Posts Tagged ‘Alastair Vance

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!!

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

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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!

09
Apr
09

The Joint and The Power of One Israel Houghton Giveaway

Comment on any of the 3 blogs and be entered to WIN your own copy of Israel Houghton’s The Power of One! Chances are you’ll either love it or hate it 🙂 Read on to find out which!

Iz Power of One

Israel Houghton – The Power of One
Buy/listen @ iTunes or Amazon

Joel Klampert – go to Klampert.com
Synopsis:
I guess it’s only natural to start at the beginning of this CD with “my name iz”. Another opening by a kid voice. Sadly I’m not feeling that. A little over done. Then it kicks into a nice jam and already we can see the brilliant production. I mean this CD was put together so well. I have not been a huge fan of Israel in the past, but I do have his CD’s. This is a solo CD and not with the new breed. I don’t really know if that is the issue, but something seems lacking to me. The styles on this CD are all over the place so it does not feel very cohesive to me. The songs individual however do have a cool vibe. It crosses over some inspired raggae, john mayer style, classic gospel, and rock. I am a huge fan of gospell music and have been for a while. I have done sound for shirley ceasar and the mighty clouds of joy, so that should let you know I’m am aware of this style of music.

Bottom Line: This is an insanely produced CD. It showcases brilliant musicians and of course Israel has one of the best voices on the planet. I just found this CD to not be on par with songwriting wise with his other work. Songs like “alpha and omega” and “say so” or “friend of God” from his other CD’s pulled me in and gripped me. I can’t seem to find that connection on this one however. There are a few top notch tracks here. I think some of this is a departure from his other work. Because of that I cant say that if you liked him before you will now. What I will say is that everybody has different taste in music and even if you have or haven’t heard him before you need to give this CD a shot.
2.5 out of 5 stars

Must Haves: SING(redemptions song), Just wanna say, You found me

In Church: Well this one is simple for me. There is no way I could ever do any of these songs justice. Israel’s voice is off the chain brilliant. I can’t see even attempting any of these in church without one amazing worship team.

Alastair Vance – go to Live to Worship
Synopsis
: Before I had listened to this record Joel had told me already that he did not like it.  I did not think I would like it either but it took me by surprise.  It starts off with (I assume) Israel’s daughter introducing him.  She actually talks at various places on the album and to be honest I think Lincoln Brewster has started a bad trend here.  That aside, the songs themselves are great!

It’s no Ron Kenoly album.  Actually, it is really close to a various artists album… with all the different musical influences and guest vocalists.  I was hearing musical influences (or tributes) to Stevie Wonder (on The Power Of One), Prince (on Saved By Grace) and John Mayer’s guitar (on Sing / Redemption’s Song).  Guest vocalists include Mary Mary, Martin Smith and Toby Mac.

Bottom Line: The album has a great feel from start to finish.  Israel has set himself a high standard with this.  There is not a lot of songs I could actually take and use myself but that’s OK.  These songs bring a smile to my face every time.
4 out of 5 stars

Must Have Songs: I like Just Wanna Say.  The Power Of One is really good also and Sing / Redemption’s Song with Martin Smith is a cracker.  I even like Surely Goodness as well, but I wish he wouldn’t shout out “JAMAICA!” at the start of it (is he Jamaican?).  I’m not too fussed on Israel’s version of How Great is Our God.

Church Songs: It will totally depend on you, your band and your congregation.  A lot of these songs require very talented musicians to do them justice.  For me I don’t think I’d attempt any of these unless I had a super band to carry me.  I do however like the slower tracks in the middle of the album where Israel’s voice shines through.  Some of these may be easily adapted.

His Tribute Melody at the end of the album (minus his daugher’s goodbye chat) would work well in a lot of congregations.

Conner Byrd – stick around and be gentle with the hate mail
Synopsis:
Israel Houghton just comes out and slaps a big one down for moving forward his style of praise and worship. I mean this project is ginormous and ambitious and attempts several different ’styles’ while still keeping Israel’s own personal mix of leading worship in tact. In addition, we find some interesting collaborations with some recognizable names in the Christian circuit: Martin Smith, Toby Mac, Mary Mary to name a few.
Israel also gives us our monies worth with 14 tracks coming in over an hour! A chorus from How Great is Our God is thrown into a medley and if you paid attention to the Hillsong London review, you’ll recognize a revamp of I Receive but otherwise, all new tracks to crank up. And the production is insane! Top notch.

