Archive for the 'the Joint' Category

22
Sep
09

David Crowder’s CHURCH MUSIC Delivers! Review & Wine Metaphor

I am stunned and shocked by the intensity this worship project brings. It’s absolutely ruining the rest of my music collection right now!

As many of you know, today’s the day! New David Crowder*Band goodness for you to feast on. And let me tell you, it is yummy goodness! We’ve featured it in our multi-perspective review BLOGSITE The Joint Review.com (yup we went pro on you and made our own site!) and I highly recommend you check it out. Shucks just go buy the CD and then read the review while you dig in!

I do warn you! This worship project is not for the faint of heart! It has been masterfully thought out thematically, lyrically, and stylistically and shall be like your favorite red wine. One that with each sip gets better and better and truly gets better with time! But I encourage you to drink deep!

29
Jul
09

The Joint comes back with Faith+Hope+Love by Hillsong

Hi. Remember us? 3 guys who review new music for you to feast your giddy little ears on?
Well we’re back with a new release from Hillsong and an additional blogger! WOOHOO!

Faith+Hope+Love

Pre-order it here at Amazon

Guest Mike Mahoney!Go to Mikeymo’s Place

Synopsis: Disclosure: I listen to, and play, a lot of Hillsong music. Hardly a week goes by in our church that there’s not a Hillsong tune somewhere in the setlist. There’s so many of them! And while I listen to both live and studio albums, my preference (and Hillsong’s strenght) is the live worship CD.

Faith+Hope+Love is right in Hillsong’s wheelhouse. This has everything one could want in a live worship album: intimate moments, worship anthems, and musical themeatic consistancy. You can put this in an feel like you are at a worship service, even though it was recorded at three different venues. What’s more, this album combines the talents of Hillsong’s main worship band with the youth band Hillsong United. So you wind up with the talents of “mates” like Joel Houston, J.D., Darlene Zchech, Reuben Morgan, Brooke Fraiser, Mia Fields, and Nigel Hendroff all on one record. It’s like a Hillsong All-Star game.

Bottom Line: That said, there’s only a few songs that seriously “pop” out for me personally, but the record is consistantly good throughout, and has several songs easily converted to congregational worship. And there is enough musical variety here to please a great many people, and a great many worship moods. This album certainly keeps the bar high when it comes to live worship albums, and should be in anyone’s collection.

4 out of 5!

Must Haves: “God One and Only.”  – I’ll admit to being a bit of a United junkie, and this is the kind of worship anthem I like.  “I Will Exalt You” – Two words: Brooke Fraiser.  “Yahweh” – I’m a sucker for Reuben Morgan worship anthems, and this is a good one.

In Church: As stated, we are very used to doing Hillsong and United songs, so some of these will be easy for us.  “God One and Only” for sure.  “Yahweh,” “Glow” stand out for me, but almost anything on the record will work in a worship setting.

Conner Byrd – Stick around here

Synopsis: I can’t believe I’m saying this but I LOVE THIS CD! Now, Hillsong has had a slow burn on me. I’ve only joined the bandwagon in the past few years and probably because they’re starting to graduate some musicians and they’re sound is (as I’ve “complained” about in the past) is becoming blurred between what Hillsong and Hillsong United is. This release also shares musicians as well as songs between the two camps but I absolutely love it.

I split this CD into quarters: Tracks 1-3 have an awesome flow starting off with a Unitedish opener and rush through to Glow with it’s in your face swing. Tracks 4-6 hit the worship stride with each song being 7+ mins. Tracks 7-9 pick it back up again with a United Cover. Track 10 stops you immediately, the most stunning track of the CD and sweeps you through to the final track witch is another United cover and probably one of my most favs!

Bottom Line: For fans of Hillsong United but wanting more congregationally friendly worship for “big church” this is such a solid release! Get you some! It’s got something for everyone and a great flow for a worship CD!

4 out of 5!

Must haves: His Glory Appears is one of those stop you in your tracks songs (harkens to Soon.) Glow is a fun swing song! I Will Exalt is my favorite +7 minute song 🙂 You Hold Me Now is such a killer song as well.

