reviews


MUSIC&reviews25 Sep 2017 10:43 am

Well, four years can go by quickly. That’s how long it’s been since the last Music of the Day post. But as I was looking at options for adding more content, it seemed a good place to start, since it’s pretty fun and new music pretty much comes out every week – whether it’s good or not, it can still be a blast to blast… or blast. Here’s how it works. I’ll pick out five albums that have recently hit the shelves and they will be subject to my rigorous evaluations. I’ll sum my thoughts up on each album in 25 words or less (usually 25 exactly), point out two key songs, offer two similar artists that may give you a reference point, and for whimsy, I label each album with a random comparison (this week, it will be NFL quarterbacks).

Your part is to let me know in the comments if I’m on or if I’m on something. Yeah, I think that about covers it. We start in five… four… yeah, now.

Matthew West – All In
http://amzn.to/2ynZLUT | http://amzn.to/2fL3S6B (mp3)

Walking a candy aisle, knowing what to expect from each bar – some sort of chocolate with some sort of filling. That’s Matthew West to me. Kirk Cousins

GRADING KEYS: Something Greater, Never Ever Give Up
EXTRA CREDIT: Brandon Heath, Andy Grammer

[continue reading this post…]

reviews&television08 Aug 2014 03:45 pm

VeggieTales presents Celery Night Fever

My kids have never known a world that didn’t include the comic stylings of a certain tomato and cucumber duo. And I’ve seen these two characters endure many ups and downs and hardships and struggles that made it seem like they were headed to the juicer (so to speak). Fortunately, they’ve survived and continue to star in highly enjoyable films that find the funny bone of both young and old.

And though this particular episode deals with disco and an era that pre-dates my boys, the jokes and the quality of entertainment aren’t tied to the time period. So, the references that go over their heads are funny to me and the simultaneous antics are funny to them (and me). In short, Celery Night Fever is a story about relationships and exclusion, revenge and forgiveness. It’s poignant and offers a great illustration. Plus, it features the voice of Terry Crews, the Old Spice guy. Well, one of the Old Spice guys.

I keep hearing rumors of good things coming down the pike for the VeggieTales brand and this release is a prime example of why these veggies have stood the test of time. I can’t wait to see what else is in store going forward.

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&reviews21 Apr 2014 09:56 am

Merlin. One of the most written about characters of all time. He has to be. And why not?

Merlin is a compelling character, full of mystery, intrigue, and untold power. He’s been portrayed in many different ways by many different writers – there are even a few current series right now on the market dealing with various aspects of his life and legend. And it’s always been that way. It’s a bottomless well of resources for countless stories.

merlin

When I was younger, I admired the potential of these stories, but didn’t read that many for one reason or other. Often it was the pacing, sometimes it was the language, and then, of course, other times it was because I wasn’t allowed to dwell on wizards and mystical powers. I’m older now and I have more patience and control over what I read and, with Netflix offering the BBC series, my appetite was whetted for some ancient tales.

Today, I’m talking about The Merlin Spiral series written by Robert Treskillard, published by Blink, and focused on the origin story of Merlin, Arthur, and all the legends. [continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews17 May 2013 04:18 pm

I know, it’s been a little while. Not much has been coming out and I’ve been less than motivated, but working on it. Anyway, my return is marked by two other returns, two newcomers, and a duo I love to listen to. There are some surprises here, which is cool and most of these have come out within a week and a half of today. Before we get to them, though, here’s how things work. I’ll give you my thoughts on the album in 25 words or less and then I’ll add 2 key songs and 2 other artists to consider. But that is not all. Oh no, that. is. not. all. For whimsy, I throw in a random comparison. And this week, it’s condiments.

Your part is to let me know in the comments if I’m on or if I’m on something. Yeah. Okay, now we’re ready to get to it.

Amy Grant – How Mercy Looks from Here
http://amzn.to/12gW11p | http://amzn.to/107cdkp (mp3)

Not a doppelganger, it’s the real deal. New pop music from this home-grown CCM veteran. She’s come a long way, baby (baby). Mustard.

DON’T MISS: Don’t Try So Hard, Free
SEE ALSO: Cast of Nashville, Susan Ashton

[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews26 Apr 2013 04:42 pm

Another week has gone by and I’m sure there are a good handful of things I wanted to get done, but didn’t. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe it will be a productive weekend. For now, (depending on how you look at it) I’ll be productive and share my thoughts on five more albums. If you’re unfamiliar with the Music of the Day format, pay attention to the next sentence. For each album, I’ll give you my thoughts in 25 words or less, two key tracks to check out, two similar artists, and a random comparison. Today, the I’ll pick from the teams in the NBA playoffs. Off we go.

Martin Smith – God’s Great Dance Floor
http://amzn.to/14Wyxoc (CD) | http://amzn.to/15XUi68 (mp3)

A voice that should sound familiar, a collection of songs that feel familiar, and a mostly cheek-to-cheek dance floor. Not delirious, but quite happy. Warriors.

