Album Review: All Things Possible – Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz has been in the Christian contemporary music scene since 2000, he is a Dove award-winning platinum recording artist. Mark has released seven studio albums including Scars and Stories (2003), Broken and Beautiful (2006) and the just released All Things Possible (2012).

I first heard of Mark Schultz in 2004 when my cousin sent me his song called Letters From War which was one of the best songs I heard that entire year, with that song Schultz won himself a fan. So I have basically seen him grown as an artist and songwriter.

All Things Possible his latest effort is yet another amazing album by the singer, this album will have people talking about him once again. It is indeed a huge improvement from his last album. His voice has changed a bit from the days of Scars and Stories but it is a new Mark and a new sound on this album.
The album title track All Things Possible kicks off the album, the rock song has some sweet harmonisation and we hear Mark sing and encourage us that even when our hearts are breaking we should hold on knowing that we have a God who is strong, mighty and able, he makes all things possible.
One Day is a song about hope and waiting on the Lord, who will take away our sorrows, pains, wounds cos “One Day” we will be whole again and God will wipe away our tears. The arrangement of this song reminds me of  a few tunes from famous band Coldplay, it’s a lovely song. It Is Well is a song about having confidence is God and knowing that no matter what one is going through that it is well, its is just another pop/rock song quite cliché but that can be easily forgiven due to the lyrics and Mr Schultz near-perfect vocals. Mark tells us that he gave up all the worldly things and his focus is on heaven in I Gave Up, it is one of the non conventional songs on the album, it actually has some of the vibes of 90s pop music, and another element to this song is the trumpets playing of  “When The Saint Are Marching On” at the end of the song as well the mass chorus too.


Haven’t Met You Yet shows Mark as a proud sensitive father, singing a little bit about his Wife and about  His un-born child who he hasn’t met yet and already dreaming about, he even pictures the kid’s wedding day by the bridge of the song. His song writing skills comes into play in this song, undeniably great songwriting here.
What Do You Give A King is song asking a rhetorical question, what can we give our God? What do you give someone who gave His life for you? We are so small and little before him, we have nothing we are no bodies but He gave everything to us. So now the question how to do repay such gesture? It is an interesting and beautifully written song.
I Will Love You Still is my favorite song on the album, it is a lovely ballad. Mark samples the best vocals on the album in this piano and violin laced song. It is definitely the highlight of All Things Possible and to top it all it is talks about unconditional love, love that doesn’t judge flaws, love that doesn’t fade no matter what.

More To You Than This is a soulful song telling a story of a Girl who conforms to the ways of the world only to be broken, Marks sings “There is more to you than the lies you believe…”. It is such a delicate subject that teenagers and even adults need to know and needs to be addressed a lot more. The song is the next single by the from the album and should do well on the charts and on radio. Love Walked In deals with the restoration of marriages and bad relationships by inviting Christ right into the middle of it. A great song for couples going through a tough time and all.  Be Still may appear to be one of the disappointing song on the album because putting the song alongside the rest of the songs on this album only makes it appear inferior and weak compared to the others. Good thing it closes the album and can be easily forgotten.

All Things Possible is such a creative album for Mark Schultz, a lot of experimenting on the album which really did work for him. The song writing and storytelling on the album is just superb. The album is Schultz’s debut release from his new label home, Fair Trade Services and Mark stayed true to his storytelling and powerful vocals.
Mark Schultz is one of the most underrated artist in CCM industry, this album is such a good one and I hope it doesn’t get overlooked by critics, award committees and the world.
All Things Possible is out now Get it on iTunes.

Best Songs

All Things Possible

I Will Love You Still

What Do You Give A King

I Gave Up

It Is Well

One Day

More To You Than This

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3 Reasons: Why You Should Get Gravity Lecrae’s New Album

Lecrae released his sixth album Gravity this week and it is already a huge success, it is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed mixtape Church Clothes.  Here are three reasons for you to get the album.

1. All major critics can’t be wrong and I myself cannot be wrong on this one and quote me :  This is not just the best rap christian album out this year (in terms of production, material and presentation) but it is one of the best hip-hop albums released this year. So even if you are not a christian you are bound to enjoy this album as long as rap music is your thing.

