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  • Nathan Jess “Phoenix” Album Review

    Nathan Jess writes with a pastor's heart. Few worship leaders and songwriters today take the time to ruminate upon the deep recesses of the human heart. Even fewer are the songwriters who reflect in their songs how God does meet, engage, and transforms our hearts. Nathan Jess does this well with a heartfelt perspicuity. With the steep acceleration of broken families and single parent homes, for instance, how many worship songs actually give articulation to this issue?

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  • Lawson Bates “What Country Means to Me” Album Review

    You know you are dealing with a sublime album when you cannot even choose your favorite cuts to write about. Every one of these 12 songs is a winner. Lawson Bates may be only 24 years-old but he likes like one of those stellar traditional country music scribes from of yore such as Mike Reid, Paul Overstreet, and even Harlan Howard.

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  • Darlene Zschech “Here I Am Send Me” Album Review

    Cancer squirms in the face of its Maker. "Here I Am Send Me" is Darlene Zschech's first album since her tumultuous bout with breast cancer. Here you will not find the former Hillsong Worship Pastor wallowing in pain or regrets. Rather, what you hear a child of God who has seen the Shepherd in the shadow of death and has lived to testify to it.

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  • Various Artists “The Shack: Music From and Inspired By the Original Motion Picture” Album Review

    Movie soundtracks are a tricky affair. Some soundtracks chronicle their songs so tightly around the film's story line that they give expressions to the various turning points of the narrative's plotline. Then there are other soundtracks where the songs are only loosely based on the movie's storyline.

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  • David Dunn “Yellow Balloons” Album Review

    Tragedy has a way of opening up vistas into God's grace and mercy otherwise unassailable. The value of David Dunn's "Yellow Balloons" is in the insights he offers precisely because he has had been through some of the most difficult times. Take the song "I Don't Have to Worry" as an example, how could Dunn ever sing "the lion's den is the safest place" unless he himself have had been with the lions a time or two.

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  • Daniel Bashta “My Resurrection (Live)” Album Review

    Listening to "My Resurrection (Live)," Bashta's first independent album since leaving Integrity Music, is like overhearing a familiar conversation between old friends.

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  • Passion “Worthy of Your Name” Album Review

    Big is an understatement when it comes to this year's Passion Conference. With 55,000 young adults packing the Georgia Dome, the world's most renown speakers (such as Christine Caine, Beth Moore, and John Piper among others) prancing the stage, and the best of contemporary worship artists (such as Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker and Melodie Malone, Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels and Hillsong UNITED) leading worship, Passion has almost exhausted the word big.

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  • Ayiesha Woods “The Runway Project” Album Review

    The baseline question to ask every record is this: are the songs melodically arresting and are the lyrics flowing with God-saturated vocabulary? With Ayiesha Woods' latest release "Runway Project," the answer is yes to the two components of the question. Despite having only seven cuts and released independently, this record is better than some of Woods' full length albums when she was with Gotee Records.

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  • Hollyn "One-Way Conversations" Album Review

    Hollyn is what Amy Grant, Kathy Troccoli and Stacie Orrico were one generation ago. She's able to peddle the interest of secular ears (such as those who have grown up with Adele & Alessia Cara) as well as still hold onto her Gospel-centred mandate. Of late, contemporary music has been inundated with country music, worship music, and so much R&B undercurrents, but fewer and fewer are the purveyors of genuine pop music.

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  • Reba McEntire “Sing It Now: Songs of Hope and Faith” Album Review

    Reba McEntire has taken the road most travelled. When many country music veterans who find their star power waning with fewer and fewer top-tiered charting hits, they often revert to doing an oldies album or a Christmas record or as McEntire does in this instance, a Christian music project. It's easy to discount this as a nail on McEntire's #1 streaking days, but this is far from the Oklahoma native's dirge.

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