boyle's Gift Doesn't Deliver Much Holiday Cheer

All the magic that made Susan Boyle such a standout soprano on the show and her debut has virtually disappeared, thanks to several ill-advised moves from a production standpoint and a set list so random it feels like it was chosen by somebody's iPod shuffle setting.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 11, 2010 |
  • comments
Essential Christmas Collection Offers Something for Everyone

Although the twelve holiday offerings captured on The Essential Christmas Collection form a pleasant listen from front to back, it's the hard-to-find singles that fans will be most interested in.

  • Lindsay Williams |
  • November 09, 2010 |
  • comments
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Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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