In Church: Again, I think that Hillsong’s releases are more “big church” friendly and this is a worship CD so if you’ve got the talent then you’ve got the songs!

Alastair VanceGo to Live to Worship

Synopsis: It wasn’t that long ago when we reviewed the latest Hillsong United album.  This new album from Hillsong shares a song (No Reason To Hide) with the United album.  The album sound is certainly not as ‘rowdy’ as United’s.  Instead it is more of the signature Hillsong sound we’ve heard over recent years.

The album starts off great, then kind of slumps.  There is a little peak a few songs near the end, but not enough to revive the rest of the album for me.  It kind of slips into neutral with no drive.  Don’t hate me, I’m just stating what comes to me listening to it.

Maybe they need to bring Mike G back to write some killer songs?  Just a suggestion 🙂

Bottom Line: Have Hillsong hit the end of the road?

3.5 out of 5

Must Have Songs
:
The First And The Last – great start to the album.
It’s Your Love – My favourite track on the album.
No Reason To Hide – Ok, I’m not sure I liked this on United’s album, but it stands out above the other tracks here.
His Glory Appears – nice song, but not sure how it would work congregationally.
You Hold Me Now – I like the song lyrics.

In Church: The First And The Last, It’s Your Love, You Hold Me Now

Joel KlampertGo to Klampert.com

Synopsis: A live CD from all things Hillsong? Sounds good to me. This CD brings in Alumni vintage crew with some of the united crew further more confusing the heck out of us listeners. Which band is which?…and…How do they have so much time to write, record, tour and be in two or three different. I barely have time to pee myself.
Any way it is a classic Hillsong CD with classic Hillsong sound, but some added twists.
I came at this CD a tad worried because the joint just reviewed Sojourn with the highest rating and I was not too keen on last United CD.

Bottom Line: 3 words folks! Brooke Fraser Ligertwood. Seriously can she write a bad song? I swear I would listen to her sing menus at Dennys.
While I came listening to this CD a tad worried I was so surprised that while I am sick of the Hillsong sound this CD was awesome. Pulled me right into worship and got me centered on Christ. Rueben Morgan, Brooke, and Joel are brilliant and they shine on this CD.
This CD has a wall of sound kind of feel that makes you feel like you are right there worshiping with them

4 out of 5!

Must Haves: Actually many on this one, but a few major standouts for me.  I love “For your Name” what a great song and awesome lyrics. Almost anthem like.
“Yaweh” is a great song by Morgan. When “I will Exalt You” came on the ipod I had to click repeat 3 more times. It took me a while to actually get to the songs after it because Brooke’s voice and heart and worship was so captivating. Glow is a real cool song as well. I love “His glory Appears”

In Church: For Your Name, Yaweh, I will be doing “I will exalt you” in a few weeks at a multichurch prayer meeting, His glory appears is a great communion song.

24
Jun
09

The Joint returns! Highest rated review yet: Sojourn Music Over the Grave

It’s been a while so let me remind you, The Joint is a collaborative music review by yours truly and 2 other bloggers whose opinions I highly value! Hopefully, you the listener will get a great indication of whether or not you should fork our your hard earned $9.99 for the CD or not.

COMMENT ON ANY OF THE 3 BLOGS THAT REVIEWED THIS CD
AND BE ENTERED TO WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

Sojourn Music

Sojourn Music – Over the Grave

Pick it up here now.

Alastair VanceGo to Live to Worship he’s got a new banner that’s wicked cool!

Synopsis:
Wow!  Hot on heels of On The Move by Aslan Worship is another amazing worship album from Sojourn Music – Over The Grave.  From the very first song (Warrior) this album oozes quality.  I love the contemporary, bluesy rock sound of the album while the lyrics remain rock solid.  While not every song could easily be played the way Sojourn perform it, there is plenty of material on here to suit everyone.

Bottom Line: I hope we keep getting great albums like this to review on The Joint.  It’s new, fresh and totally engages you in worship.  A substantial addition to my music collection!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5!