Bottom Line: All that to say: it did nothing for me. Blacklist me and call me names but this just isn’t my bag baby :) Frankly, I was hoping to like this CD because I feel like the only kid who didn’t like Nirvana when everyone else drooled over them. Unfortunately, this CD has me feeling the same way my initial impressions did: I’m duly impressed by the musicality that Israel and his band put in to each song but…in the end I’m just tired and wondering if I actually sang anything substantial. Lyrically and musically it’s just too repetitive for me. I typically like the refrains but it’s just not enough. I always think I’m getting a solo but instead it’s like there’s so much going on with so many hooks from so many instruments it just washes over. There’s a weird mix too of fresh sounds like Usher, Andre 3000, John Mayer, some real soulful sisters, all the collaborations are insane and then there’s some stuff that comes off real cheesy to me that I don’t know if it’s on purpose b/c that’s that genre and I’m just not into it or what.
This is just so hard because talent wise I know it’s there, this just isn’t my kind of music. It’s not that he’s a slacker and made a bad CD, it’s just that I don’t like it.
So…
If you were a fan before, you’ll probably eat this CD up!!! 5 OUT OF 5
If you weren’t then…yeah you’re still not. 1 out of 5

I must begrudgingly give it a 2 out of 5.

Must haves: I mean I dig the house party/Andre 3000 vibe of Just Want to Say. Sing with Martin Smith is probably my most solid favorite. It’s got Vultures/John Mayer vibe to it and it’s Martin Smith in there!

Church Songs: Yeah, it just depends on your church. I think there are clearly some songs that nobody’s church would cover or use and I wouldn’t categorize under “Praise and Worship” but then there are clearly some songs that are but I wouldn’t be able to use. That’d be totally up to you and you church culture. Not to mention your vocal range and band’s talent level! It’s hard for me to picture many of these without all bigness that Israel and company put into them.

26
Mar
09

The Joint goes Technicolor with the Parachute Band

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The skinny is:

1 CD
3 bloggers review
Find some new music
Share your thoughts and be entered to win a Worship Tools Book/DVD of Parachute Band’s Technicolor!

parachute-techicolor_01

Parachute Band – Technicolor
Buy/Listen @ iTunes

ALASTAIR VANCE – go to Live to Worship
Synopsis: Let me start by saying I LOVE THIS ALBUM! This is what a good worship album should sound like. There is a real good mix of tracks from high energy to intimate worship and styles that will suit many worshipers – young and old. The band sounds like a cross between Hillsong United and Starfield.
I have not heard any previous Parachute Band songs, so I cannot compare this to other albums but there is a lot of top class tunes on here. If you liked the Jonathan Lee album we reviewed a couple of weeks back there’s a good chance you will dig this one also, or vice versa.
The backing vocals in Everlasting were unexpected (think Lion King), but very well done. I’m not sure it’s one every church could pull off though!

Bottom Line: 4.5 out of 5
I was tempted to give this album 5 out of 5, but we’re still early days on the joint and I don’t want to be handing out top marks to everyone!

Must Have Songs: Oh, where to start?! Grace is my favourite track on the album – it is such a good song, followed by In Liberty (Hallelujah), Living Rain and Take Over. For me there is not really a bad song on this record. Seriously.

Church Songs: Every song on this album is usable in the right setting. Come to the River is an excellent service starter, while Shout it Out and No Eye Has Seen would be fantastic for a youth event. Living Rain, Take Over, Come Before, Grace, In Liberty are all great worship songs and should suit most contemporary congregations.