2. The lyrical content is on point and very uplifting, and this is what true rap should be about and I mean that in the sense of the genre, its history and its meaning.

3. Gravity features appearances from Big K.R.I.T.MathaiAshthon Jones, Novel and Mali Music, along with label mates Trip Lee and Tedashii. Producers on the album include DJ KhalilStreet Symphony‘s Heat Academy, and The Watchmen. It even has Tenth Avenue North on one of the bonus tracks. The stellar appearances on this album added all the more spice to it.

Buy Here

Stream and preview the entire album below

ALBUM REVIEW: MY ONLY RESCUE – THE MUSEUM

In 2006, Ben Richter moved from Texas to Atlanta to take a job at a local church as a youth pastor and worship leader. He invited his friend Geoffrey Ashcraft to move with him. Upon their arrival at the new church, they were introduced to Josh Kirk. The three began leading worship together for local youth services and eventually adopted the name The Museum.

Their debut album Let Love Win was released in 2010. It featured popular singles such as Allelujah, My Help Comes from the Lord, Let Love Win and Never Look Away. 

Now the band is back with, My Only Rescue, its sophomore effort.

The first track on the album in All Over the World.  While it’s a pretty decent pop/rock song, I don’t think it was the best song to open the album with. It doesn’t have that “element” that makes you want to listen to it on “repeat.” With that said though,  it is one of the best uptempo songs on the album.

The next two tracks, Solid Ground and Found In You  introduce us to how good the band can be.The band shows so much confidence in God on these two songs that it seems as if they’ve hit that worship “sweet spot.” Unlike the album’s opener, these songs are made for listening to over and over again.

After Solid Ground and Found in You, My Only Rescue, the album’s title track,  fails to impress. It had a great start, but it proved to be anti-climactic and by the middle of the song I was already ready for the next song.

The album’s first single,  Love Will Find You, is one of the most beautiful songs on the album. It works because the band is in its element when it comes to the singing and instrumentals on the song.  The song’s message is also uplifting–God loves us no matter who we are or we’ve done and where we go.  

In Jesus Name is a song about just trusting Jesus and putting all our hope in Him. It’s an infectious sing-along-type song that would work well in gatherings and at churches and camps.

Coming Closer is another of the up-tempo songs on the album. The placement of the song on the album seems off. For six tracks,   the album was mellow and  comfortable, and then the vibe suddenly changes. It kills the album’s flow in my opinion.

Not For Sale is song that the group did in 2011 in response to the human trafficking the band saw when visiting the Philippines. Though the song is powerful and features a timely subject,  I don’t feel that it was a great choice to include on the album.

More Than Words, is about truly seeking and earnestly wanting to know Christ and be His follower. In my opinion, is the track that puts the album back in balance. It is one of my favorites from the album, and it is simply the band at their best. It

I don’t have much to say about the last two tracks on the album: Better Than Life and Lost in a Moment. Both songs are enjoyable. The thing that stands out about  them is that they both feature amazing guitar riffs and are very easy on the ears.

All-in-all I think My Only Rescue is a good effort. I appreciate the band’s mellow, cool and serene way of telling stories with their songs. I like how you can feel the sincerity in their songs. It’s easy to see that The Museum were shooting for easy-going stadium anthems à la The Fray.  However the band will have to work a lot harder to get a solid footing in the CCM world (for starters Richter, instead of being so mellow needs to challenge his voice a little more) because as good as they sound there is still something missing from the album.

Best Songs

SOLID GROUND

FOUND IN YOU

LOVE WILL FIND YOU

IN JESUS NAME

MORE THAN WORDS

 

ALBUM REVIEW: THE STRUGGLE – TENTH AVENUE NORTH

This week another interesting album was also released this time by the two-time dove award winners TENTH AVENUE NORTH. The band released their third studio album called The Struggle. The album has been in the making since 2011 after their 2010 album “Light Meets the Dark” which charted at #1 on Billboard US Christian albums. So living up to this successful album was something I considered when I heard they band was kind of having this thing that fans got a chance to come and sing and become part of the album creation. Fast forward to the present day THE STRUGGLE is released and during the listening party on their site I was impressed and blown away at the artistic growth of this band and how so much has changed from their lyrical content, to vocal game and production at the same time staying true to their style.