Must Have Songs:
Over The Grave is full of great songs, but there are a few that I just love.
Warrior (this is my favorite song on the album – what a great sound!), Living Faith, How Long, Only Your Blood (reminds me a little of a Keane song), Reveal Your Love, Over Death (slight Jars of Clay feel), Refuge, We Are Changed,.and Saviour King.  Hang on – that’s nearly every song on the album.

In Church: Only Your Blood, Over Death, Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed, May Your Power Rest On Me, Saviour King.

Joel KlampertGo to Klampert.com

Synopsis: Can the words fresh and Ancient really go hand in hand? Sojourn makes you think with this CD because every song is from the Hymn writer Issac Watts yet they created one of the most refreshing CD’s I have heard to date.
I have been a fan of Sojourn since I was introduced to their Advent CD and later Before the Throne, but this one is an absolute achievement. Within seconds of pressing play on my iPod I was floored and had to even post to twitter ” HOLY COW!!” If you don’t have the same reaction then you need to check to see if you have a pulse.
This is a CD of hymns. Sojourn is very different than other artists that do “modern” hymns. They dont just make it faster and tag on a chorus. They create a whole new song and it becomes modern and rich.
This Church is Chock full of talented artists and musicians. The production was done in-house By Neil Robins. Let me tell you I can’t remember when I have heard a better-produced CD.

Bottom Line: I could literally go on for hours about how revolutionary this CD and how rich it’s theology is. How amazing the sound is and how cool all of the vintage instrumentation mixed with modern sound is…But I won’t.
The “bottom Line” is this. This CD is the best CD of 2009 hands down. And if you could only have one CD to put on your shelf this year. You had better pick this one up!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5!

Must Haves: Please don’t take this as a cop out, but I think every song on this CD is a must have. My favorites are: Warrior (OH MY!!), How Long (was waiting for guest solo from ZZtop), Only Your Blood, Over Death.

In Church: I’d say try them all. The vocalists are SO good on this CD that it may be a little daunting, but with some key changes I think every song on this CD has a place in church.

Conner Byrdstick around here @ WorshipCity

Synopsis: What I love so much about Sojourn’s CD Over the Grave is it’s personality! This was my introduction to Sojourn music (I had to ask the guys what exactly they were? Church? Band? Worship Team?) Sojourn Music is a dynamic group of musicians that make up the worship team there at their church. And a dynamic bunch they are! I believe there are 4 different lead vocals, there’s the blues, driving acoustics, raunchy electrics, beautiful piano, soulful gospel spiritual, pop and somehow they pretty much pull it off!! It’s truly impressive! AND the professionalism in the recording is spectacular as well. It doesn’t get much better than this. It should be mentioned that this music is all inspired and taken from hymns from Isaac Watts. I don’t know a single one but they’ve done an incredible job of taking some difficult subject matter that doesn’t crop up in modern worship music so much and mash it with their worship styles and create this experience that totally works! If I’m honest…I’m typically not a fan of these projects. They come off like Blended Worship Services. Trying to please everyone while aggravating anyone! But something special happens here.

Bottom Line: There’s a little bit of everything in here for you! You want blues? You like Mayer or Brewster? Got it! You want gospel spiritual chain gang revival? Got it! You like Tower of Power? Check! How about some throwback 70s rock? Oh yeah. What’s great is hearing some of the band’s obvious influences while at the same time not loosing their own identity! I swear I hear Silversun Pickups’ Lazy Eye in the beginning of Over Death!
Sojourn has done a fabulous job of creating seemingly simple songs but being smart about their layering and in doing so keeping it creative and interesting. I also love that despite having obvious vocal talent we aren’t bombarded with constant backing vocals! This team is obviously conscientious about crafting their music and not just bludgeoning us with everything they’ve got. THANK YOU SOJOURN!
Rating: 4 out of 5!

