June 2010


MUSIC&reviews29 Jun 2010 11:41 pm

so, it’s another week and, i’ve got another batch of releases to talk about… a couple of worship albums, a couple of rock albums, and one fresh, free mixtape from one of my favorite emcees… (i have a lot of favorites though, so, we’ll just say that he’s really good)… off we go…

now playing: Rain’s ‘A Comin’ – Children 18:3

i first have to point out how absolutely appreciative i am that Children 18:3 used apostrophes in what appears to be an appropriate manner… (the one preceding the “A” is questionable, but it’s not exactly a standard grammatical construct and is, therefore, negotiable)… anyway, i don’t know about rain, but if you listen to this album, there’s plenty of enjoyment a’comin’… (yeah, actually, that looks more right than ‘a comin’)… sorry, i keep getting distracted by that… let that be a lesson to all you rock stars… don’t use punctuation in your band name or album titles… anyway, i’d file this under somewhat aggressive modern hipster rock with pop irony… harder than, say, Jonezetta and OK Go, but with some similar tendencies… in fact there are even times when i’m reminded of MeWithoutYou… but all in all, it’s a rock album that reminds you, the listener, that you, the listener, like rock music… especially when it’s like this… high octane, highly engaging, and highly addictive… i just want to listen to this over and over and over… but that apostophe thing… that will also be stuck in my head…

now playing: A Beautiful Exchange – Hillsong Live

i’ve never been a big Hillsong fan… and if you asked me to tell you the difference between Hillsong Live, Hillsong, Hillsong United and Hillsong Kids, i’m not sure i could… (okay, i know when kids are singing)… Anyway, it’s just one of those things, i guess and once in a while, i hear a song like Mighty to Save and just want to bury myself in everything released by the Hillsong properties, assuming that they’re all profound and amazing just like that song… but usually, i walk away feeling like it’s mostly just another modern praise and worship band, but with accents (actually, most modern praise and worship bands have accents these days)… so, A Beautiful Exchange kind of feels like that to me, too… i know that will draw ire from many of you out there… it is pretty cool to hear Sometimes by Step (Rich Mullins) set to the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King, though… hey, we all worship in different ways… i was actually prepared to rave about one really good song on this album, but i can’t seem to find it as i’m listening through again… maybe i’m confusing them with Hillsong United, do they have a new album out, too?

now playing: City on Fire – City of Life Worship

continuing on the worship theme… City of Life Church is apparently one of the most vibrant churches in Florida, sorry, Central Florida… First Baptist of Miami probably has a lock on the Southern tip of the state… so, i confess that i get a little concerned reading press releases about the vibrancy of churches, but i promise that i listened to this album with a clean slate… i only looked up the website because Jeffrey Smith sometimes sounds like Phillips, Craig or Dean from Phillips, Craig, and Dean… or Russ Lee… and only sometimes… and since i brought it up… apparently, they’re all about vibrancy, fire, stirring, and igniting things down there in Central FL… sorry, just had to say something… as for the music, since that’s probably what you actually care about… it’s fine… it really reminds me of when PCD covered Israel Houghton’s Friend of God, but not quite as straight-laced… a little stiff though… it is live and it is mostly original songs… (they do cover Foreigner – who knew they were a praise band? Way ahead of their time… i mean, before Sonicflood even)… i don’t think i would like going to that church much though… but that could just be me…

now playing: Live at the Ryman – Jonny Lang

consider me a slow adopter of Jonny Lang… sure, he’s brilliant, i get that, but if i’m completely honest, his voice irritates me and everything i love about Robert Randolph and the Family Band often feels absent from Jonny Lang projects… the energy, the oomph, the “it” is just not there for me… that said, in this live setting – and a great venue, by the way – more of that gusto comes through as he feeds off of the audience a little bit… i wouldn’t say that i’m a huge fan, but this is definitely the material needed to bridge that gap for me… some of these songs – A Quitter Never Wins to name one – are just gorgeous… (note: this may not be a new release this week… not sure where i saw it listed, but i can’t find it now – it’s new this year though)

now playing: Bible Bus Mixtape – Playdough

i was a little bummed that there wasn’t any hip-hop to discuss today, but then i remembered… Playdough dropped a brand new FREE album today… don’t take it for granted, this mixtape rings in at a half a minute shy of a half an hour… and if you’ve ever liked a Playdough song, you’ll like this album… SeanP mixed the album to provide a smooth ride, but the beats are from all over the place… i’ve only had a chance to give it one quick listen, but it’s guaranteed to drive bus drivers crazy, ’cause from the front to the back, no one’s remaining in their seats… (plus it’s FREE!)..

