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Walker, Tommy

  • I Have a Hope 
    Though I Have A Hope is Tommy Walker’s first nationally released studio project, this singer/songwriter has over 15 years of experience. With a background in worship leading and 8 live recordings, Walker now proclaims his reason for hope in this new album. The tracks offer a full worship experience giving listeners strong Biblical-based lyrics and Christian messages. However, some may find themselves wishing for more of Walker’s smooth voice and acoustic guitar and less of the background vocalists and choirs. Album Highlights: “I Have A Hope”, “In the Light of Your Glory” – amy nickerson
  • A Grateful People 
    Watermark, the minstrels of praise, collected their best to prove that they truly are "a grateful people." This greatest hits/live album is worth the purchase for the title track only. Chris Tomlin lends his vocals on a nice medley of “A Grateful People / Bless the Lord.” The Nockels also give us spirited live versions of favorites such as “Gloria/Friend for Life” and “Take Me There” that truly display the purity of Christy’s voice. Fans also get some of their early hits like “More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “In the Garden (There Is None Like You).” It may not be awe-inspiring but it’s good Watermark worship through and through and an essential for fans of their work. Album Highlights: “A Grateful People / Bless the Lord” - jennifer e. jones

Webb, Derek

  • Stockholm Syndrome
    Derek Webb - the most important prophetic oasis in the wilderness of Christian music since Rich Mullins - released Stockholm Syndrome to a sandstorm of controversy surrounding the censorship of "What Matters More." INO Records shoved the tune onto the chopping block because of "strong" language. Luckily, the album's strength doesn't reside in the hubbub over one missing track. It's in the tangy glitch-driven beats, the digital sushi bar of musical hooks, and the lyrics your mind marinates in. From "Opening Credits" to "American Flag Umbrella," Webb manufactures sonic Velcro from authentic melodies and trendy timelessness. Warning: "Strong" album. Album Highlights: "Jena & Jimmy," "Heaven," "The Spirit vs. The Kick Drum" - rob vischer
  • The Ringing Bell  

    Like his label mate, Sara Groves, Derek Webb is a master with words. His previous album, Mockingbird, was sheer genius, setting him up to raise the bar for The Ringing Bell. Fortunately for us, Derek delivers better than Fed Ex. No stranger to controversy, Derek releases his inner John Lennon and strips away our false conceptions about real world Christianity. The Ringing Bell resounds through 10 short tracks and ironically starts with “The End”. He throws a few political jabs on “Savior on Capitol Hill”, and he gives another sexy ode to his wife on “I Wanna Marry You All Over Again”. With razor sharp edges and a thinking man’s compassion, I’m glad he’s on our side. Album Highlights: “I Wanna Marry You All Over Again” and “The Very End” - jennifer e. jones

  • Mockingbird 

    Derek Webb is like the pied piper of CCM with his latest release Mockingbird. While the album is largely acoustic and light on the musical flare, Derek put all of his creative energy into his lyrics – and it pays off. Mockingbird is a cognitive adventure that digs deeply into social, political and even romantic issues. He takes shots at self-indulgent ignorance in “A New Law” (“I don’t want to know if the answers aren’t easy”) and protests the war in “My Enemies Are Men Like Me” (“Peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication”). In true Dylan fashion, Webb keeps it purposely simple to let his message shine through. A lyrical masterpiece. Album Highlights: “Please Before I Go” and “Love Is Not Against the Law” - jennifer e. jones

West, Matthew

  • Something to Say 

    He almost lost his voice, and now he’s helping others find theirs on Something to Say. Matthew West gives it his all on his third album. Lyrics have always been this songwriter’s strong suit, and his fans will enjoy more insights from his journey on such songs as the title track and “You Are Everything”. While the melodies are fairly standard for adult contemporary Christian radio, there is a sense that West is going for broke this time around (i.e., “I don’t care if I break / At least I’ll be feeling something” from "The Motions"). You also get a glimpse inside the head of a new father on "Safe and Sound". Looking for an album to lift your spirits beyond your circumstances? West is pointing you towards the light. Album Highlights: “You Are Everything” and “Safe and Sound” - jennifer e. jones