Must have: Opening track Warrior is just sick! HOW LONG! Ugh! Raucous and obnoxious and awesome! Over Death not only drives with the acoustic but has “monster” and “damning” in a PRAISE SONG! Come on people! Honestly only Refuge and Savior King haven’t grown on me. The first is a bit too CCM and the 2nd..eh.

In Church: It’s a worship project! So…all!?!?! I suppose a worship leader would just need to be wise about which songs fit or don’t fit with his or her team and makeup. Chords and lyrics are available on their site. I think Reveal Your Love isn’t as congregationally friendly and I think Alas! (while I dig it!) would get stale without a team that’s able to pull it off. Let’s not forget this is a church worship team but they’ve set the bar HIGH! So dig in leaders and take some pride in what you do and get on it!

Over the Grave Album Cover

The Joint has it’s highest ranked CD so far! Sojourn Music’s Over the Grave gets a combined 4.5!
Apparently the ‘best’ songs as mentioned by all 3 of us are:
Warrior, How Long, Over Death, and Only Your Blood.

Don’t forget to comment here or on the other 2 guys’ blogs to hopefully get picked to get your own copy! It’s not even on iTunes yet people!!

27
May
09

The Joint – Hillsong United a_CROSS//the_EARTH Tear Down the Walls …nuff said!

Hillsong United. New CD. Enough said! We reviewed a_CROSS//the_EARTH: Tear Down the Walls so sit tight and enjoy!

United Tear down wall

Hillsong United – a_CROSS//the_EARTH: Tear Down the Walls

Get it everywhere but it’d be sweet to kick Eminem off the #1 spot and boost United to the top of iTunes so go get it there!

Conner Byrd – Yours truly, stick around here

Synopsis:
I’m going to assume you’ve heard of the worship CD churning machine called Hillsong. I’m not going to assume you’re aware that Hillsong United is the “Youth Band” segment of their team because (I’ve said it before) the lines seemed to have been blurred over the past 2 years as to who’s making what. WELL the line is no longer blurred! With a_CROSS//the_EARTH it is clear that United is back to making music for the Youth. We’ve got an official introduction from the ‘under 21′ worship crew (you might have picked up In a Valley By the Sea but you probably didn’t) but here we have some of that crew making their big time debut. It’s great to have some fresh voices and such on such a stable and incredible team like United! I do dare you to count how many times you sing/yell “Woah oh Oh oh!” Haha, I mean but it is for a corporate setting and what gets you going more than yelling!
As always, you get your money’s worth with 12 tracks in a live setting that’s pushing you from one song to the next as if you’re really there!

Bottom Line:
This CD’s not for your typical church worship setting. It is however for your youth setting! Yours Forever is what I’ve been talking about in regards to Post-RockBand-Worship-Music! It’s busy, it’s loud, it’s anthematic, it’s what I see the multitude of youth who have ravaged these games on their consoles at home craving for in the church. However, the great thing is that there are also tracks like the sweet and beautiful Soon that is angelic. And of course everything inbetween!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5!

Must have:
Yours Forever – yes its ridiculous and over the top and it’s exactly why I love it! Soon – it’s everything that Yours Forever isn’t! Freedom is Here – for it’s Angels & Airwaves vibe. You Hold Me Now – I just love the chorus lyrics and how they roll off my tongue! King of All Days!! Yes, King of All Days is a must have!

Church Songs:
Depends on your church. With your congregation, you might not be able to get away with all of them :) But these are definitely worship songs. I’d start you with: King of All Days, No Reason to Hide, Oh You Bring is a delicious worship tune that just sits there in your pocket, and Soon…mmm….Soon.

Alastair VanceGo to Live to Worship

Synopsis:
I’ve always been excited about the release of a new Hillsong United album and this time was no exception.  However, on my first listen through the songs the only word I had to describe it was ‘bleh’.  After a few listens there are some definitely some gems on there but for the most part my thoughts about it are still ‘bleh’ (ref: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bleh).

The album is energetic, the style is spot on and it sounds really great, but to be honest I was a little disappointed.  I was really listening out for some ‘killer’ songs I could use in church but nothing really stands out or connects with me immediately.

