MUSIC REVIEW :: STILL by MICHAEL W. SMITH

FOR MY 2020 REVIEWS I’M CHOOSING CHRISTIAN ALBUM PROJECTS THAT HAVE TOUCHED MY SPIRIT DEEPLY. THIS IS THE LAST REVIEW IN THE SERIES.

One of the most prolific, talented and award-winning artists of all time, singer and songwriter, Michael W. Smith truly needs no introduction. If you’ve been listening to Christian music over the last 40 years, there’s no doubt you’ve heard much of his incredible music. Along with a handful of other amazing artists, Michael W. Smith, helped pioneer what we know today as Contemporary Christian music.

STILL Vol. 1  by Michael W. Smith

Release Date: October 9, 2020

Album Length: 10 tracks: 55 minutes 

Since 1985 Michael W. Smith’s projects have spanned across the Christian music genre from pop to gospel, patriotic orchestral instrumental, live and studio worship albums. Then just when you think he can’t top those Michael releases what I consider one of his best works to date.

STILL is an exquisitely orchestrated, etherial expression of sight and sound. The touching improvisational music with random hints of familiar hymns is paired with the everlasting hope of God’s Word so beautifully read by Michael.

A healing balm for these troubled times in which we live.

For those of us who’ve been unable to be outdoors or travel these last few months, the magnificent visuals offered to us from STILL are life-giving. These breathtaking visuals have you soaring like an eagle high above lush forests, flowing rivers and blue ocean waves… rich farmlands and what looks like could be the smokey mountains in Michael’s own backyard of Tennessee.

A stunning synthesis of scripture and scenery that will soothe your soul.

The applications of this album are many. What a wonderful way to end your day. The perfect music to play in a child’s bedroom at night. Or just as background for your personal meditation time with God.

From the album cover…

My prayer is that this work helps you find some moments of STILLNESS, whether in the meditations and scriptures that I read in the first five tracks or in the moments of prayer that you have over the last five.  May it wash over you!”

– Michael W. Smith 

I highly recommend this amazingly anointed album! I’ve had it on repeat for days while preparing this review. My heart is full and my spirit is inspired. STILL by Michael W. Smith is a must have for any Christian music collection.

Be still.

Be inspired.

Be blessed.

Below is the full album playlist from YouTube. I pray you will set aside time to soak in, watch or pray this incredibly anointed work of art by Michael W. Smith.

MUSIC REVIEW :: WE THE KINGDOM

in the months with five Fridays I post a review. FOR MY 2020 REVIEWS I’M CHOOSING CHRISTIAN PROJECTS or artists THAT HAVE TOUCHED MY SPIRIT DEEPLY.

Today I want to introduce you to one of the freshest sounds to come from contemporary Christian music in a long time.

We The Kingdom is a multi-generational family band consisting of brothers Ed Cash and Scott Cash, Ed’s daughter Franni, his son Martin and dear friend Andrew Bergthold.

Birthed from four decades of shared difficulties and influences We The Kingdom’s music intertwines worship and gospel with a retro-fresh folk/country/rock reminiscent of 70’s greats: Doobie Brothers, Lynard Skynard, The Allman Brothers, Loggins & Messina, Creedance Clearwater Revival and many more.

Having individually been behind the scenes on songs sung around the world, We The Kingdom band members came together to tell their own stories with lyrics that are vulnerable yet edgy. Their songs span the full spectrum of human emotions, embracing  brokenness, honesty, and the redemptive power of God’s love.

“The heart of We The Kingdom is to create music that candidly tells how God reached into the middle of our brokenness, and drew us into His story of redemption. Songs of testimony and worship have been a healing salve for us. We want to share our journey with others with the hope that God will use that as a catalyst for healing in others. Our heart’s desire is to see captives set free, relationships restored, and people brought to the Cross. We pray that God would sew the thread of His promises through the stories of each song we write, and weave together a tapestry that points straight to the great love of Jesus.” – We The Kingdom

WTK’s first EP Live at the Wheelhouse released in the fall of 2019. Their debut album: Holy Water is scheduled to release August 7, 2020.

Below are three of my favorite videos We The Kingdom has released: God So Loved, Child of Love and Holy Water. Each song /video stands on its own as a beautiful work of music and visual artistry with wonderful Christian messages.

I hope you will take time to soak in some truly great music that will tug at your heart strings while uplifting your spirit and soul. Enjoy!

I was introduced to We The Kingdom with this anointed church session video featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

We The Kingdom dropped this single July 2, 2020. Filmed like an old home movie road trip with a 70’s retro-rock soundtrack this music video is my personal favorite today.

Another fav of mine. With exquisite scenery and a lovely representation of different nationalities of people, this video shows that God truly loves the whole world!

Check out We The Kingdom YouTube channel here for all their amazing music. Blessings…  

MUSIC REVIEW :: PEACE by BETHEL MUSIC

FOR MY 2020 REVIEWS I’M CHOOSING CHRISTIAN ALBUM PROJECTS THAT HAVE TOUCHED MY SPIRIT DEEPLY. THIS IS THE SECOND REVIEW IN THE SERIES. Check out my first Music review here.

 

PEACE by Bethel Music

Release Date: April 10, 2020
Album length: 12 tracks: 1 hour 9 minutes

There some artists or producers that you can count on to be consistent in their products. For me, I know if a project comes from Bethel Music it will be a quality production, with music and lyrics anointed by God. If you’re unfamiliar with Bethel Music here is a brief description from their website.

“Bethel Music is a community of worshipers pursuing the presence of God. We exist to gather, inspire, and encourage the global church toward deeper intimacy with the Father. Together, we express who God is and who we are in Him, capturing fresh expressions of worship in every season.”

