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Hall, Charlie

  • The Bright Sadness 

    The Bright Sadness is the name of latest CD from recording artist Charlie Hall. The greatness within this album is found in the lyrics of each song. Hall is very detailed within his lyric, passionate, and more importantly he sings the Word of God. However, when sound is considered it’s easy to realize that there is no variety on the album, as many of the songs sound very similar. Because of the close similarity of songs, the album will become boring to listeners really quick. It is Hall’s monotone voice that will lead listeners down the road of boredom and possibly cause The Bright Sadness to be ejected from CD players and replace with something more appeasing to the ear. Album Highlight: "Mystery," and "Walk The World" – kimberly a. lilly

  • Flying Into Daybreak 

    Three years have passed since the Christian music scene heard anything new from singer/songwriter Charlie Hall. So it is good to now realize his new album, Flying into Daybreak, was worth the wait. Charlie’s Spirit-sensitive lyrics capture the heart of his walk with God on this 12-track CD, entirely written by him. Declarations of God’s consuming love and beauty are in surplus on this contemporary worship treasure. Marching band-like beats call a people who are willing to take hold of their destinies and the work needed on this earth. His passionate love songs to Jesus and “on your feet” praise make this must-hear music. Album Highlights: “Sum of Beautiful,” “All My Love,” “Running with Your Heart,” and “Come For Me” - hannah goodwyn

Hart, Sarah

  • Into These Rooms 

    Remember how that first breeze of Spring feels coming through your window? That's what listening to Into These Rooms feels like. Sarah Hart is a breath of fresh air into contemporary music with her sweet vocals and warm acoustic melodies that wrap around you like an old quilt. Each song is thoroughly pleasing to the ear and musically well crafted down to the last note. Whether she's praising God in "So We Will Worship" or pleading for His help in "Be With Me, Lord," Sarah Hart reveals her delicate heart on this album. I can only hope the rest of the world sees its beauty. Album Highlights: “His Name is Joseph” and “Brave New World” - jennifer e. jones

Hawk Nelson

  • Live Life Loud
    Just by looking at the 3D album booklet, fans can rightly assume that this is a creatively thought-out record from Hawk Nelson. "Live Life Loud" - the title track - is the record's token anthem, reminiscent of their past hits, "Friend Like That" and "Bring 'Em Out". It's a catchy, never-going-to-get-it-out-of-my-head song. Luckly, once you get passed the expected "let's party!" tracks, listeners will discover the true favorites. Famous for their kazoo work in "Hello", the guys break even more punk rock rules by adding the ukulele, a church organ, and bagpipes to the album. It works. Actually, it's what makes me inclined to agree with lead singer Jason Dunn; Live Life Loud is the band's best album to date. - hannah goodwyn

Album Highlights: "Meaning of Life", "'Tis So Sweet", "Ode to Lord Stanley", "The Final Toast"

  • Hawk Nelson is My Friend 
    These Canadians pop-rockers get high scores for this, their third, CD. It is their best yet. It’s classic Hawk Nelson with powerful lyrics set to tunes featuring high-energy electric guitar and drum rhythms, and pleasant surprises like the Ramones-esque shouts in “Friend Like That”. Lead singer Jason Dunn’s strong vocals work in tandem with bring-the-house-down beats that will compel your feet to tap and head to bang to their impressive melodies. Album highlights: ALL OF THE SONGS! – hannah goodwyn
  • Smile, It's the End of the World  
    Don’t let the album’s title confuse you. It sounds pessimistic, but really, it’s a clever way to remind us to hold on to happiness despite our circumstances. In “One Thing I Have Left,” the lyrics remind me of the childhood saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Several songs touch on difficult topics, but overall spiritual undertones are subtle and somewhat rare. So don’t expect this album to become your next favorite worship collection. Still, I enjoy how these guys don’t take themselves too seriously, but also successfully cover subjects like suicide and feelings of abandonment. I imagine their teenage fans can certainly relate to their music, especially the piano-driven ballad “Zero.” I hope to see even more maturing the next go-round. Album Highlights: “Zero,” “Everything You Ever Wanted,” “Something on My Mind” - andrea d. hicks

Hawkins, Walter

  • A Song in My Heart  
    The "Godfather of Gospel", Bishop Walter Hawkins, takes us to church with his latest offering. With legendary strong vocals, he sticks close to his traditional gospel roots, especially on the "Staple Singers Tribute (Help Me Jesus)". As old school as it sounds, A Song still has a few surprises including the hidden hymn on "All I Know". Album Highlights: "Highest Praise," "A Song in My Heart" - jennifer e. jones