Here’s a question.  Am I being too much of a consumer-focused Christian expecting that immediate worship high?  Or are Hillsong manufacturing albums simply to meet consumer demand rather than a natural outpouring of their hearts?  Or both?  Hmmm.  🙂

Bottom Line:
Fist pumping pop, sung with attitude and lots of WhaaOoO, oOo OoO and Yoooo.  OK, now I’ve had enough.  I’m going back to listen to Aslan Worship again (ref: http://www.myspace.com/theaslanworship).

Rating: 2.5 out of 5!

Must Have Songs
:
The gems I talk about are King Of All Days, Oh You Bring, Soon and Arms Wide Open.

Church Songs:
All the songs are crafted for contemporary worship, so if you like the song, use it.  Remember one thing.  Your task as a worship leader is to lead people to that place where they are released to worship God uninhibited.  Therefore, when introducing new songs pick songs you connect with and believe will encourage that.

Joel KlampertGo to Klampert.com

Synopsis:
United? Who in the world…Well if you haven’t heard of United then you are currently living under a rock or in a “VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!”. Folks they are back and with a new live CD. Complete with more Woah’s and ooo’s that may make you think 90’s RnB and boys 2 men are back.
I listened to this CD a few times at first after i got the pre-release and I was having a real hard time getting into it. Nothing really jumped out at me and I have no clue why. However I am glad I didn’t throw it on the shelf and give up on it cus it has some real gems that don’t disappoint. I am still working through this CD many listens over now, but I encourage you to do the same.
I think ultimately with a band like united who has basically shaped worship into their own mold and everybody on the planet is trying to mimic their sound that a new CD comes with preconceived expectations. It is really hard to listen to this CD and not have every one of their other ones in your head.
It still has that signature United sound, but I am excited to see there are trying new things. It was really needed.

Bottom Line:
If you love worship then you need to listen to this CD. I urge you though pretend this is a new band and listen to it like that. Listen to the heart of it and get trapped by the spirit. If you go in with thinking you will have an entire CD of what we have had before then you will miss the gems. The gems are my must haves.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5!

Must Haves:
King of All Days has a brilliant Chorus. I love the redone version of Desert song. That song gets me every time. Tear Down the walls is epic. My first listen the only song that gripped me was Soon. If you are not a United fan buy this CD just for that song. It’s worth it. Your Name High reminds me of U2 and I absolutely love this song. Yes even though it is chock full of “O’s” it is awesome. Last but not least is Yours Forever. This song has a new feel for United and it’s kinda off the wall. It’s a great youth service song and WAY over the top. Reminded me of the Raconteurs.

In Church:
This is a tough call. Depending on how adventurous your church is, if you have 35 guitarists, and killer vocalists most of these songs can be done. I am pretty sure I will attempt a few, but most of these would work best in a youth/college setting. I think on this CD United really made it clear the age group they lead.

13
May
09

Even Lifeway likes Bluetree

Yeah we finally got The Joint out this week reviewing Bluetree and when I got home today I see that our timing was actually impeccable! It seems Lifeway is excited about Bluetree as well and has featured them in their get2know… segment. They’re also selling their CD God of This City, for the very low low price of $5.00. The fun thing is that it’s actually a physical CD! Wow, remember what those were like!?!

WHO WERE/ARE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
Steven – Seven Day Jesus, Tears for Fears, MuteMath, U2
Bryan – Copeland, Death Cab for Cutie, Mae, Thrice, Newsboys
Justin – Delirious?, Switchfoot, Acceptance, Seabird, Paper Route
Dave – MuteMath, Julianna Theory, Anberlin
Josh – dcTalk, Coldplay, Sanctus Real

WHO HAS A SIMILAR SOUND TO YOURS?
Coldplay, The Killers, MuteMath, and U2

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL GOALS?
To influence the world and not be influenced by the world, to encourage believers and reach out to the lost, and to show the love of Christ to everyone that we encounter – by living out the example of the life of Christ given to us in the Gospels.

WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ALBUM?
We want everyone that listens to be affected in an individual way. Themes throughout are hope, life issues, and compassion for the unloved.