Wickham, Phil

  • Heaven & Earth
    Phil Wickham's latest album floats between heaven and earth with 12 tracks of powerful pop music. His more ethereal sounds can be heard in the opening song, "Eden". The album is synthesizer-heavy, but he makes up for the lack of acoustics with more creativity, as evidence by the myriad of musical levels in "Hold On" and "I'll Always Love You". Wickham not only experimented with different sounds, but also let his lyrics go boldly into deeper devotion. The title track is an aggressive run towards Christ with open arms ("I'm laying down my life / ‘Cause I know what you're worth"). Fans of Phil Wickham will surprised to see what else the musician has up his sleeve. Album Highlights: "Eden", "Heaven & Earth" and "I'll Always Love You" - jennifer e. jones
  • Phil Wickham
    Phil Wickham tosses his hat into the singer/songwriter game with his debut self-titled album. It’s very Chris Tomlin meets John Mayer meets, sadly, everything that's already been done to death. In an industry that is already chock-full of guys who sing and play guitar, Phil’s novelty factor is a bit dim. However, it’s not for a lack of trying. “I Will Wait For You” showcases some strong vocal talent, and his heart that longs after the Father is evident throughout (especially when he sings: “I want to hear the thunder of who You are” in “Mystery”). Phil Wickham gives it his all but it’s just not enough to set him apart. Album Highlights: “I Will Wait For You” - jennifer e. jones

Winans, CeCe

  • Purified
    This woman needs no introduction! In her trailblazing seventh solo album, Purified, CeCe Winans transforms the power of gospel music with celestial melodies, street R&B and infectious elements of pop. Inspiring and passionate, Purified offers street-savvy tracks like “Pray” and “A Place Like This” for any listener looking for spiritual intimacy. When you listen to the CD, you’ll notice the refreshing element of love throughout each song. Simply put, CeCe Winans’ new CD is all-of-dat…and a bag of chips! Album Highlights: “All That I Need” and “Purified.” - terri l. simmons

Winans, Marvin

  • Image of a Man
    M2 Entertainment releases the new album Image of a Man by artist, Marvin Winans. The album is an in-depth look at what a man is and what a man should be, as the artist states, “I think people are searching for who they are and their purpose in life.”  Immediately, while listening to the first track, “Lord Do It”, I was swayed by the beat. Marvin Winans most definitely gives off an R &B artist image. Each song had beat for the listeners to jam to. “It’s Been So Long” has a bit of a slow jam feel to it, while “Steps To A Man” presents more of symphonic melody. Many of Winans songs are reflections of a man’s mistakes of the flesh and internal battles. They are songs that touch on issues that individuals are too invulnerable to talk about in a casual conversation. I found myself many times being able to relate to these battles. From this album, listeners will feel that they are not alone. - ashley card

Woods, Ayiesha

  • Love Like This
    After rocking the charts with her debut album, Ayiesha Woods continues her dancey beats with Love Like This. Full of originality, Woods takes on the theme of love from every angle. Starting with the title track, God is praised for His unfathomable attentions to Christians, but in “One Day,” Woods also speaks of the patient love God has for the unsaved. And in “Love Can’t Wait,” she calls the rest of us to demonstrate this love as well. Throughout the album, Woods keeps the same upbeat attitude listeners originally fell in love with. A pop collection with a touch of rock here, and bit of techno there, Love Like This is a fun album that’s great for praising God or just dancing around the house. Ayiesha has done it again. Highlights: “Love Can’t Wait,” “Never” and “Because of You.” – bethany duval
  • Introducing Ayiesha Woods
    Gotee recording artists are known for the way they twist and turn their music to morph into new genres. So it was a little disappointing to hear the first few tracks of Introducing Ayiesha Woods and feel like I was listening to another Nichole C. Mullen. Thank God it runs off the adult contemporary road by the fifth song, an energetic Jamaican romp called “Crazy.” By the soothing R&B groove of “What You Do to Me” and the urban block party feel of “Days,” I’m diggin’ Ayiesha again. The diversity on Introducing is refreshing but Woods could easily loose the adult contemporary/rock songs to have a pitch-perfect debut release. Album Highlights: “Crazy” and “What You Do to Me” - jennifer e. jones

