Posts Tagged ‘Giveaway


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
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
: 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
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.
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.


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


Heads Up 7up

I loved that game as a kid. I get to do it at our Summer Camp Mission trip.
Well, tomorrow: HEADS UP! Because the Joint is hot and we’re into giveaways! So stay tuned for another triple review from Klampert, Alastair, and yours truly and toss in a comment, you know anything and be entered into another fantabulous giveaway!


Kari Jobe’s CD-ROM Digital Songbook including (for each song, see song list below):
* OHT (Overhead Transparency) PDF files
* Lead Sheets
* Pro Charts (Chord Charts)
* RTF (Rich Text Files for importing into projection programs)

NOTE: The CD-ROM Digital Songbook includes printable music only, does not include audio recordings.
Songs included
I’m Singing
Everyone Needs A Little
My Beloved
Singing Over Me
No Sweeter Name
Be Still
Sweep Me Away
Revelation Song
You Are For Me

Missed previous reviews? Get them here:

Jonathan LeeJonathan Lee

czarThe Czar


The Joint Giveaway with Jonathan Lee


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


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.


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.


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.


Thinking about 200k

So I’m not as much of a stat ho as I used to be but it’s likely that I’ll hit 200k hits by the end of the month…and the last 2 weekends of the month I’ll be out of town. So here’s my question: 

  1. How should I get there before the end of the month? 

The only real answer in my noggin is: 

  • Have a contest/giveaway for us to shamelessly promote your blog and drum up more hits! 

So then here’s my next question: 

  1. Have any suggestions? 

Many of you are way cooler than I and have already passed this mark. This is a pretty big landmark for me though so I’d like to do it up right! So help me out. Help me…help you…help ME….help YOU…HELP ME – HELP YOU! (sorry, I love that scene! Scary that Rae still has never seen that movie! I am in a rambling mood tonight!)


Hello Love Review and Giveaway

I’ve been sitting on this review for about a week now and I think that was very wise. After forcing myself to listen to Chris Tomlin’s Hello Love for about a week, things have grown on me and sit with me better than the first preview. I think the first thing to do would be to distinguish what kind of listener you are. 

  1. Chris Tomlin’s Arriving was How Great is Our God
  2. I’m Passionate about The Noise We Make

Here’s the difference. For those of us around since The Noise We Make and Not to Us there’s alot about this CD that just falls flat. I mean, I remember when Chris Tomlin was the voice of my worship in college and before he was winning awards he was on my campus with the Passion crew wrecking my brain with sounds and riffs and melodies that I didn’t think existed in Christian music. 

For those of you picking up with How Great is Our God and the Arriving CD and See the Morning, you’ll eat this up! For you, Chris Tomlin’s more the voice of the Adult Christian Contemporary scene forging great anthems and revamping great hymns that work in your church. 

Neither of those are wrong, but I believe that’s why Chris can be found in the middle of a Love/Hate discussion. I do not love this CD but I like it. 

  • It’s got great production, maybe too much production. If I heard one more choral soar on the crescendo of a song I was going to toss the CD out the window of my truck! But don’t let the production fool you. There’s a ton of great songs here that can be used in corporate worship without all the extra goodies! 
  • It’s got versatility. Full band or you and your acoustic, go for it. 
  • It’s interesting the man helping the movement towards guitar led worship uses the piano so much on this CD! However, that’s one of the things that after time I really grew to love! It adds some depth to the sound of the CD. 
  • You like hymns? You like Hello Love. You won’t find them here but you’ll eat up Praise the Father, Praise the Son and I Will Rise and Exalted. 
  • It lacks bite. Where’s the Forever? the Not To Us? the Awesome is the Lord? the Your Grace is Enough? For me, even the songs Sing, Sing, Sing and You Lifted Me Out just miss the mark. I don’t know if its the production or what. It’s the melody line of I Will Rise that does it for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, people in Category 1 up there are gonna find them “rockin’!” Different strokes people. 

Hands down favorite tracks:
With Me – shimmering guitars, driving bass, simple and great lyrics
God of This City – great studio work on an already incredible song! Little tweaks help it really shine!

Tracks I skip:
God Almighty – kudos for trying something new with the big stringy section but I didn’t like it (except the bridge.)
Love – again, kudos for trying something new. I get the global feel, Passion’s on the World tour. This song grew worse and worse on me after each listening 😦

SO, this is quite the mixed review! Briefly, Hello Love is a solid effort and release from Chris Tomlin in the vein of See the Morning and Arriving, however it leaves fans of Not to Us and Passion a bit wanting. 

Want a copy for free? I’m giving away a copy of Hello Love for free for finding out how you are spreading God’s love in your community. Comment here. Winner will be drawn tomorrow.
Already have a copy? What’d you think? Here’s what Rich said and he’s giving away a copy as well!

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