Monday, September 27, 2010

Project Wonder: Smitty's Return

Wonder, the 16th Full Length studio release by CCM Pioneer and unrecognized father of Synthpop Michael W. Smith is a testament to his longevity, and also a great statement. Just because you get older doesn't mean that you have to mellow. The album is an expert blending of Rock and Roll, New Wave, orchestral masterpieces and mellow piano tunes.  Even the most die hard rocker who can't stand anything soft has to admit that the arrangements alone are masterpieces and make this album a must have.

Walking on the Stars

Outta Space Love, the third full length release by Orlando, Florida based Group 1 Crew is a Dance House masterpiece. No Mickey Mouse effort here (sorry, couldn't resist), this album, unlike Chris Sligh (see my review of Anatomy of Broken) passes the Road Trip Test with flying colors. One caveat though, maybe you should put the car on Cruise Control first.  Constant tapping of the accelerator could get you in trouble.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brought to you by the Letter K

Pop Culture is not something that I usually concern myself with.  I can already hear you cry in protest. "But you're a DJ, isn't that all you're concerned with?" Not really.  A DJ is concerned with music, and, sadly, when you're a DJ who specializes in CCM, you find out that there is very little in CCM that ever makes its way into what passes for Pop Culture. Unless there's a scandal of course.  There have been plenty of them, and I don't have the time to cover them in detail, but a short list includes Leslie Phillips, Amy Grant, Sandi Patti, Evanescence, and Jennifer Knapp among others. Let's just say, in the Culture Wars, most Christian casualties tend to come from friendly fire.
Yesterday, thanks to You Tube and talk radio, a pop culture scandal has erupted involving of all things, Sesame Street and a former CCM Rocker by the name of Katy Hudson.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More than Amazing Guitar

I love guitars.  It's not my favorite rock instrument, that would be the synthesizer, but it's a close second. A well executed guitar solo is a thing of beauty.  My introduction to Christian Music years ago came via Phil Keaggy, guitarist par excellence.  One of my criticisms of modern rock, both in CCM and in the mainstream, is a fear of all things instrumental.  Maybe it's the ego of the vocalist, but not every second of the song has to be filled with vocals.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Anatomy of Boredom

The Anatomy of Broken is the second release by 2007 10th Place American Idol Finalist Chris Sligh. Clocking in at just under an hour in length, it is quite long by current standards. Not helping matters any is that of the fourteen songs on the album, ten of them are of that perfect "Air Conditioning" genre (Adult Contemporary) that so easily goes on in the background that you don't pay much attention to it.  Let's just say I wouldn't pop this CD into my car for a long road trip home.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Primary Night

Polls close here in the Bay State in a few moments and, if we can produce a result in November similar to the Brown victory at the start of the year, we may be able to bring our State and the Country back from the brink.  I have read various partisan dems say how they are happy with the direction the country is going and prefer to "keep it in D for Drive."  To reply in kind I may say that if you are going along the road and see the bridge is out, it's time to put it in R for reverse. My highly unscientific study, which consisted of going to vote this morning, was that there was no one there but I, and I voted Republican.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Shot Heard Round The World

The saying goes that close only counts with Horseshoes and Handgrenades.  Knoxville, TN Christian Heavy Metal Band Disciple gave this title to their eighth full length studio release to indicate that they had no intention of letting success go to their head and "mail in" the new album. They didn't just hit the target with this release, they obliterated it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Light Up The Sky

Light Up The Sky, the third major release from Texas Alternative Christian rockers The Afters is a pleasing 10 song blend of worship music and entertainment.  I was first introduced to the band via a free download of Someday from their debut album I Wish We All Could Win. Suffice it to say this album is a bit mellower.  The mellower sound has gotten more polished, however, so you could call it artistic rock