Posts Tagged ‘WorshipCity

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!

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.

05
Mar
09

My Night with Addison Road

Jenny from Addison Road

Last night Addison Road played a show here in Baton Rouge at UBC and selfishly I was so glad it was intimate and low key. I felt a little bad for the band because that place should have been packed out! They were so good live! AND…Momma’s give me a hearty amen here: Jenny was 8 months preggers! I mean SWEET LORD! The girl’s about to pop and she is belting out these songs like nobody’s business. The downside was that under doctor’s orders, their show can only be an hour. I was left wanting so much more!

What was really great is that they really thrived in this environment. By the time the show was done and we went to say Hi, it felt like we already knew them a little bit. Besides being talented musicians, they are really down to earth people that just love playing music!

They played all of their familiar songs from the radio and all the best from the CD except my favorite! Casualties is my favorite for the half time into double time into regular time transition they do after the chorus! I love it but they didn’t play it 😦

Check us out checking out Addison Road. You should do the same!

Addison Rd 1Addison Rd 2Me and Addison RoadAddison Rd the band

05
Mar
09

The Joint debuts with The Czar

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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. Please give some love to a review that you find particularly helpful by clicking through to that reviewer’s blog and make sure you don’t just take our word for it but check out the music for yourself!

czar

The Joint 1.1 is Hip Hop artist The Czar and his first EP Life Support. Get your own copy here: DiscRevolt

Conner ByrdWorshipCity
Synopsis: Czar does what I believe is truly difficult for the genre to accomplish, especially overt Christian musicians trying to release a creation of their art form that’s true to the style yet also not…a big block of cheese! Hip Hop and Rap must deliver on the attitude and toughness that most songs call for and doesn’t lend itself very well typically to songs about God and hope and sharing the Gospel and prayer and humbleness. I’m so glad that Czar is able to pull this off! With only 5 songs he covers a good basis of beats from the in your face attitude with Masses and You Already Know, he swings in low with a chilling sample of Lifehouse’s Broken in After the Pain, he throws in a bit of spoken “floetry” with My Prayer, and attempts an actual peppy Hope!

I get a Jay-Z feel from the You Already Know loop and organ/brass from My Prayer. I even feel a little of the mainstream Eminem on the chorus of Masses!

You will not find any auto-tone dragging on here and most of the mixes are pretty straightforward loop mixing. I’m actually the most disappointed in the mix if I must complain about something. I’m not sure if that’s a result of the copy I have or what but it needs some better mastering to be truly taken seriously by those outside the Christian circuit.

Bottom Line: 4 out of 5 stars
I think there’s a super low cheese meter here and some incredible subject matter lyrically and some tight beats.

Must Have Songs: You Already Know and After the Pain

Songs to do in Church: None of these are approp

riate for a typical church worship service but all can and could be done in a youth setting. Great stuff probably for video accompaniment as well!

Alastair VanceLive to Worship
Synopsis: Let me start off by saying I am no hip hop expert. I once bought a Destiny’s Child album and that’s no longer in my iTunes. When I started listening to Czar’s “Life Support” I loved it immediately. The lyrics of these songs are superb and Czar’s passion for God really shines through. It makes me want to go drive my car around the neighborhood with the windows down and Czar blasting through the speakers. Word up. Yo.

Bottom Line: 4 out of 5 stars

Must Have Songs: Standout tracks for me are Hope, Masses and My Prayer. The lyrics on My Prayer are soooo good.

Songs to do in Church: I would not attempt to any of these songs in church. But that’s a good thing, believe me.

Joel KlampertKlampert.com
Synopsis: I had the privilege recently to work with “The Czar” for our Christmas youth service. It was so great to see rap actually work in the church. Live the man brings energy to the stage and a honesty that is rarely seen these days. This heart comes across in this EP. It is easy to see a man that went through some tough stuff in his life, found God and did a 180.
I love listening to this Ep because it has variety. Im going to use a scary word here and don’t let it put you off, but this CD has a real old-school vibe for me. That isn’t to say it isn’t modern sounding. I grew up listening to rap like tribe called quest, arrested development, and digable planets. Rap that had style and class and wasn’t the same old garbage we hear every day in hip-hop. So while this EP has a new style it also brings in the flavors of old.

This is a refreshing presentation of the Gospel and truth through some great music.
My only issues are with the production. I think the mix could have been much better, but with a first in house EP this is a fantastic work.

Bottom Line: 4 out of 5 stars
Custom beats and a better mix would have pushed this over the top for me

Must Have Songs: After the Pain and Masses

Songs to do in Church: I personally would not be able to pull these off without looking really odd, but I do believe after working with him that rap has a place in corporate worship within the right setting.

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We hope you enjoyed the Joint’s debut and would love to hear your comments.

04
Mar
09

The Next Big Thing: THE JOINT

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I’m uber pleased to announce a special joint feature starting up this week that will jointly kick off with yours truly, the junkiest snowman on the planet, and the As of Monday Web’s Finest Goatee Wearer!

So stop in tomorrow and check it out! And make sure you check out:

Live to Worship

Klampert.com

Alastair, Klampert, and I jointly appreciate your love and attention and will approve of you shamelessly plugging and promoting this endeavor  affectionately called the Joint. So join your twitter and facebook statuses to reflect where you’ll fix your attention. Klampert even has some goodies to help you jointly promote the Joint in your social networks (that dude rocks the Joint!) ..joint…the…joint…

See you in the morning!




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