Monday, January 25, 2016

"You Are My Peace" - Inhabited

Song: You Are My Peace
Artist: Inhabited
Album: The Revolution

So, a buddy of mine from work passed away recently.  As I was driving to his memorial service, this is the song that rose up in me.  I wanted to share it with you.

I've always enjoyed Inhabited's music, and they deserve more recognition than I'm giving them here. Given the circumstances and the inspiration behind this post, though, I'm going to keep it to this.  Please enjoy the song, and I hope it helps you find peace in whatever situation you are dealing with right now:

Monday, November 30, 2015

"Vanity" - Monday Morning

Song: "Vanity"
Album: Fool's Paradise
Artist: Monday Morning

Let me start with this: most of you probably know the most popular song from this album, "Wonder of it All."  That song has been rock solid for me in helping me to remember that where I am is not where I came from, and qualifies as one of the best Christian music songs ever.  Period.

You probably also know that the song still isn't available on any digital download format.  Go figure.
I, as I did with our previous feature, went the extra step of tracking down the album and buying it second-hand (just like we used to do 20 years ago - buy the whole album just for one track . . .)

I was less impressed with this album, overall, but I did find a couple of songs that I really like.  I'm going to share one with you today: "Vanity."

"Vanity" hits hard.  The song was released at a time when alternative metal was still a large part of pop music (I miss those days), and it has a lot of the attributes you'd expect from an alt-metal classic: thick distortion, drop tuning, minor progressions, and self-reflection.

What I love best about this song is that 1) the lead singer from Monday Morning is singing from his heart, 2) the song has a strong sense of introspection, and 3) the song provides an answer.  So much of the secular alt-metal from those days offered lots of emotional agony and sorrow, but never provided a lot of hope.  "Vanity" points squarely at the reason for the despair: your own vanity.  Solve that, and we can start to repair the emotional hurt that we've put ourselves through by not putting God first.  Nice.

Please, let us know what you think of "Vanity," and stay tuned for more great selections from Christina Music Discovery.

P.S. Did you know that this album was produced by John Elefante?  As in "That's Why God Made The Moon" John Elefante?  Yeah, I was shocked too . . .

P.P.S. I love the imagery of the album artwork.

Monday, November 23, 2015

"The Ringleader" - DJ Maj featuring Lisa Kimmey

Song: "The Ringleader"
Album: The Ringleader, Mixtape: Part III
Artist: DJ Maj featuring Lisa Kimmey

Before I get into the song, I have to tell you a story:

This album, The Ringleader, was one of the last CDs that I ever bough new.  Like, new, with the original packaging and seal, sold as new at the store.  I bought it at a Best Buy in 2003 (or '04; I don't remember exactly).  I was seventeen.

It was the first CD that I had bought new in a while, and I absolutely fell in love with it once the first track started to play (which this track is, minus the intro).  I loved it so much that I gave it to one of the youth leaders from church so that he could borrow it.  I hadn't burned myself a copy, as I was certainly expecting to get it back.

Now, my youth leader really liked it, too.  He liked it so much, in fact, that he was listening to it when he totaled is car.  Now, he was fine - he drove one of those super-lifted mid-80s Suburbans, and someone ended up trying to make a left turn in front of him.  His vehicle crushed the other one, but tipped over and fell on it's side in the process.  Again, everyone was OK.

A couple of weeks after the accident, having not given it another thought, I asked for the CD back.  It was at this point that he informed me that I wasn't going to get it back for the reasons stated above.  Needless to say, I was devastated.

Fast forward a few years: after I got on the iTunes train, I kept checking periodically to see if it would become available (as of the publishing of this post, it still isn't).  Then, I started checking Amazon MP3; still nothing.  Finally (after somehow forgetting), I realized that I could check for it as a used item for sale, and after about nine years found it and purchased it.  That's how much I enjoyed this album.

All that to say this: I love this song.  I had never heard of DJ Maj before, and haven't really followed his music since, but this song is awesome.  It has a very late-90s feel to it, good instrumentation, a fun and groovy beat, and great lyrics.  Lisa Kimmy, the lead singer of Out of Eden (remember them?) and the featured female vocal on the track, sounds like she's having a lot of fun singing the song, and really gets the point across: no matter how hard you try to say otherwise, everything you see points back to God as the master and creator of all.

As Christians, we have a tendency to debate a lot, which is fine; some people won't come to Christ if you don't take the time to address their ideas and questions in light of His truth. Ultimately, though, people have to know that, no matter the questions, God is still the final answer.