now playing: Attack of the Wolf King – Haste the Day

i don’t have this album, but AOL is streaming it this week… and if Children 18:3 wasn’t hard enough for you, Haste the Day should suit your listening needs… there’s screaming, double bass drum action, and soaring guitar riffs a plenty throughout this album… i have times and places when albums like this are just right for me, but often times i just don’t remember them afterwards… but it’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWD… and i LIIIIIIIIKE IT!!!!! and YOU MIGHT TOOooooooOOooowowwwwoooooo!!!!

that’s all the music of the day… i only see four albums on the release list for next week and i don’t have any of them so, i’ll institute instant replay and revisit albums released in January that i ignored at the time… i think about eight of actually…

peace… love… bdg…

MUSIC22 Jun 2010 11:10 pm

alright, i’m trying to get things back into the right gear and, since this has always been a music site, that includes music… and the music of the day is plentyful and diverse… the following albums all released today and this is what i think of them all…

Now Playing: Stories – Addison Road

i feel like i’m not supposed to like Addison Road… i suppose i’m not exactly in their target demographic and that’s fine… but, as something of a more upbeat alternative to BarlowGirl and Superchick, i’m strangely drawn to them… that, and i still remember checking out their early work, Breaking Beautifully almost exclusively because it was produced by Barry Blair, who was a founding member of Audio Adrenaline and, more impressively, discovered Bleach… i wasn’t disappointed then, and i’m not now… i specifically enjoy the quirkiness of their pop beats that refuse to conform to standard pop constructs but remain persistently catchy… Stories is no exception and i’m not a bit ashamed to say that i’ve enjoyed the album quite a bit…

Now Playing: Between Two Worlds – Trip Lee

“i’m a snitch man, ain’t ashamed of that”… i haven’t exactly been a fan of Trip Lee and his Reach Records cohorts in the past… in fact, I kind of had him written into the genre corner of the big booty bass, thuggish, southern-crunktafied rap despite not having heard too, too much of his stuff… and sure there’s a brashness and heavier tact to his rap style, but having now listened to Between Two Worlds (as well as LeCrae’s Rebel), my eyes (and ears) have been opened to a lot of freshness that’s left me digging back in my crates for 20/20… don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to be my favorite release of the year or anything, but with bangers like Snitch (the beat is bananas, as the kids say), fun tracks like I Love Music and the light, soulful Yours to Own featuring Jimmy Needham, Between Two Worlds has certainly shifted my perspective a bit…

Now Playing: Blink – Revive

i “sort of liked” the debut from Revive because it was fun, light hearted and the group didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously… i had my doubts about their staying power, however, given Mac Powell’s track record of championing up-and-comers… (we’ll leave it at that)… surprise though it may be, Revive has indeed returned for a second round and, somewhat like the song that never ends, the second verse is the same as the first… once again, there’s a pop-rock tinge to the music that holds a certain appeal, but i suppose what bothers me about the album is that it lacks the clear consistency necessary to offer the band a fully definied identity… at times reminiscent of Nate Sallie, Starfield, and a number of bands from pop-rock-worship-grandness past, Blink is fun, but a little on the random side…

Now Playing: My Life’s Lyric – DeWayne Woods

i’m just going to come right out and say it… DeWayne Woods looks like Busta Rhymes… come on, not even a little?… okay, well, he doesn’t sound at all like Bus-a-Bus… (not surprisingly)… in fact, My Life’s Lyric is actually pretty standard fare for the Gospel genre… a good deal of energy spread throughout as well plenty of touching, inspirational ballads… i don’t know all that much about Woods, but i have enjoyed his melodies, harmonies, and occassion touches of full-on choir moments that sprinkle the landscape of My Life’s Lyric

Now Playing: Humble Beginnings – Humble Beast

i’m pretty excited about this album if for no other reason than for what it represents… a new outlet for artists like Braille, Othello, Sareem Poems, and Odd Thomas (from whom i hadn’t heard in forever up this point)… Humble Beast is looking to carve out their own niche within the hip-hop community and, judging by this compilation, they’re already off to a good start… also featured on the album are Foreknown Apostolic, with a hot track that has a retro, boom bap feel to it, Theory Hazit and Citizen Aim, who both appear a few times throughout, and Propaganda, another voice that’s been far too quiet lately… yes, it’s only ten tracks, but it’s all good and it’s the promise of plenty more to come… that’s what’s really special about Humble Beginnings… and that’s what makes it worth talking about and picking up…

the last two i’ll mention, i haven’t gotten, but would love (hint, hint)… and they are We Walk This Road by Robert Randolph & the Family Band, which, based on clips, sounds like a real nice mix of r&b, funk, and free jamming, and David Crowder*Band’s Summer Happiness, which fulfills their apparent obligation to release an EP in between each full album… perhaps that means we can expect another full album next year? I haven’t heard clips or anything of this EP yet, but there’s no reason to doubt that it will be a spectacular four-track outing…

and that’s the music of the day…

peace… love… bdg…