Albums | Bethel Music

Released during the COVID-19 world crisis pandemic, this album couldn’t have come at a better time. There are millions of people around the world hurting, lonely and desperate for music that will lift their spirits, inspire their souls, and heal their hearts and minds. This album is specifically created for that.

“Peace. We started this project almost a year and a half ago, not knowing the right time to release it. Over the past few weeks as we’ve watched everything unfold, we knew the time was now. We believe God will use this album to calm your mind, heart and soul during a time of uncertainty — He will silence any fear or anxiety. Peace is a person, and He is near.” ~ Bethel Music 04/10/2020

The orchestration of the music is exquisite. With the tranquil sounds of ocean waves and winds in the background, the soothing pace of the music allows you to drink the songs deeply into your heart and soul.

The artist chosen for each song selection is perfect. The restraint of the vocals simplified down to whisper singing makes PEACE truly a breath of fresh air to worship music today!

The visuals on the lyric videos themselves are incredibly peaceful with the wind blowing gently against the backdrop of a clear blue sky.

PEACE by Bethel Music ministers healing to a disquieted world. In this simple amazing project God brings supernatural healing through the science and technology of music to those seeking relief from anxiety and depression.

“The songs on this album merge worship and cutting edge techniques scientifically proven to help heal the parts of the brain damaged by emotional trauma by engaging both sides of the brain through the gentle panning of peaceful soundscapes known as bilateral music. As you listen, breathe slow and deep, invite the presence of God into your life and watch how He prophecies the truth over you and gives you His perspective.”  ~ Bethel Music Heart of the Album Video Description

As a contemplative person I’m drawn to the quiet music that PEACE presents. It’s simple, life-filled, uplifting, inspirational, relaxing, encouraging, healing and above all peaceful. Most of the songs are familiar worship songs that have been reworked with a softer sound. There are also a few new songs that you will want to hear again and again.

A new favorite for me. I highly recommend PEACE by Bethel Music!

Step out of the busy-ness of your day and breathe in the peace of God’s Presence available to you in this beautiful album by Bethel Music. Below is the full PEACE album YouTube playlist. Be blessed!

 

MUSIC REVIEW :: JESUS IS BORN by SUNDAY SERVICE CHOIR

 

 

JESUS IS BORN

by the

SUNDAY SERVICE CHOIR

 

 

 

 

One of the best things to happen in 2019 was that Kanye West rededicated his life, and now all his music, to Jesus Christ. Early in January, he formed a choir/band called the Sunday Service Collective under the direction of the amazingly anointed Jason White. Which includes a group of extremely talented musicians and singers from all walks of life. I’m sure none of them expected the gig to last for more than a few weeks.

Now more than a year later they’ve been singing together every Sunday all across America in small churches and large alike. From exclusive indoor venues like The Forum in Los Angeles to outdoor venues in Salt Lake City, Jamaica, and Baton Rouge. In the fall between every Sunday service, Kanye and the Sunday Service Collective produced two Christian operas: Nebuchadnezzar and Mary. And if that wasn’t enough Kanye and his phenomenal group of artists released two truly remarkable albums: Jesus Is King and Jesus Is Born.

Jesus Is King, Kanye West’s ninth studio album and first gospel album release, not only debuted at number 1 on the charts, but every track landed on the Billboard Top 100 within days of release!

The  Sunday Service choir performed on the first song. Kanye and other featured artists rounded out the 11 track set. My personal favorites on this album are: God Is and Water. To some this album was a disappointment considering Kanye’s musical reputation and past successes. But for me, I think we should give him grace and room to grow in his new life and creative ventures as the avant-garde Christian artist/innovator/designer that he is.

Jesus Is Born Releases Christmas Day 2019!

As promised, by Kanye West, executive producer, the Sunday Service Choir debuted their first album Jesus Is Born on Christmas Day 2019. Exceptional in today’s music market, the album has 19 tracks with a playing time of almost 75 minutes. The album is a collection of some of the most powerful praise songs and life-changing worship music available today. It features beautifully performed traditional gospel and praise music, sprinkled with covers of a some secular songs reworked for Jesus, including some of Kanye’s previously released songs.

Jason White ministers to the choir, who minister to the listeners… drawing our hearts and souls into every song.

Jesus Is Born features Choir Director Jason White’s beautiful voice heard on almost every song as he directs the choir’s incredibly precise harmony, the powerful lead vocalists, the amazingly talented musicians playing a wide range or instruments: organ, piano, guitars, an assortment of percussion, horns, and more. This band and choir could hold their own with the finest R&B or jazz groups today!

A worship experience with inspirational versions of soulful bluesy songs.

Kanye and the Sunday Service Choir are single-handedly reviving traditional gospel choir music but with a new twist. They’re sharing the message of Jesus Christ in nontraditional ways with a fresh style. And most importantly they are reaching an enormous audience the church wouldn’t normally be able to reach.

The music is worshipful, sweet and tender, uplifting and energizing.

I’ve been listening to the Jesus Is Born album almost daily since its release on Christmas Day. I can’t get enough of it!  This is more than just a praise album. God’s Presence is palpable. The Holy Spirit anointing is powerful.

It’s tough to choose favorite songs on this album because there’s so much incredible music presented. My top 5 in album order are:

        1. Revelations 19:1
        2. Rain
        3. Follow Me-Faith
        4. That’s How The Good Lord Works
        5. Total Praise

Be blessed by the amazing music on Jesus Is Born with the link below. You won’t be able to sit still and silent while listening to it! Enjoy!

  YouTube Playlist Here:  Jesus Is Born Album • Sunday Service Choir                        

Listen to Spotify samples of  Jesus Is Born below: