Thursday, February 16, 2017

Frankly, My Dear....You Can't Kill Us

There's a double reference to the title, and I will get to that shortly. One of the drawbacks to being a small time operation is that you miss things, even those things you though you were watching carefully for.

What I was waiting for was the new release by Icon For Hire, the first since their breakup with Tooth and Nail Records. Now if you've been with us for any length of time, you have probably heard me express admiration for the label, and calling founder Brandon Ebel Midas or The Kingmaker. Now his penchant for finding gems among the unsigned masses and creating stars is one thing, but that drive sometimes drives the stars away in frustration. They want to be coddled a bit more. And they go indie again. And sometimes they strike gold, but toward the end they more likely than not will come back to a label for security. It's a rough world out there.

Which brings us to You Can't Kill Us, which was released last November (I told you I missed things. It was November 25 to be exact). It's an interesting album, and I almost panned it thanks to Amazon. Now I love Amazon, The Night Beat is an Amazon Affiliate, but I think they're shell-shocked with the Music Department. I was almost driven away by their "Explicit" Tag, but getting the opportunity to listen to complete songs on YouTube convinced me that Amazon was overreacting. The hoopla centered on the song "Under The Knife" which is about cutting. It's a powerful song. There are two "problem" lines in the song, as I try to channel Amazon. "You knew the deal, nobody gives a damn" (earth to Amazon, Have You Ever Heard of Gone With The Wind. That was in 1939). And the other line contains an euphemism for Manure that has an S, an H, an I, and a T in it, in that order. Explicit? Puh-leeze. Here's the thing. There's a reason for the explicit label, and it was to protect "The Children" from shocking and obscene language. What really happened, however, was that human nature took over and the "rebellious" kids sought out anything that had the label and wouldn't listen to anything else. Still, where "F-bombs", "N-Words", and many other obscenities fill the music landscape. This? No. Not even close. Here's the lyric video, you be the judge.

On to my actual review. Like I said previously, it is an interesting album. The title would seem to imply a rebellious, angry Icon, but I don't get that vibe. It's not as skillet-esque as the debut, and a little poppy, but they are stretching their wings. 

One thing in abundance are the REL Ballads. Honestly, Ariel has one of the most beautiful ballad voices in Rock. In a lot of ways she would be perfect in a Worship setting. My favorites are War and the before mentioned Under The Knife, with Here We Are and Happy Hurts next. 

When all is said and done, I am giving You Can't Kill Us a near perfect score of 4.75 Emeralds. They are definitely stronger for the struggle. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Music Video Monday: Machines of Fear

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled edition of Music Video Monday. We have recently come into possession of a large amount of new music (some of which is #PlatVnyl7 eligible), and along with it usually comes some Music Videos. 

We will start with the volume somewhat muted. This is Rock/Worship band Army of Three and Wonder of Your Greatness. 
Next up we go to the air with Bird Passengers. This is Mountain to Cover.
And finally we crank it up. Expanding our Commonwealth of CCM with Innerwish, which hail from Greece (previously all that came from here, as far as I knew was the late Chaos on The Rise, which had an Evanescence vibe going. These guys sound a bit like Bloodgood. This is Machines of Fear.
That does it for this edition of Music Video Monday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Music Video Monday: Supposed To Be

Welcome back to another edition of Music Video Monday, where we share the best we find in Contemporary Christian Music/The Fringe Music Videos out there. And we put extra emphasis on best we can find. Sometimes we don't discover things as quickly as we should. And when we do, we sometimes miss the deadline, as is the case this week. Still, Music Video Monday on Tuesday is better than waiting til next week.

Everybody is screaming and marching for Justice. Well we've got your justice, as in +Carmen Justice. Her debut single in the Dance/Synthpop genre is Flaming Arrows. She's not running from her ghosts.

Flaming arrows thankfully are still unheard of in our streets. But bricks and other projectiles are, especially among Democrat Party affiliated groups. TobyMac takes on the issue in the music video for Love Broke Thru. A very powerful video.
Finally, one of the minuses of being a small time operator is the fact that sometimes you miss things. Like the independent release of Icon For Hire's third album, entitled You Can't Kill Us. The album came out in November, and I missed it, just discovering it a few days ago. I will give you my review as soon as possible. This is Supposed to Be.
That does it for a hastily cobbled together edition of Music Video Monday on a Tuesday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Music Video Monday: Chainbreaker

Welcome back to an all new edition of Music Video, where we scour the web in search of the best Music Videos in CCM and the Fringe. We begin this Holiday Edition (It's MLK Day in the States. What the rest of the world calls a "Bank Holiday" because that is just about all that is closed.)

We begin with Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture, who recently released a solo album entitled Split The Sky. This is the music video for Because of Your Love. 
Next up we have Micah Tyler, who gets to open for Mercy Me this year, not a bad gig to have. From his album Different, this is Never Been A Moment.
And finally we go to Zach Williams. Now Zach has released an EP and a full album with the title Chainbreaker in the last few months. I am counting the full Album in December here for my purposes. This is Chainbreaker.
That does it for this edition of Music Video Monday. We return with more Videos next Monday. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Siberian Siren: The 2017 Platinum Vinyl Awards 1st Qtr - Adult Contemporary

This is it. The grand finale. The announcement of the First Quarter Results for the 2017 Platinum Vinyl Awards Entrants are completed. (Just to fill people in: We have an October 1-September 30 Eligibility Year instead of a calendar year schedule). Anyway, our big winner, which had to share the honors with Heavy Metal, is Adult Contemporary. Now that's two genres you shouldn't find in the same room together. (Short of a summer festival, but that's another story). Let's get this quarter finished.

Adult Contemporary/Inspirational

That does it for Adult Contemporary, and that does it for the First Quarter as well. Jean Watson scored 5 Perfect Emeralds, but that was it for the genre. The second quarter awaits. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Siberian Siren: The 2017 Platinum Vinyl Awards 1st Qtr - Heavy Metal

We are here with our penultimate post (that's next to the last for those in Rio Linda). Tied for first place this quarter, the first for 2017 (aka #PlatVnyl8) is Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. I cannot be sure off the top of my head, but I believe it is the first time for the genre at the top of the list. Sometimes it is in the megapost. Let's get to it. Crank it up.

Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Nine entrants this quarter. #PlatVnyl8 may be the year of Metal. Well, if you've done your tabulations correctly, you know our other co-winner is Adult Contemporary. Time to turn down the volume. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Siberian Siren: The 2017 Platinum Vinyl Awards 1st Qtr - Rock

The second of our 3 ties concludes with Rock. This genre also had a full finals of 7 entries, which means that the "winners" have more than that. Let's get to it.

Rock Music

Three of these seven entries, so that tells you how strong this genre is. Our next grouping is next, and our co-winner is Heavy Metal. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.