archive of Christian album reviews
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- Come Undone
For all the buzz that Jackson Waters received on MySpace and iTunes prior to the release of Come Undone, I was expecting a lot from this debut… perhaps too much. Unlike the name of the track “Different”, most of the songs here are far from that with used lyrics and over-played melodies. To enjoy this album, you’ve got to cling to the good songs, which – few as they may be – are really good. The much buzzed, One Tree Hill soundtrack-worthy song, "Center of Attention", shows a marvelous depth within simplicity. The title track really let’s David Leonard’s voice dance in a wide range. Jackson Waters is good but every new band that comes out ups the ante a little. Here’s to hoping that Jackson Waters keeps up. Album Highlights: "Center of Attention" and "Come Undone" - jennifer e. jones
- Above the Noise
With the loud ruckus taking precedence in our world today, it sometimes proves a difficulty to hear God’s voice. Jaime Jamgochian’s sophomore project, Above The Noise, challenges this idea with soulful and honest worship music that presents listeners with an invitation to be still and really listen to our Creator. The songs are biblical, the lyrics heart-felt, and the offering meaningful. Turning on this album might just allow God’s voice to speak a little louder. Album Highlights: “God Unchanging,” “Sing of Our God” and “I Stand In Awe” - amy nickerson
- Reason to Live
It’s Nichole Nordeman meets Watermark meets everything else on contemporary Christian radio. To her downfall, Jaime Jamgochian’s Reason to Live is good on its own but comes into a rather crowded Top 40 genre with not enough originality to go around. To her credit, Jaime has a mellow sweetness to her voice that is pleasant to the ear, making these familiar melodies more bearable. She also enlists the help of the great singer/songwriter Scott Krippayne (“Life Up the Name”). Reason to Live is very worship-driven with passion-filled yet often used lyrics: “Let everything I do…/ Exalt Your Holy name / My King, My God.” A very nice try but may lack the novelty spark to stay in your iPod Shuffle. Album Highlights: “Heart of Heaven” - jennifer e. jones
Jars of Clay
- Good Monsters
Jars of Clay… You gotta love ‘em. Even when they miss the moon, they land on the stars. Good Monsters, while not quite the triumph of Redemption Songs, is still a masterpiece of progressive rock with great melodies and lyrics that read like poetry. On this album, the band marvels at the complex depravity of man while putting their own flaws on the table (“I have no fear of drowning / It’s the breathing that’s taking all this work” front man Dan Haseltine sings on “Work”). Although patches of the album are darker than fans may be used to (i.e., the melancholy “Surprise” where he sings, “Love won’t cure the chaos / And hope won’t hide the loss”), the band holds fast to the idea of redemption. Eleventh Hour still stands as their best work but Good Monsters solidifies Jars of Clay as the best thing to ever happen to Christian music. Album Highlights: “Oh My God” and “Dead Man (Carry Me)” - jennifer e. jones
- Redemption Songs
It is quite enjoyable and brings a comforting reassurance of God’s presence in our lives. Read the full review...
- Kari Jobe
Upgrading from worship pastor at the Dallas/Fort Wroth based Gateway Church, Kari Jobe takes a leap of faith in which she decides to spread the hope and healing of God by way of releasing her very own album. Kari Jobe’s sweet, soft, angelic voice pierces the heart of listeners as it creates an aesthetic presence of God’s anointing. Starting off with a praise and worship song, “I’m Singing,” Kari Jobe sings lyrics that are uplifting and heart warming. “Healer” is an intimate song to God, a cry to God that Jobe decides to trust in her Father. “Joyful” brings an acoustic, soft, and soothing sound, while “Beautiful” slowly carries the listeners into a quiet and transcendent form of praise and worship. I found myself aesthetically pleased with every song on the album. - ashley card
- Strangest Day
Lead singer Vince Lichlyter’s strong voice and worshipful lyrics command this new release from alternative rock group Jonah33 ("You made yourself an endless maze of love, so I never give up. Don't want to leave this mystery"). The band also got it right in that they put a variety of rhythms on this project. But they didn't go far enough in highlighting original rock sounds, which are already overplayed as it is. This unfortunately drags the album down to an average rating. Album highlights: "This Is It," "Mystery," and "Search Me, Know Me." - hannah goodwyn
- It's About Time
If you’ve been looking for something to hold you over in between Jump5 albums, the Jonas Brothers are more than eager to deliver. It’s About Time is boy band pop/rock on overdrive. “Mandy” is already an MTV TRL favorite. The three brothers keep their formulaic music pretty simple with lines like “She walked out of the door / And right out of my life” from “7:05.” The ballad, “One Day at a Time,” is a mildly impressive tale of young unrequited love. They’re not reinventing the wheel by any means but you can’t argue with the powerful preteen population; this is the kind of dreamy pop music that girls across the nation swoon for. Three spins but only if you're under 18. Album Highlights: "One Day at a Time" - jennifer e. jones
- And So It Is
Jontez comes from Kirk Franklin’s powerhouse God’s Property, and it shows. His beats and flow are hip-hop soul with a latin twist at the end. “Don’t Walk Away” has that contemporary R&B sound that hints at a Diddy/Bad Boy style. He continues to blend different genres into his groove with “Rising Son”; the chorus boasts a sweet Asian flare. What really gives Jontez a unique edge is being not only a talented singer but holding songwriting credits on this CD. A pleasantly surprising debut! Album Highlights: “Don’t Walk Away,” “Rising Son,” and “Can’t Get Enough”- jennifer e. jones
- My Coming Day
New Inpop Records releases their first album, My Coming Day, by song artist, Julian Drive. This acoustic and alternative artist of Georgia roots shows listeners what it means to worship. I found each song soothing and pleasant to the ears. Putting me in a calm and relaxed state; resting in the presence of God. Listeners would consider Julian’s songs to be sincere. Shifting the album in multiple directions, the album starts off with soft rock sounding track entitled, “From Your Hands”. Then it transitions to an alternative sound throughout the rest of the album, beginning with “Always There”. Then driving it home, song entitled, “The Reason Is You”, causes listeners to engage in an intense praise and worship experience. - ashley card
- Hello & Goodbye
Six years after their debut, the members of Jump5 are bidding their fans farewell with their final album, Hello & Goodbye. Long-term fans will enjoy the typical Jump5 mix of new and remixed originals along with covered classics. The highlight of the latter, of course, is the very popular “Hello Goodbye,” originally by the Beatles. The group also manages to create a very nice barber shop effect for the “Star-Spangled Banner.” As for their new songs, fans know better than to look for a challenge in the group’s feel-good lyrics. Still, the standard messages of faith (“You”), friendship (“Still Got Me”), and seizing the day (“Fly”) ring true on the album and are perfectly formed for in-car karaoke and dancing around the house. Hello & Goodbye is a perfect farewell to loyal fans and an invitation for new fans to look up the songs that started it all. Album Highlights: “Fly,” “Hello Goodbye,” and “Shoot the Moon.” - bethany duval
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