archive of Christian album reviews
Used CD Bin
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- Dreams & Visions
In a day when punk-rock is king, and R&B is his lady, Mary-Kathryn’s latest album is the cat that slinks around the room, but mostly goes unnoticed. A soft array of new age-style music, Dreams & Visions contains beautiful vocals and skilled instrumentation inspired by the Middle East. Unfortunately, the gentility of the music ensures that most listeners will hardly notice Mary-Kathryn’s efforts. Songs such as “Psalm 91” and “Glory Forever” work better as white noise than as anything else. If listeners do concentrate on the lyrics, they’ll hear simplistic words of praise to and longing for Christ, but Mary-Kathryn’s words are by no means ground-breaking. In “Flying Towards the Sun” Mary-Kathryn sings, “I’m falling into you, falling into place.” Similar lyrical content is found throughout the CD. Despite the album’s artistry, it seems that Mary-Kathryn has missed her time. Today’s listeners will shoo her music out the back door. Highlights: “Glory Forever.” – bethany duval
Eighteen years into their professional musical careers, the Katina brothers admit that the charm of certain job aspects has worn away, but one passion has always remained strong: praising God through music. Set to the adult contemporary—with a twist of island—sound the Katinas are known for, Still gives listeners an energetic worship experience that is sure to get them moving. From the rock-edged “Alive,” to the gospel-toned “Praise,” the album has something special for each fan, new and old. And the strong message of thanks for God’s enduring faithfulness is great for everyone to hear and join in on. They may be nearly two decades in, but the Katinas are still going strong. Highlights: “Everlasting God,” “Alive,” and “Praise.” – bethany duval
- Where the Past Meets Today
Her debut album Take Me Away made the virtually unknown Sarah Kelly a Grammy-nominated rock star. On her follow-up, Kelly presents more of the raw, uncomfortably vulnerable music that made her so great. With a voice unlike any other in Christian music today, Kelly drives home her passion in songs like “Between the Lines” and “Believe Again.” The album has a few pot holes that should be avoided (“The Beauty of It All” and “Still Breathing” almost serve as extra, unneccessary padding). Her ballads make up for the mishaps. With “Remember Me Well,” Kelly could bring ‘70s classic rock back to modern music. She also takes the listner inside the jail cell of Paul and Silas on “About Midnight.” Not as good as Take Me Away but a worthy piece of work that will hopefully earn her the Best Female Vocalist award that she deserves from the GMA. - jennifer e. jones
Kids in the Way
- Let Love Win
A Love Hate Masquerade is something longtime Kids in the Way fans can sink their teeth into. Full of anthems to pump your fists to, these Kids could start a revolution with such powerful tracks as “Your Demon” and “We Kill at Twilight”. “Far from Over” rebels against the standards of the world. “Sugar” is by far the most crossover worthy yet may ruffle some stuffed collars as the boys detail the fury of a woman scorned: “She’s the devil in black stilettos / She’s a fully loaded debutante”. Few rock bands age well but Kids in the Way seems to get better with every album. Album Highlights: “Sugar” and “We Kill at Twilight” - jennifer e. jones
For the Knappy fan that feels abandoned by the singer’s absence, Gotee is sending out a belated Christmas gift this year. This concert CD, recorded in New Mexico, captures her spark for live playing. Listeners get an earful of the true strength of Knapp’s vocals, especially on “A Little More.” She rearranges “The Way I Am,” stripping it down and letting the haunting melody and lyrics shine through, and the extended intro into “Undo Me” is worth the album price alone. Her voice still runs deep like Rita Springer, and her Melissa Etheridge-esquse way of attacking a guitar just makes us miss her all the more. If this is the last of Knapp, I’m satisfied but wish that she’d left us new material to remember her by. Album Highlights: “The Way I Am,” “Martyr’s and Thieves” - jennifer e. jones
- Hearts of the Innocent
Kutless is a band that sort of grows on you. I must admit that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with them when I first saw them in concert three years ago. But with each album release, they seem to be getting better and better. Their fourth studio release, Hearts of the Innocent builds on the success of Strong Tower. A bit less melodic than previous releases, this album succeeds based on its sharp, sometimes biting lyrics. The rock songs are edgy and the ballads serve as nice tempo shifts throughout. However, a few songs don’t seem to fit either category (“Mistake,” “Winds of Change”), causing the album to seem uneven and forced at times. Album Highlights: “Hearts of the Innocent” and “Legacy” - chris carpenter
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