Hearts of Saints

  • Hearts of Saints
    Hearts of Saints' self-titled debut sprints into its hardcore dance rock with the arena-worthy "The Secret." From beginning to end, this album pumps the speakers with smooth production, radio friendly riffs, and unique vocals. Sadly, most of the lyrics and some of the melodies sound forced. The entire disc lights the wick of potential, but the "ah ha" explosion never happens. It claims its spot as the "Almost There" disc of the year. Anticipate their sophomore release. With a few songwriting tweaks, it's sure to gain "legit status." Album Highlights: "The Secret" - rob vischer

Heath, Brandon

  • What if We 
    Known for his hit, “I’m Not Who I Was”, singer-songwriter Brandon Heath is back with a new set of potential radio favorites. His new song, “Give Me Your Eyes”, has already gained popularity on the charts, peaking at #1 on Billboard’s “Hot Christian Songs” list and staying at the top for the past fourteen weeks. This Dove award winner knows just how to get a listener’s attention with his inspirational lyrics and catchy beats. A plus on this Brandon’s sophomore album, is “Sore Eyes”, a new tune recorded with Jars of Clay. Album Highlights: “Sore Eyes”, “Give Me Your Eyes”, “Wait and See”, “London” and more – hannah goodwyn
  • Don't Get Comfortable  
    When Brandon Heath’s debut album, Don’t Get Comfortable, first came across my desk, I thought, ‘Just what the world needs: one more guitar-playing singer/songwriter.’ Perhaps that’s true, but the world definitely needs Brandon Heath. His simple approach to acoustic adult contemporary music puts him in the same league as Warren Barfield and other treasures of CCM. “Steady Now,” Heath’s mid-tempo confessional, is the first track to catch your attention. There he sings, “We don’t have to wait until the end of the night / Just to say that something’s wrong and maybe nobody’s right.” The uplifting “Our God Reigns” is a nice foray into praise and worship. By the album’s end, you’ll admit too that Heath has a nice launching pad to take off into what looks like a promising career. Album Highlights: “Steady Now” and “Let’s Make It Last” - jennifer e. jones

Heller, J.J.

  • Only Love Remains  
    Think of lyrics that swim in a deep ocean of melancholy hope and you’ll get a hint of what J.J. Heller is all about. Her brand of mellow acoustic folk/pop makes her a blend of Sara Groves and Sarah Hart. She reminds us of how amazing grace truly is in “Thank You.” The variety of lonely hearts she displays is touching on “Love Me.” Heller is not afraid to sing the way she thinks with an honesty that stings a little. Certain tracks like “Make Believe” make Heller a storyteller reminiscent of Jewel on Pieces of You. Without a lot of fuss and flare, Heller delivers a strong album for those who like their music quietly stirring. Album Highlights: “Love Me” and “When I Leave” - jennifer e. jones

Hill, Kim

  • Broken Things  
    Thirteen albums later and Kim Hill still never ceases to amaze us. Like a female John Mellencamp, the Memphis-raised Hill has found a voice in deep, gritty Southern rock. This time around on Broken Things, she aims for the wounded hearts. She offers hope for the woman who’s killing herself to be perfect on “A Million Pieces.” “Wide” gives similar reassurance as she sings, “Nothing could lessen the weight of her sin / Or the bruises she gave herself carrying them… I wish she could see / He’s never left her.” Hill writes some of her own songs but gets good help from talents like Marc Byrd (Third Day), Kate Miner and Jill Phillips. With skill like Hill’s, she’ll turn 13 back into a lucky number. Album Highlights: “A Million Pieces” and “Wide” - jennifer e. jones


  • Celebrating Christmas  
    The great aspect of a Hillsong Christmas album is that Darlene Zschech has a team of talented singers and musicians to work with. That makes for an diverse collection of holiday songs that glorify the birth of Christ. The acoustic instrumental of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” warms your soul like a fireplace. They favor big band jazz on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, yet release their soulful side on the calming “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. The original “O Rejoice” resounds with the worship sounds that made the Australian praise team so popular. I’m thoroughly impressed with Hillsong’s way of Celebrating Christmas. Album Highlights: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” - jennifer e. jones
  • Mighty To Save  
    In a sea of worship albums and praise songs, you really need to rise above the mundane to craft a song that will be sung in churches across the world. It’s a tall order but that seems to be Hillsong’s specialty. Darlene Zschech leads the Aussie ministry team into another quality live CD full of catchy songs to liven up your worship experience. It’s tough to keep your feet still during “The Freedom We Know” as they sing, “Our broken dreams have life again.” “Adonai” (not to be confused with the song by Avalon) also rocks but it’s the softer melodies like “At the Cross” that drive this album. For example, “Found” lightly welcomes you into a calming holy presence. Hardcore worship fans will revel in this release. Album Highlights: “The Freedom We Know” and “Found” - jennifer e. jones

