Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Switchfoot: Dark Horses Live

The guys from San Diego offer the same type of show on Jay Leno they offer live -- high energy, positive, clear. Enjoy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jesus Culture: Awakening

In an effort to convey the love of God to the world, Jesus Culture is releasing a new live album entitled The Awakening. Recorded in Chicago by the California-based band as the group hosted Awakening 2011 conference in August. If you are a fan of Jesus Culture’s previous albums, this one is a must! I am especially partial to live albums so this one hits home for me quite a bit.

Their combined effort at catchy chord patterns, lively licks and driving passion in worship alone make for a great combination. Couple that with great lyrics and a longing to worship our Lord and Savior and you come us with a recipe for success. This is exactly what Jesus Culture is and has done for the past several years.

By impacting their local community and reaching beyond themselves for a greater purpose, they have grown into a great worship culture. I believe their true desire as well as the desire echoed by our generation can be defined in the song “We Are Hungry.” As I was listening to this, I realized that this is my desire as well.

“..I will not be silent,

I will not be quiet anymore,

I will not be silent…

I will raise my voice,

I will raise my voice,

I will raise my voice to You to You...

It is about time we started stepping out and sharing this good news, which we have been so blessed to have been given. That exactly, through exuberant worship, is what Jesus Culture is doing and all the while not being a bit ashamed.

Be looking forward to this new album released November 29, 2011.

Kudos to Jesus Culture for taking the stand.

Reviewed by Tyler Cummings

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leigh Nash: Hymns and Sacred Songs

Leigh Nash’s new release, Hymns and Sacred Songs, is a collection of the singer’s favorite old hymns as well as newly released hymns by such writers as Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, Aaron Keyes, Katie Gustafson and Nash, herself. Seeking lyrics cherished for their depth of meaning as well as poetic beauty, the hymns are given a fresh, new look with the combination of Nash’s light and easy voice and updated instrumentation.

Nash, who has been performing since her high school days, became known through her collaboration with Matt Slocum in forming the band Sixpence None The Richer. Following her time with the band, she continued to sing on projects with artists such as Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Matthew West and others. Her latest project is a celebration and homage to the hymns she grew up singing in church and which she cherished from a child.

It is refreshing to hear the rich lyrics of old hymns such as “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above.” Writers such as Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley and Dorothy Thrupp wrote Biblical truths and profound life experiences into their lyrics. As more and more artists rediscover these musical gems their message is once again being heard. Nash’s arrangements are simple, using keyboard, bass, drums and guitars, but they uniquely allow the lyric to take center stage. The overarching theme is that of hope restored, of finding deliverance and restoration in the work that Christ has done one the Cross. My personal favorite is Fanny Crosby’s “O Heart Bereaved and Lonely.”

O heart bereaved and lonely

Whose brightest dreams have fled.

Whose hopes like summer roses

Are withered, crushed and dead.

Though link by link be broken

And tears unseen may fall.

Look up amid they sorrow

To Him who knows it all…..

Take a stroll through beloved hymns, or, discover them for the first time. Their message is timeless, and you won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by Ann Ahrens