You will enjoy this song.  In case I'm wrong, though, feel free to leave us some feedback, and stay tuned for more great selections from Christian Music Discovery!

P,S. I think I'm up to four albums now that I've purchased used that I simply haven't been able to find elsewhere; you better believe I'm going to be featuring more music from them, so stay tuned . . .



Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Jesus, You Gave It All" - Darlene Zschech/Hillsong

Song: "Jesus, You Gave It All"
Album: Touching Heaven, Changing Earth
Artist: Darlene Zschech/Hillsong

One of my absolute favorite things in this world is hearing an awesome worship song for the first time, then finding out that it's already ten or fifteen years old.  That's what Christian Music Discovery is all about: taking these gems of God-inspired music and sharing them so that they can bless the people of God.

That being said, I present to you one such song: "Jesus, You Gave It All" by Darlene Zschech (though you can tell that the whole Hillsong crew is there with her).

I absolutely love this song.  Everything about this song is perfect, from the intro, to that recurring lick/progression, to the heavy bass (Hillsong has never been afraid of bass or distortion), to the hook at the end and the guitar solo.  I love that Darlene always gives herself completely over in worship and literally gives it all.

It is also a fantastic reminder for every point in life: feel like living the Christ life (not a typo) is too hard?  Jesus gave it ALL for you; does it feel like God has forgotten you?  Well, Jesus gave it all for YOU.  Feel like you're not worthy of God's love?  Hey, Jesus GAVE it all for you.

No matter where we are in life, you can be comforted by remembering that Jesus gave it all for you.  Let's celebrate that!





Now, as a bonus, I included this clip I found of them doing it live.  You'll see what I'm talking about in giving yourself over in worship.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Truth About God" - All Together Separate

Song: "Truth About God"
Album: All Together Separate
Artist: All Together Separate

This whole album is amazing, but today we're featuring the blues.  This track hits hard but maintains a wonderful, bluesy attitude, nicely integrating some organ and a fantastic guitar solo. 

As far as what the song's about, the title says it all: you can look everywhere you want to, but ultimately, God is the final answer, and to look for fulfillment elsewhere is to commit yourself to a struggle that leaves you weary and restless.

Enjoy!



Thursday, July 30, 2015

"God Is" - R.W. Schambauch feat. Lance Palmer

Song: "God Is"
Album: "R.W. Schambauch: Live In Brooklyn"
Artist: R.W. Schambauch feat. Lance Palmer

This is an oldie, but goodie.  A redo of the traditional gospel song by Reverend James Cleveland.  Lance Palmer is the one doing all of the (male) singing.  A truly strengthening and empowering song about allowing God to be your everything, and committing yourself fully to Him.

Enjoy.


Monday, July 27, 2015

"All For You" - Fusebox

Song: "All For You"
Album: "Once Again"
Artist: Fusebox

An absolutely wonderful alt-metal worship song from little-known Fusebox (best known as Rebecca St. James' backing band back in the day).  I love this song, and it's not even my favorite on the album.

Enjoy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Hello Fear" - Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin.


When it comes to Kirk Franklin, most of us fall into one of two categories: 1) the people who say "I already know all of Kirk Franklin's Music," and 2) the people who say "Why would I listen to Kirk Franklin?"  Normally, that would make it hard to feature any of his music, because you either already know it, or you have no interest in listening to it, until today . . .

The song "Hello Fear," the title track from Kirk Franklin's 2011 album, is a song that appeals to every listener through it's varied instrumentation, easy vocals, and topical relevance.  In other words, everyone can find a reason to like this song.

"Hello Fear"deals with something we've almost all experienced, and that's . . . well . . . fear.  We've almost all had something in life that we've been afraid to do, whether it's coming to Christ in the first place, leaving our past behind, or following Him when He leads us to do something we've never done before.  The beautiful thing is that God's perfect love has cast out fear, and "Hello Fear" captures that point as both a break-up song with fear and as a make-up song with grace.  Amazing.

You can check out "Hello Fear" below, and as always, stay tuned for more great finds on Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian Music.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Depraved" - Anberlin

Have you ever purchased a new album, gone to listen all the way through, and maybe skipped a song or two based on the intro to the song?  Maybe it just hit you the wrong way that day?  Maybe you weren't in the mood?  Then, when you finally go back and listen to the song, it's so amazing that you have to ask, "How have I never listen to this song before?"  Well, that was "Depraved" for me.

