Summer is an amazing time for new releases. We've got the 411 here on some of projects that we believe are worth checking out. Click on the names or album covers to get more info on the artists! Coming Soon! Reviews of: Michael English, Crystal Lewis, Mary Mary, Salvador and more!

All reviews by Mike & Paula Parker for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com


click on title or album cover to see review:

Nichole Nordeman - This Mystery


Plus One - The Promise


Wayne Kirkpatrick - The Maple Room


Fred Hammond - Purpose By Design


Mark Schultz - Mark Schultz




Nichole Nordeman - This Mystery

In the midst of a culture filled with experts, teachers, and prophets proclaiming their version of the truth, it is refreshing to find someone who is not ashamed to state, "I don't know." In her sophomore project, This Mystery, {{Nichole Nordeman}} musically shrugs her shoulders at many of life's questions and simply admits that she doesn't have the answers. This is not a pessimistic confession however; rather a joyful acknowledgment of the One Who does have the answers.

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Plus One - The Promise

Any time there is this much hype about a new band, I find myself fully prepared to hate them before I hear the first single. Imagine my surprise when I find myself nodding in time to the beat from the very first note of The Promise. {{Plus One}}, the pre-fab boy band assembled by management mogul Mitchell Solarek ({{Natalie Grant}}, {{Greg Long}}, {{Selah}}) and marketed as a joint venture of Atlantic Records Christian Music division and mainstream's 143 Records, delivers an album that is a remarkably enjoyable listen from top to bottom.

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Wayne Kirkpatrick - The Maple Room

Few songwriters in contemporary Christian music have had the impact of {{Wayne Kirkpatrick}}. His amazing 15-year career has resulted in over 200 record cuts, including the Grammy award winning Song of the Year, "Change The World." Kirkpatrick has penned hits for the likes of {{Amy Grant}}, {{Michael W. Smith}}, and {{Susan Ashton}} in the Christian market. On the mainstream side, artists as diverse as Eric Clapton and Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and Joe Cocker have recorded his songs.

So why hasn't Wayne Kirkpatrick ever recorded an album of his own? Perhaps he's just been too busy honing his songwriting craft. Perhaps he felt more comfortable putting his words into other artists' mouths. Perhaps he just didn't want to. Whatever the reason, the wait is over. Kirkpatrick finally breaks the silence with the release of his long awaited project, The Maple Room.

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Fred Hammond - Purpose By Design

Destiny. It a concept explored in depth by urban Gospel legend {{Fred Hammond}} on his latest release, Purpose By Design. For Hammond, destiny is not to be confused with the Reformed doctrine of predestination, nor is it equivalent to the pagan concept of fate. It is rather the perfect plan of God for our lives, set in motion by the atoning death and resurrection of Christ. It is the ultimate end that is available to us if we will only fight the good fight. "For my life His good and perfect purpose was designed/ To bring me to the place where He has need of me/ So I want my destiny."

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Mark Schultz - Mark Schultz

{{Mark Schultz}} is a youth minister at heart, and it is that heart's cry that permeates every song on his self-titled debut project. That is not a condescending comment. Teens tend to ask lots of questions, and require unequivocal answers before they are ready to commit to black-and-white answers to their all too often shades-of-gray questions. Mark Schultz somehow manages to cram all the questions, longings, pains and frustrations of pre-adulthood into three-and-a-half minute vignettes; and if he doesn't have all the answerswell, he at least gives you something to think about.

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