So I see from this get2know you on Bluetree that I share many of the same musical influences as the guys which explains why I probably like their CD! Also, that they may have printed one of the worlds longest run on sentences 🙂

13
May
09

The Joint review of Bluetree’s God of this City

It took a band from Ireland to get all 3 Joint reviewers on board! By now, you’re probably familiar with the song God of this City but don’t miss out on the band who put it in the hands of Chris Tomlin and company.
God of this city

Bluetree – God of this City

Find it to listen and purchase at iTunes (it’s only $7.99) and Amazon (it’s only $6.99!!)

Alastair Vance – go to Live to Worship
Synopsis: I picked up Bluetree’s album on Amazon for the bargin price of $5.  These guys used to play in a church close to where I lived in Ireland.  However, it wasn’t until Tomlin broke with ‘God Of This City’ that I actually heard of them.
I can hear lot of musical influences in here.  Slight influences from bands like Snow Patrol and even Ash are apparent, but obvious influences include Duke Special in ‘God’s Plan’ (~3:18-) and Delirious in tracks ‘Your Love’ and ‘Oh My God’.

Bottom Line: Aside from using the word ‘Great’ a lot, I love this album.  I can’t really say otherwise as they might arrange to have my knees done if I ever return home.  It’s a great great album.  Really great, so it is.

4 out of 5!

Must Have Songs: God’s Plan, For You, God Of This City, Your Love, Standing Out and Great Is Your Name.

Church Songs: For You, God Of This City (I much prefer this version), Your Love, Each Day and When I Survey.

Joel Klampert – go to Klampert.com
Synopsis
: Bluetree…Wow. They totally stole a song from Tomlin. Wait. What? They wrote God of This City? Here we have what happened when Chris Tomlin did “Your Grace is Enough” Matt Maher’s version is way better yet it isn’t until recent that people have even heard it. Bluetree’s version of the song is so much better. That aside this CD isn’t just a one hit wonder. It is a beautiful, rockin, out of the mold CD that interweaves in worship. This band is fantastic and they really deserve to make a mark on the industry. I honstly went into it thinking I was going to get a odd “chieftan’s” version of God of this City and intstead my ears were treated to pure goodness.

Bottom Line: If you Love Tomlin and think God of this City should not have been messed with then not only should you skip that song but you really have issues. This band is fantastic and even though at times you find yourself dreamin’ of Alastair due to the accents You need to get this CD.

4 out of 5!

Must Haves: When I survey is brilliant! Great is your name has a real airy feel to it similar to the Ian Mcintosh CD. God’s Plan to me is the best all around track on the CD. God of this City is awesome. I love this version so much and I can’t wait to be able to do it like that.

In Church: Honestly most of the songs here are doable in church. At first listen a bunch of the songs in the middle of the CD seemed kinda lacking, but the worshipful aspect of them on my second listen over took that and I am finding that I am really into those songs.

Conner Byrd – stick around and show me some love:
Synopsis: Ever since I heard the story behind the song God of This City, I’ve been dying to get a hold of Bluetree and I’m so glad we had the chance here on The Joint. I love that Bluetree’s been able to write and create some songs that work well for a listener and a worshiper. Right from the start of things with songs like Life’s Noise that’s crazy and wild and in your face, strip it down and it could be a worship song as well! I like hearing what’s coming across the pond. There’s a great mix of variety of songs including Brit-pop, rock, melodic contemplative, and a truly worthy revamped hymn!

Bottom Line: I think I’d LOVE this CD if it was trimmed down by at least 2 or 3 songs and arranged in a better flow. Out of the gate, the first 4 songs hit and then there’s a lull until the end, which I almost didn’t get to. I’m glad I did because 2 of my favorites are the last 2 tracks! That being said, I really like it!

4 out of 5!

Must have: Great is Your Name just captivates me! It’s like a real smooth Death Cab sound and I listen to it repeatedly! I think you need When I Survey because it sneaks up on you and it’s a truly worthy revamp. Life’s Noise because it’s fun and God of This City because you’ll love the musicality of it and either hate or love his vocal line over Tomlin’s.