From Anberlin's album "Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place," "Depraved" is the quintessential sin song, a song that takes the issue of habitual sin and forces the listener to face a harsh truth:

"Are you depraved, or are you deceived?  Excuses aside, stop saying please . . ."

Excuses aside.  Wow.  There's more:

"You're not a slave, so get off your knees . . ."

They're right: ultimately, it is for freedom that Christ set us free, that we should no longer under the yoke of slavery to sin.  So, if we're free, do we keep sinning because we're depraved, or because we're deceived?  Since we're free in Christ, there really is no excuse for habitual sin.

Amazing.

Now, I've always admired how well put-together Anberlin's music is; their synergy as a group is incredible, starting with the way the instruments are arranged, all the way down to the breaks and the breakdowns (especially the breakdowns).  The music they put together for "Depraved" is the most important key to their effective delivery of the song, and it makes the song a great listen, even if you're not actually dealing with habitual sin (it's a great reminder not to start, though!)

You will enjoy this song, and if you are dealing with habitual sin, I hope this song helps you:



As always, thanks for checking in, and stay tuned for more great finds from Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Better For You" - Kutless

Hello, Christian music fans!

Today's number is Kutless' "Better For You" from the album "Sea Of Faces."  Now, everyone probably remembers the song "Sea Of Faces"; it really was one of Kutless' greatest hits.  What made me little sad, though, was how much it obscured the rest of the album.  "Sea Of Faces" (the album) was one of those albums where you can sit and listen to the whole thing without skipping a song, and "Better For You" is a great example of why.  It's not even my favorite song from the album, but it rocks, and talks about the importance of taking the more narrow, seemingly more difficult road, instead of taking the wide road that leads to destruction.  Did I mention it rocks?  

Enjoy the video below, and don't forget to keep checking back with us for more updates at Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music.


Monday, May 19, 2014

"Sweetly Broken" - Casey Corum

The best version of "Sweetly Broken" out there, done by Vineyard worship leader Casey Corum. Rocks hard and drives from start to finish, yet is clean, melodic, and very well put together. Love it. Hope you do too. From the album "More Than Ever."


 


Now, I realized that the posts have been slow to come for a while (understatement), but we're back underway, so stay tuned for more selections from Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music.

Monday, April 30, 2012

"Fire" - Krystal Meyers

Are you ready for a bold statement? While Christian music labels have spent much of the last tean years trying to catch up with secular music in terms of appeal (to their credit, they have both caught up and surpassed secular music in many ways), I honestly feel that there is one genre where Christian music far surpasses that of the secular realm: Chick Rock.

Really? Did I just say that?

Well, think about it . . . look at the collection of bands out there: Fireflight, Icon For Hire, Superchick, Barlow Girl, The Letter Black, and that's just a to name a few. Furthermore, many of the main secular names in the genre (Flyleaf, Paramore, Evanescense - yes, I went there) are all Christian groups! Superchick is especially a great example because of their tremendous crossover success, having their songs used in everything from movies to TV teasers.

With that, I introduce this week's featured song: "Fire" by Krystal Meyers.

Now, "Fire" is just a fun song about an important topic: letting your light shine and keeping your spiritual fire burning. There's a lot of fun elements to the song: rapid-fire meter changes, fun and varied guitar effects, interspersed intensity changes, and, most importantly, strong vocals. The vocals on "Fire" are especially impressive once one finds out that Meyers, with all that power behind her voice, is only sixteen.

That was all the buzz when this self-titled album came out: "How can that big voice come out of something so small wth such a sweet speaking voice?" I think it can only be summed up by remembering that the Lord works in mysterious ways . . .

Anyway, if you find that, at any point, your fire for Jesus and the Kingdom of God is at any point waning, just listen to this song. As a matter of fact, listen to it twice, just to make sure you've got it. "Fire" is very effective, both through the music and the lyrics, at inspiring those who seek to be inspired. It reminds us that Jesus is at work in us, and that we ought to, as Paul told Timothy, fan into flame the gift of God inside us, and not only let our light shine, but proactively press toward the mark of the high calling of God, so that all men may see and glorify our God.




 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anberlin's Next Single?

I'm going to be honest with you right now:

I LOVE ANBERLIN!

I was so excited when I got the e-mail last year that Anberlin's latest album, "Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place," was launching on Amazon MP3 for only $2.99.  You had better believe that I bought it that night!

I was even more excited when I found out that it debuted at the #2 position on the album download charts on both Billboard and iTunes.  What a huge leap in the right direction for Anberlin!  What an opportunity to expose more people to the Gospel with a greater reach!

