Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Night Beat Rewind: February 2017

The Groundhog was wrong. Things are heating up here at Night Beat HQ, and it's not all due to the Spring weather. We begin our monthly roundup with the Songs released during the month, or as we call it here

The Singles Scene

Now onto the albums. We begin with those releases which will not make the cut into the #PlatVnyl8 Pool. A small nitpick. I come up from the Vinyl era. Back in the day we had these things called 45s, which contained 2 songs, one on each side. They were the singles. That is what Hands has released, a single and a B-Side. You need at least 3 songs to make an EP, which is how they market it.

Missing The Mark

  • Cristabelle Braden - Hope Springs 3.75 Emeralds
  • East Hill Worship - Yesterday, Today, Forever 3.75 Emeralds
  • Dan Ferrari - Unrepeatable 3.75 Emeralds
  • Taelor Gray - In The Way Of Me 3.75 Emeralds
  • Kat & Jared - Kat & Jared EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • KRUM - Blue Eyed Devil 3.50 Emeralds
  • Nobigdyl. - Canopy 3.50 Emeralds
  • Royal Ruckus - The Summer of The Cicadias 3.75 Emeralds
KRUM is the artist formerly known as Playdough, but even a name change doesn't change my opinion of the music. And Kat & Jared? Must be a Flyleaf curse, but the only success from the former band seems to be Lacey. Maybe that's the way it is supposed to be. Now on to the albums from which nothing bad can be found.

Pure Platinum Perfection

6 Perfect 5's, and each one from 5 different genres (Alternative, Gospel, Modern Worship, and Hip Hop, and Instrumental). It's good to spread it around.

Semi-Precious Metal

That does it for February. Death Therapy threw me for a while. It was the weirdest metal band I ever heard until it finally dawned on me "It's not metal, it is industrial".   Once the adjustment was made the album was near perfect. Genres are important. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.    

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Night Beat Rewind: January 2017

Welcome to the First Rewind of 2017. It is starting out to be quite an interesting year both musically and politically. Let's not waste any time. We begin with the song releases.

The Singles Scene

From the singles to the full albums. We begin with the ones that will not make the pool for #PlatVnyl8.

Missing The Mark

  • Advent - Pain and Suffering 3.75 Emeralds
  • Mark Bishop - Seasons 3.50 Emeralds 
  • Colony House - Only The Lonely 3.75 Emeralds
  • Jimi Cravity - Heaven EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • Yonetta Odessa - The Climb 3.50 Emeralds
  • Jered Sanders - Nobody Famous 3.75 Emeralds
  • Social Club Misfits - The Misadventures of Fern and Marty 3.75 Emeralds
  • Strengthen What Remains - 2017 Promo 3.75 Emeralds
  • Theory Hazit - It's Whatever 3.50 Emeralds 
  • Watoto - Signs and Wonders 3.75 Emeralds 
Nothing bad can be said about our next release.

Pure Platinum Perfection

  • Danny Gokey - Rise 5 Emeralds 
A 10:1 ratio Missing The Mark to Pure Platinum to start 2017 gives me good feelings. I always need reassurance that my critical skills are not going soft. Of course we all know that most of the releases fall somewhere in between.

Semi-Precious Metal

That does it for this January edition of Rewind. It's finally out. Thankfully it is only March 1. On to February. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, February 27, 2017

MVM Special Edition: AC Video Pool

Welcome to a Very Special Edition of Music Video Monday. We are taking a break from the usual, due to a dearth of New Music Videos. We have to reload. Not to worry, there is still videos to share.

What we are going to do is share the Video Pool for the various genres in the Platinum Vinyl Awards. This is not the final nominees. This is the pool from which the nominees will be taken. We begin with Adult Contemporary/Inspirational. Currently there are 13 Videos in the pool, and we are always searching for additional videos. Either way, we will be voting on these to narrow them to 5. Here is the playlist for your enjoyment.

Watch, Listen, and vote. Yes, Vote. You can help us here at The Night Beat by commenting on which videos are your favorites. It will have weight as we narrow thing down. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

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.