Hillsong London

  • Hail to the King
    If you are already a Hillsong fan, than I am sure you’ll love Hillsong London’s recent release entitled, Hail to the King. On the hand, if you’re not already a Hillsong fan, than this is not the album to bring you over the fence. The CD features a variety of tunes with slow and upbeat tempos, along with lyrics that exalt and worship King Jesus.  Yet, it has nothing unique or fresh about it that you wouldn’t expect from a band with “Hillsong” in the front of it’s name. Nonetheless, though the album is slacking when it comes to uniqueness, that does not take away from the fact that it’s does provide good worship music and because of that you should give it a listen. Album Highlights: “You Brought Me Home,” “Hail to the King” and “I’m Not Ashamed” – kimberly a. lilly
  • Jesus Is: Remix
    Hillsong London jumps in the mix with its remix album of 2006’s Jesus Is. The thumping techno beats whirl around you on 12 electronic worship songs. The ambient intro to “Lord of All” gets you in the mood with praise-worthy deep grooves. “Follow the Son” is straight out of an ‘80s video game soundtrack for anyone feeling nostalgic. The tempo gets down for “Where the Love Lasts” and “Above All”. All the while, you get the same wide open faith that you expect from a Hillsong production. For newbies to this genre, this is an inspiring introduction. Album Highlights: “Lord of All” and “Jesus Is” - jennifer e. jones

Hillsong United

  • All of the Above 
    Hillsong United is well on its way to superseding the impact of Darlene Zschech and its elder Aussies. Fourteen-tracks strong, All of the Above is the truest definition of modern rock worship. As they sing, “Call us out / Let the world see / You are God” on “Point of Difference”, you get an accurate picture of what this youth group band is all about. Their songs are excellent illustrations of their passion. “Break Free” does just that as the guitars rip through the track. Then the chords whisper within ballads “Desperate People” and “Draw Me Closer”. High-energy and strictly vertical, this album is another great movement of Hillsong United’s mission to light this generation on fire for Christ. Album Highlights: "Break Free" and “Lead Me to the Cross” - jennifer e. jones

Houghton, Israel

  • Live: A Deeper Level
    If there ever was a praise anthem composer for the new millennium, my vote would be for Israel Houghton. “Again I Say Rejoice” and “You Are Good” are staples in a lively church. Now Houghton returns from his previous South African album to A Deeper Level. He manages to stay on the platform he’s built for himself with great, high energy songs you will inevitably hear in your church over the next year. “Say So” is classic Houghton with a chorus that rings through the rafters. In between the radio-ready praise songs, there is plenty of spontaneous, Upton-esque worship. The gentle melody of “So Come” is an instant call to the throne room. It’s rare to find but this songbird can do no wrong. Album Highlights: “Say So” and “So Come” - jennifer e. jones

Hughes, Tim

  • Holding Nothing Back  
    "Wait, didn’t Matt Redman write ‘Here I Am to Worship?” Although many people believe that, the author is actually a fellow Brit—worship leader Tim Hughes. His third and latest album, Holding Nothing Back, is another mixture of heart-felt worship and celebrations, keeping in focus all Jesus has done for us, as with the upbeat single “Happy Day.” But he doesn’t just stop there! As the title suggests, Tim pushes past mere commitment to God in favor of total surrender in every part of life with songs like “Everything” and the title track. Several are the result of collaborations with Delirious frontman Martin Smith and guitarist Stu G. Look for more fabulous worship hits from this album to make the “Now playing at ‘your church’ this Sunday morning” status. Album Highlights: “Everything,” “Happy Day,” and “Clinging to the Cross.” - rebekah wilson

Hyper Static Union

  • Lifegiver  
    Hyper Static Union is hard rock with soul. If it doesn’t sound plausible, just listen to their bass lines. You don’t find this kinda funk in your everyday Christian rock band. The flagship band off of Rocketown’s new rock imprint, RKT Music, mixes it up from track to track. “Right Where You Want Me” takes me back to the beginning days of ‘80s new wave ballads. Songs like “Can’t Leave It Alone” could double as good samples for hip-hop artists. They are unapologetically Christian in their lyrics, and if they keep this up, they can continue to sing, “This funky light of my salvation / I’ve got to let it shine” for many years to come. Album Highlights: “Can’t Leave It Alone” and “Praying for Sunny Days” - jennifer e. jones
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