Worth Dying For

  • Worth Dying For
    The mission of rock worship band Worth Dying For is to be not just a band, but a youth movement that can shake generations.  They are definitely making an impact as one day after the release of their first nationally distributed CD they were number two in the Christian/Gospel section of iTunes.  Their passion for God is clear in the message of their songs.  Their song “Take Me” is an encouragement to those struggling through difficult times in their life.   There is no doubting the message this group wants to convey as they sing, “Empty me for I am broken for Your glory.  In all I do praise will be brought to your name ‘cause I love you Jesus”.    This unique group is writing new songs with an original sound.  Although an album geared for a younger generation, this pop alternative rock CD has something for everyone. – lisa webber

Wright, Paul

  • Wright or Wrong These Songs are Paul's
    Is it just me or is Paul Wright sounding more like tobyMac with every album? Wright or Wrong mixes rap, disco, and acoustic pop in such a gumbo-fashion that it all comes together for a yummy EP. While still maintaining his youthful care-free licks, you can see a little bit of growth in this artist musically. He is sure to make the girls swoon with love-letter songs like “Radio”. I wasn’t fond of the breathy “Hold Me”, but the vulnerability he shows on “My Cards” (“It’s hard to have a girlfriend / I really want a good friend,” he sings) helps keep this album afloat. I love the touches of maturity, and hopefully it points us towards an even better Paul Wright album in the future. That aside, I still hope this Peter Pan never grows up. Album Highlights: “Saturday” and “My Cards” - jennifer e. jones
  • Sunrise to Sunset
    Paul further perfects his brand of summertime, easy acoustic hip-hop. Sunrise to Sunset is purposely light with fun tracks made for the beach-bound. He sings a little more than he did on Fly Away but his love for getting the crowded hyped hasn't changed. The novelty of this genre has waned with the crowding of Shawn McDonald and Mat Kearney but Paul still delivers for the beach bum in all of us. Album highlights: "Heaven," "I Can Feel Your Love" - jennifer e. jones


Yohe, Vicki

  • He's Been Faithful 
    A blonde singing black gospel? I was skeptical. But Dove Award-nominated singer Vicki Yohe, whose rendition of Martha Munizzi’s “Because of Who You Are” became a radio sensation in 2004, pulls it off with great flair and sensitivity, exhibiting her wide vocal dynamics from gentle sweetness to husky power. This 11-song set isn’t just a beautiful example of vocal virtuoso, however. More than anything, Yohe’s Holy Spirit-driven He’s Been Faithful testifies to her rich relationship with the Lord. What comes through is God’s power to energize, soothe, and heal. Whether she is “raising the roof” with the accompanying choir or speaking solo from the depths of her soul, Yohe will minister to both praise & worship and gospel lovers alike. Album Highlights: “Highest Praise,” “In the Sanctuary,” “In the Presence of Jehovah,” “He’s Been Faithful.” - laura j. bagby


Zschech, Darlene

  • Change Your World 

    Darlene Zschech is an ambassador for creating harmony that exemplifies God. If you’re looking for music that will help you enter into a greater level and realm of worship, Change Your World is the CD for you. It offers a combination of blissful and upbeat tunes that will cause you to enter a journey of self-discovery. Simply, passionate worship tracks such as “Where Would I Be” and “Change Your World” have the potential to impact your life. It takes three words to sum up this album: Passionate, expressive and eloquent. Go get it! Album Highlights: “You Are Holy” and “Agnus Dei” - terri l. simmons

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