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Less Rock, More Pop Found on Britt Nicole's Lost

This go-round, Britt Nicole tames her inner rocker chick and steps up the ladylike charm, personified by the album’s cover shot. Not that the cover always dictates the music, but for Nicole, The Lost Get Found is a subtle makeover.

BarlowGirl Aims Higher with Love & War

In the five years since their self-titled debut, BarlowGirl has performed on The Today Show, toured with MercyMe and Switchfoot and sold more than one million albums. So what to do next? Create a strongest album to date.

Skillet's Hard-Hitting Messages Stay Awake

Rather than shying away from the taboo topics facing kids today, Skillet always goes in for the kill, screaming hope and hitting hard on the heart of the matter. And the band’s latest project, Awake, is no exception.

Dark Vibe Pervades Aaron Shust's Take Over

Aaron Shust produces the same commercial mega-draw as Chris Tomlin, but with a darker vibe. And it carries throughout Take Over, where it feels like life is lived a bit deeper than in most other modern worship offerings.

More Memorable Sing-Alongs in Daughtry's Town

Besides a few acoustic numbers, there are enough songs on Leave This Town to keep things interesting for the thousands destined to see Daughtry in the next couple of years in amphitheatres and stadiums nationwide.

Hillsong Builds Up the Church with Tear Down the Walls

Tear Down the Walls definitely further defines the band’s aptitude for creating relevant worship music for the church. And considering that is their explicit aim, I’m not sure what more we can ask from this fine Aussie collective.

Travis Cottrell: Redirecting the Spotlight

As the staple worship leader for Beth Moore’s seismic Living Proof Bible study events, it’s Travis Cottrell’s friendly demeanor and impeccably crafted church music that attracts a rapidly growing number of spiritual seekers each year.

Jonny Diaz Debuts with More Beautiful You

On his debut More Beautiful You, Jonny Diaz churns out a stalwart set of tracks, starting with the single “More Beautiful You.” It’s a track promoting a not-so-original message about true beauty, but nonetheless still has a delightful hook.

  • Grace S. Cartwright |
  • August 11, 2009 |
  • comments
Christy Nockels Shines on Life Light Up

While her work with Watermark should be remembered, Life Light Up takes Christy Nockels’ work as a worship leader to a brand-new level. Her voice is as pure as it is powerful, beautifully matching the spirit of each song.

Ginny Owens Reworks Hymns, Spirituals on Say Amen

Ten years after releasing Without Condition and winning “New Artist of the Year” at the Dove Awards, Ginny Owens preps Say Amen—a collection of re-conceptualized hymns and spirituals and her best work since her debut.

Everyday Sunday's Best Night Yields Best Work Yet

Two statements are true concerning Everyday Sunday's Best Night of Our Lives. First, the guys are clearly settled in their artistic skin. Second, they’re having as much fun as ever. These two facets combine to create the band's best work yet.

Watkins Finds Her Voice Beyond Nickel Creek

Less than a year after Nickel Creek called it quits, two of the three members released projects with new musical collaborations. Completing the group’s musical reintegration, Sara Watkins readies her musical prowess for the masses via a sweet solo collection.

Beauty and Frustration Found In the Hands of God

There is beauty and there is frustration in newsboys’ In the Hands of God. Often capable of so much more, most of the legendary band’s latest consists of done-before lyrical turns or comfortable musical structures.

City of Black & White Marks Kearney’s Best Work

Much like The Fray front man Isaac Slade’s urgent vocal and almost mournful arrangements, Mat Kearney’s acoustic stylings on City of Black & White are painfully honest, moving and his best work to date.

  • Grace S. Cartwright |
  • June 30, 2009 |
  • comments
Doolittle Makes Retro Modern on Coming Back to You

Boasting vintage strings, dirty tambourines, chiming bells, one perfectly placed horn hit after another and the funkiest three-part background vocals this side of the ’60s, Coming Back to You is completely retro but brilliantly modern.

Plenty to Like with Shorter-Length Travel

Though there’s plenty to like across all six tunes of Future of Forestry’s Travel EP, one can’t help but feel like its 27-minute time limit is somewhat of a tease. A follow-up scheduled to release this fall will no doubt expand the band’s already-fervent indie rock audience.

Pop Goes Yellow Cavalier on Self-Titled EP

Yellow Cavalier is filling the void. With a dazzling debut EP, the tidy quartet is marketing themselves as not just an answer to the boy band drought, but rather an active response to a rich legacy of “ccm” pop/rock.

Chris and Conrad Deliver Crisp Pop on Self-Titled Debut

Chris and Conrad are likeable. Falling squarely in the genre of crisp popsters Matthew West and John Waller, the fresh-faced musicians promise intergenerational appeal on their self-titled debut.

  • Grace S. Cartwright |
  • June 01, 2009 |
  • comments
Sixsteps' Kristian Stanfill Debuts with Attention

Sixsteps Records has slowly brought along their latest signing in Kristian Stanfill by adding him to Passion worship compilations, giving him live appearances alongside the others and slowly building his confidence and fans’ familiarity.

Jars Moves Forward with Long Fall Back to Earth

After the successful rock-focused Good Monsters, The Long Fall Back to Earth sounds in places like the completion of the circuitous path Jars of Clay began 14 years ago, referencing other career highlights while plowing ahead.

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