DON’T MISS: Jesus of Nazareth, Fire Never Sleeps
SEE ALSO: Kristian Stanfill, Bluetree
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews19 Apr 2013 04:30 pm

It’s been a stressful and serious week for many, so, hopefully a glance at some new music will be a refreshing break from the immediate reality. This week didn’t yield too many releases, but did provide us with The Afters. Iron & Wine also released a pretty exquisite album this week, but I’m not including that here. Sorry. Anyway, for the remaining four spots, I dug into the past month or so and found some nice albums to peek at. Before all that, however, here’s a reminder of how this works. In 25 words or less, I’ll summarize my thoughts on the album. You also get 2 songs to key in on, 2 alternate artists to investigate, and a random comparison (today, it’s from the top 100 longest-running Broadway shows). Got it? Okay, let’s get to it.

The Afters – Life Is Beautiful
http://amzn.to/17LUmFF (CD) | http://amzn.to/17LUqFj (mp3)

Hard not to like these guys. The album will put a smile on your face with whimsical melodies and palatable lyrics. Solid return. The Wiz.

DON’T MISS: Broken Hallelujah, What We’re Here For
SEE ALSO: Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews12 Apr 2013 04:52 pm

Another week of music to explore and I’ve gone country. Since it is one of the biggest and most talked about releases of the week, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t include Brad Paisley’s new album in this edition. But that’s it, no more country after that… maybe. Anyway, if you’re new or if you’ve forgotten, here’s how it works. I pick five albums from this week’s release list (or thereabouts as necessary). Each album gets a summary of 25 words or less, two songs that stand out, two artists that you might consider exploring further if you enjoyed the album, and one random comparison. This week, for the comparison, I went with baseball team names and I don’t think it really worked out that well, but it’s Spring and the season is underway so I’m sticking with it. Okay, let’s get to it.

Josh Wilson – Carry Me
http://amzn.to/1115REh (CD) | http://amzn.to/153QU9u (mp3)

Pop music brilliance. A well-crafted collection of endearing tunes that will make you smile, sing along, whistle, and most certainly tap your foot. White Sox.

DON’T MISS: Pushing Back the Dark, Let There Be Light
SEE ALSO: Matthew West, Scott Krippayne
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews05 Apr 2013 04:13 pm

Well, it’s been a few weeks now, but I’m back for another dose of Music of the Day. It’s not that I don’t think of you often, it’s just that some weeks work out better than others. This week, I’m making it work out and we’ve got some music from everywhere on the spectrum. I have plenty of other things to accomplish with today, so we’ll get right into it. As always, I’ve picked 5 albums that have released this week (or close to this week) and giving them the Music of the Day treatment. That is, a summary of my thoughts in 25 words or less, 2 “don’t miss” tracks, 2 similar artists, and 1 random comparison (that counts towards the 25 words). For the random item today, I’ll be assigning each album a team from the NCAA March Madness tournament (success of the team isn’t necessarily indicative of my thoughts on the album). Let’s dig in.

Kerrie Roberts – Time for the Show
http://amzn.to/10FaceD (CD) | http://amzn.to/XidxCI (mp3)

Familiar face in a typecast role. An album that fits its artist like a glove with its soft tone, poppy style, and well-produced sound. Indiana.

DON’T MISS: Finally Home, In Your Sight
SEE ALSO: Karyn Williams, Lindsay McCaul
[continue reading this post…]

Bookshelf&reviews01 Apr 2013 04:54 pm

I have a lot of book reviews/write-ups that are way overdue. Here’s one, but expect more in the coming days.

Altared – Claire and Eli

It took me a long time to get through this book. I struggled with whether or not I should even finish it. If nothing else, it makes a clear case for the axiom of not judging a book by its cover. On its face (or cover) ALTARED appears to be a quirky little book by a trendy couple explaining how their marriage works and how you, too, can experience marital bliss with your fellow hipster spouse. (Well, maybe I’m overstating a bit.)

In reality, the book details the courtship of said couple, describing in great detail the path that brought them together, as well as the challenges presented by their background in the church and the “marriage or bust” subculture among Christians everywhere. And while their story does have its interesting moments, the book is more a study of dating than marriage. (Which is fine, except that – as previously mentioned – the title implies the opposite.)
[continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&reviews15 Mar 2013 04:32 pm

Moving from recording artist hopefuls to recorded artists by the shelf-full. Well, a small shelf. It’s time for Music of the Day and, after a week off without too many releases to talk about, we’ve got five worth mentioning. A few blasts from the past, an up and coming artist, and whatever is in between. Here’s how it plays out. I take each of these five albums and leave you with my thoughts (in 25 words or less), two key tracks, two other, similar artists, and a wacky, random comparison (this week, it’s classic toys). Without further adieu, off we go.

Audio Adrenaline – Kings & Queens
http://amzn.to/YgkEsh (CD) | http://amzn.to/ZbBkUj (mp3)

I won’t call it a comeback, but it’s definitely some “Get Back Up” rock and I’ll wax nostalgic of simpler times and happiness. LEGO bricks.

DON’T MISS: Kings & Queens, Change My Name
SEE ALSO: Newsboys, TobyMac
[continue reading this post…]

Next Page »