As I listened to the album, I was astounded by some of the new elements they incorporated (a topic we may cover in a future post.)  I was especially surprised by their choice of "Impossible" as the first single.  It's a skillfully executed song with a strong melody, but what surprised me was the fact that the "Impossible" starts on a major chord (D major, to be precise.)  This is unusual for Anberlin, given their apparent love of minor-dominated singles (all of which I love, by the way.)  Take a look:

Change The World (Lost Ones) - D minor
Cadence - F# minor
Paperthin Hymn - D minor
Feel Good Drag - F minor
The Unwinding Cable Car - C# minor
A Whisper & A Clamor - C minor

Now that I've listened to the album all the way through a few times, I think I have an idea of what their next single may be, but I'm torn between two songs: the separation conflict "Closer," and the relationship conflict "Art Of War."  Both are songs that open in minor keys, and both would make excellent singles that would follow nicely in the footsteps of Anberlin's previous singles.  I would love to hear your opinion as to which you like better!

"Closer" is a simple-enough work that seems to explore one man's cry to be closer to his creator after a time of separation.  Apparently, the separation was cause in part by the man's inability to receive God from a standpoint of faith ("Do you expect me to beyond believe you?")  It relates to a place that almost all of us have been at in our walk with God, and rightly expresses the desperation and longing of such times.  The atypical drum line really helps to drive the song.  You can check out the the song below:



Now, "Art Of War" is a whole different beast entirely.  We get started here with bass, drums, and organ.  Seriously, organ!  It's a step in a completely different direction, and one of the new elements we're seeing from Anberlin that I mentioned before.  "Art Of War" seems to take us through a story of looking back on a painful relationship, though we're not really sure with whom (songs like this make me think of the lyrics from "Impossible" - "You're impossible to figure out.")  We see that the pain from the relationship has been overcome, though there are certain parts of the pain that will never go away.  Many of us have had relationships with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, significant others that have left us feeling this way, but at least we know that, with Jesus, we can always overcome the pain.  I will say this: this is really a moving song, even if you aren't quite sure what it's about.



Now, the tough part: let us know which one you like better, and which one Anberlin is more likely to release as a single!  And don't forget to stay tuned for more great finds from Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We've Been Going Through Some Changes

Good afternoon, faithful readers of Christian Music Discovery!

I realize that it's been a while since we've posted some new content, but I wanted to let you know we've been going through some changes here, and that we'll be back to normal on Monday, May 16.  We'll be posting our promised article on Anberlin, and following up with a great variety of finds that you'd expect from CMD.

Thank you for your support, and don't forget to tell all of your friends to check out Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian music.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Like You Promised" - Amber Brooks

We've all been there: those times in life when we feel distant from God, or that He's somehow afar off.  We're desperate, we're longing; we feel like something's missing, like the passion is gone, like God's presence is not as real as it once was.  Yes, we've all been there, but it's good to know that in the midst of what seem like the darkest and driest of times, God is always faithful to answer when we call.  Today, we highlight such a cry of desperation: "Like You Promised" by Amber Brooks.

Now, the one thing that we have to remember when petitioning God in times like this is to keep it simple, and Amber does just that with this powerful worship song.  The worshipper starts out asking God to come and "stir the stagnant waters."  Yep, that's pretty much what we need right about now.  Amber even addresses keeping the request simple: "I don't have all the right words to provoke You to want me."  Yes, Lord; I'm at a place where I don't know what else to say, except that I need You, and more of You, right now.  And so we have the chorus:

Won't you come, come like you promised
Pour out your Spirit, pour out your Spirit.

In coming the bridge, the worshipper is able to put themselves in remembrance of how much God loves them ("You love like a father,") and even the intensity with which He loves us ("fierce like no other.")

All it all, it's a simple song, but when it comes to those dry times of the soul, that's what we need as worshippers; we need to be able to just cry out to God and demonstrate how we long for Him, and then allow Him to come and fill us up as he so faithfully does.  "Like You Promised" serves as a wonderful reminder of what Psalm 139 tells us:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me. - Psalm 139:7-10 (NKJV)

I hope you enjoy "Like You Promised," and I hope that it can help you or someone you know through a time of desperation and longing.

You can listen to "Like You Promised" on the YouTube video below:




Stay tuned!  On our next feature, we'll play one of my favorite games: "Guess That Group's Next Big Single."  We'll be featuring the music of Anberlin.

As always, thanks for checking out Christian Music Discovery, the place for good Christian Music.