CONNER BYRD – stick around here
Synopsis: This was my first “official” introduction to the Parachute Band, everything I’d heard in the past was not enough to grab my attention to digest a CD of theirs. Apparently the band’s gone through an entire lineup change and it sounds as if they are going after the youth groups. Their sound is tremendously full utilizing soaring modern delay-erific guitars, driving bass, synth/pads, and…well that’s the problem. The sound is great and full and recognizable like so are many of their contemporaries: the ever popular Hillsong United or Starfield. And therein lies the problem, while full sounding and great tone, I’m just curious if there’s enough to keep me interested. There’s such a resemblance to some of my already favorite bands that I worry that works against them. I’ve enjoyed settling into this CD but I wonder for how long?

Bottom Line: Great sound with some singable songs for youth groups however it may sound too much like your youth groups already favorite songs to be a worthwhile addition. Fantastic mix of soaring guitars and driven keyboards, lead vocal that will either interest you or drive you away, but a lack of background vocals. 3.5 out of 5.

Must have: I want to do Come Before! I love the Modest Mouse-ish Come to the River, the “delay-erific” tones on Take Over and then a tie between Grace and Everlasting.

Church Songs: The keys of these songs could be problematic but sound easy enough to drop. I’d say the most singable would be Your Word, Living Rain, and Come Before.

JOEL KLAMPERT – go to Klampert.com
Synopsis: I had heard about parachute band for many years, but for some reason I never picked up their CD’s until this one. This band is tight. They have a clean sound with some very cool 80’s sounding keys mixed with modern guitar driven worship. The production on this album is great although at times I think the lead vocals were a little too far behind in the mix.
I have listened to this CD many many times and actually did it in multiple locations and I’ll tell you why in the Bottom Line. Over all I think this CD deserves more in the worship community than it is getting. I just don’t hear in the worship community any buzz over this band, but maybe that needs to change.

Bottom Line: My first listen was in my car. Sadly I don’t remember the first or second listen in the car. Nothing stuck out. Sometimes however you need to focus on music an let it sink in. So realizing this I moved over to the i-pod. I figured I would give it one last go. I am glad I did. Alastair sent me messages that he was loving this CD and I just didn’t get it, but honestly this one took a few listens to get it.
Do I like every song on this CD. I can’t say that I do. There however some huge stand outs that make this CD something you need to check out.
“Living Rain” is a brilliant song and I could see using that one in the future. I think while thier fast stuff is fun thier strength is in their slower worship music. It is really powerful. The lead singer has a very different voice which is refreshing. That isn’t more apparent than on the track “Come Before”. Wow, what an anointed time of worship sitting hearing that one.
HA HA….It’s kind of funny because I am sitting here listening for the 5th time and it’s like I’ve never heard these songs, but so glad I am.
If I could make a suggestion for the next CD for these guys is to do a live one because you can hear the heart behind this and I would love to hear that outside of the studio version. Great stuff. “No Eye Has Seen” was a huge surprise. Reminded me of MATW meets REM. It was out of the box and I loved it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Must Haves: Grace, Come Before, Everlasting

In Church: Well you could pretty much do every song on this CD in one church or another. There are a few I’m not a fan of, but I will be looking at trying a few of these. Like….Grace, Come Before, Come to the River, Living Rain. I think those would be fantastic to do in Church. nice mix too. Two slow and two fast.

25
Mar
09

The Joint Had a Winner from THIS Blog!

Each Thursday we gather round to review some new music for you and as much as we can we’re going to tempt you to tune in by having a free giveaway for those of you who comment on any of the 3 host blogs. Last week’s winner chosen by random was Pkiller who commented right here on Worship City!

So go give Pkiller some love (he just reviewed U2’s No Line on the Horizon) and stop in tomorrow for this week’s Joint review! You could be the next winner!

The Joint is hosted by:

Klampert.comJoel Klampert

Live to WorshipAlastair “the snow junkie” Vance

Worship Cityyours truly

17
Mar
09

Winners Announced for Jonathan Lee CD

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So last week we had a contest for the Joint to win 3 separate copies of the new CD from Jonathon Lee.

Thanks to RANDOM.ORG

#’s 5, 7, 3 were winners…

Mandy Thompson

Kit Palmer

Kim Bontrager

Thanks everybody for jumping in on this. There will be another giveaway this week on…

THE JOINT!