Church Songs: Basically the Must Haves! But really, this is a dynamic CD that like I said, can be listened to or worshipped with!

27
Apr
09

The Joint Raises the Flag with Matt McCoy

joint4

It’s going to be a music week folks! Sorry, I got behind with our trip to New Orleans so hold on tight, here we go:

Matt McCoy – Raise the Flag Again

find on iTunes or Amazon

Joel Klampert – go to Klampert.com

Synopsis: I first found out about Matt Mccoy when I would watch the live worship services from the Vineyard Cincinnati. He would cover for the BRILLIANT Robbie Reider when he needed a break. At the time I was really impressed with the guy and always wondered if he would do a CD.
He did and I like it. He has a very interesting voice. Almost like a young Derri Daugherty from “the Choir”. Matt if you are reading this you need to do some covers of them on your next CD.
Gotta love a tangent…
Matt has an awesome sound and great production on this CD. However I think sometimes his vocals are a little too hidden. The guitar parts and songwriting is spot on. This is one surprisingly great CD.

Bottom Line: I like this CD a ton. Every song on it is singable and can be done in a church setting no matter the skill. While it is good I have had to give it multiple listens so it could grow on me. Nothing really jumped out. I will continue to give it more listens because Matt is a great songwriter and you can really see his heart on this EP.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Must Haves: What If (my favorite track), Revelation (not the remix)

In Church: As I said before you could easily do this entire CD in church as long as you eliminated the remix song. Remember when you used to have to blow into the nintendo to get it to not freak out. I wanted to blow into my ipod when the remix came on.

Alastair Vance – go to Live to Worship

Synopsis: When I first listened to this I wasn’t sure I would be able to give it a good review, but to be honest it has since grown on me (a lot).  Matt’s vocals and sound is a little like Leelands with a wee bit of Mark Roach thrown in for good measure.  I love the truths and heart yearnings that Matt exposes through his lyrics and melodies.

Before I looked Matt up online (http://www.mattmccoymusic.com/) I was convinced he had a lot of good worship leader experience and I was right! He is currently serving as a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church.  This experience really comes across on the record – a transparency and raw honesty that we like to see in our worship leaders.

‘Raising The Flag Again’ is an EP release with only 8 tracks on the record (one of which is a remix).  A full length album is in the works.

Bottom Line: Great heart, great songwriting.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Must Have Songs
: I like all the songs on here – especially Song Of The Redeemed, Everything, Infinite Praise and What If.  If I had to cripe, it would be about the remix version of Relevation.

Church Songs: Song of The Redeemed, You Are, What If, Everything, Infinite Praise are all ready to go!  The melodies are easily followed and the lyrics speak truth and spark desire for God.

Conner ByrdYours truly

Synopsis: Matt McCoy’s Raise the Flag Again is a very well done 7 track intro into the heart and soul of a worship leader. He’s got some tasty guitar tones, very singable melodies, and familiar themes that seem to be relevant in modern worship now: take a look at some of the track names: Revelation, Song of the Redeemed (not a Charlie Hall cover), Treasure, Infinite Praise. The songs are very full sounding utilizing effective guitar riffs, piano fills, harmonies, etc. Everything’s very well put together.

Bottom Line: While I can’t really complain about anything on this CD, I find myself struggling to really get excited about it. I mean it’s a good project with some good songs on it but it’s like so much else out right now and if I’m honest as a worship leader about what I’d play, if it sounds like Tomlin or Fee then I’ll just play a song by them that everyone’s already familiar with. I feel bad saying that, I’m sure if I saw Matt lead worship and connected with his heart then I’d connect with the songs better, otherwise it sounds so much like what I’m already connected too :)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Must have: Revelation is a great opener but don’t bother with the remix. I also dig What If. Infinite Praise is one that sounds so fun to play and I really like as well.

Church Songs: These are all great worship songs that, like I said earlier are very singable. Pick your favorite and go for it!




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