11
Mar
09

The Joint Giveaway with Jonathan Lee

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Welcome to the Joint friends. It’s our desire that a joint review between 3 bloggers will help you identify with a particular artist or CD that you might be interested in. THIS WEEK we have a free giveaway for YOU! Leave a comment on any of the 3 blogs who have posted a review here and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a copy. which we have 3 of! 3 reviewers with 3 copies to giveaway! Why not comment 3 times?!?!

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee – Let Them Hear
Buy/listen to it by clicking here

ALASTAIR VANCELive to Worship

Synopsis – I had not heard of Jonathan Lee before I received his album Let Them Hear. There is a good mixture of pop, rock and ballads and I was impressed by the number of stellar choruses throughout. I picked up a little Coldplay influence in some songs – especially at the beginning of Redeemed. Jonathan’s voice is top notch and the female vocal that accompanies him on Oh My Soul is lovely.

The album is totally worship orientated with songs about God and to God and is very easy listening. There are many songs here that could be used in church either with the congregation, or as performance/ministry songs.

Bottom Line – 4 out of 5 stars

Must Have Songs – Great songs on the album for me are Beautiful King, Intro/Redeemed, Be My Everything and Glorified.

Songs For ChurchBeautiful King is great! One of my favourites on the album. Other great congregational songs are Oh My Soul, Glorified and White As The Snow. Great songs for church ministry/performance are Be My Everything and Release.

CONNER BYRDWorship City

Synopsis: To the best of my knowledge, Let Them Hear is Jonathan Lee’s first release, major or otherwise, which if so then all I have to say is: WATCH OUT. It’s a solid first impression of songs that are a good mix of reflective worship tunes with a couple all out praise songs and several in between. Lee doesn’t waste alot of time here either, even with a song title like Intro/Redeemed, he makes the most out of the 10 tracks putting it just over a 45 minute run time.

Bottom Line: 3.333 out of 5 stars. This will either sting or excite but I think this selection of songs would fit in fine with Klove’s rotation. I just immediately hear “that sound.” From Lee, I hear what sounds like inspiration from some of the best artists out there right now. A little Mercy Me synth patch here, a bit of Hillsong guitar intro there, some of Big Daddy Weave’s vocals there, and some Jeff Deyo sprinkled on top. Don’t get me wrong, none of that is inherently bad (honestly, it’s done real well!) I don’t find it having a whole lot of staying power in my iPod though.
Jeff Deyo has actually taken interest in Lee which has me really excited to see what he would do in a live environment and what will become for his follow up album!

Must Haves: All I Have is the stand out for me. Beautiful King sounds like the definitive single though…or maybe Close Your Eyes!

Songs for Church: Songs you could do for church? Close our eyes and press play. Just about all of these songs would fit one church or another. Some songs need a higher register or falsetto but that’s just about everyone these days. There’s something here for worship and performance/topical for just about any church environment.

JOEL KLAMPERTKlampert.com

Synopsis: I got a pre-release of this about a month ago and was suprised to have never heard of him or heard any talk about him. Why do I say I was suprised? Simple…This is not a CD that was recorded in a dingy basement. If it was then I want to record my first CD there as well. The production on this CD is fantastic.
Jonathan is a worship leader with a great voice and some really well written songs. Reminds me a ton of the lincoln Brewster sound. The intro on this CD is awesome. His voice is hard to pin. Sometimes he has a Phil whickam feel and other times Mercy me meets newsboys. Yeah I know that doesn’t narrow it down, but what it does tell you is this is a CD you need to have.

Bottom Line: For me it’s simple. I loved this CD. It’s not revolutionary, but it does have it’s own sound and Jonathan writes worship really well. He pulls from many influences, but does it in a way that is still all him. Glorified was great on this one….but I’m getting ahead of myself. Did I already say you should pick this up? He has a great balance of rockin and slow songs so you will enjoy the whole CD not walk away thinking all you heard was one song.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Must Haves: Glorified, Oh my soul (female voice is Great!), Be My Everything

Songs for Church: Well if you have Chris Tomlin leading in your church you are golden, but any normal person will be making some key changes on these songs. With that said I honestly would say that every song could be done in a corporate church setting. Some of them “should” be done. Me personally, I think I will be attempting Glorified, and Be My Everything..In a different key of course.




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