The Struggle has 12 tracks that really fits the title “The Struggle”. I mean all the songs fit to the theme of the album as explained by Mike Donehey the lead vocalist “ In a world that’s still trembling in the wake of the fall, our hearts are desperate for hope. They’re hungry for freedom, they’re longing for redemption. And here’s the good news In Christ, we have all three….”.

The album kicks off with Shadow a nice rock song, followed by the album title track The Struggle which basically lets you in on what the album theme is about; imperfect us struggling about so many things but we know that we have hope of freedom and redemption in the Lord. Worn is one of the most beautiful songs on the album, it is heartfelt and sang with great passion. It is a cry to the Lord to restore and fix the broken and worn out, the piano chords of this song is really special. Losing the track that follows and the first single of the album is about forgiveness of people who offend us and step on our toes. This songs the band got fans to take part in and the bridge and the chorus which follows it is what makes it really outstanding. “They all chorus in singing “Father give me grace t forgive them cos i feel like the one losing”  Another song to look out on the album is Grace another nicely rendered song. The formula of getting fans to sing on the album worked perfectly i say and for sure their fan base will increase with this album.

All in all the band didn’t disappoint in this album, they have proved that they are here to stay and help spread the word of God. It is a good christian pop/rock album and I cant wait to see who wins it to the top of the chart this week.

BEST SONGS

LOSING

GRACE

WORN

LAMB OF GOD

ALL THE SAME

THE STRUGGLE

HOSTAGE OF PEACE

Sorry can I just add up all the songs on the album here?

Happy Listening.

ALBUM REVIEW: CHRIS AUGUST – THE UPSIDE OF DOWN

Chris August is back with another album after the successful 2010 “No Far Away” which really placed him out there in the genre of Christian music earning him 3 Dove awards. Usually especially after such an a brilliant debut album artists usually tend to slow down or disappoint with the follow-up album but not for certain folks and Chris August has just fallen into that category because The Upside of Down sure does live up to his debut and to me even surpasses No Far Away.

I remember hearing the album title track Upside of Down during rush hour which I always kick against but just could not wait to hear Chris’ new song and I remember the disappointment I felt after hearing it, it sounded like a nursery rhythm when I first heard it and then I listened again when I got home and relaxed and the feeling didn’t change. See what I failed to experience or get into was the depth of the lyrics, however my interest in the project reduced because I felt it wouldn’t live up to the old record. And then I heard the Chris and Group 1 Crew song and it rekindled my interest in the project. So I went on and when Chris started previewing the songs on the album I became a full-blown fan once again and all of a sudden I fell in love with the first single after repeatedly listening to it, it grew on me and now its a song I actually vibe to and really like it. It tells the story way too common about most of us; the story of us being fair weather Christians.

The album starts with Center of It which is my least favourite song on the album, jump to track 3 a song called Amen and can I just say that is has become my all time favorite Chris August song and I hope he makes it the next single so yes it is that beautiful. Guitar chords similar to John Mayer’s are present in this song and then there is black gospel music elements all over the song, he did justice to the song. And from here on to the end of the album is a progression of one beautiful song to another laced with powerful messages focused on faith, restoration, change and hope. This Side of Heaven  is another song that shows great lyrical depth from Chris August. Restore is a song about restoration and hope for broken relationships, troubled marriages another subject very common today, and he croons “God is God who knows how t heal, just give it to him and he will restore”. Unashamed of You celebrates one’s love for Jesus and not being ashamed of the gospel and Jesus. The album is just the perfect album for christian with shaky faith, growing faith and new converts.

It is one of those nice to have album , I have been listening to it non stop since I got it. Do I think it is better than the first album? Yes I do, because most of the songs are very likable and easy to relate to. The singing however is average I felt he didn’t really push himself on the album. He played it safe but the song writing and production has really matured a lot from the last album, the arrangements  is just amazing. And he has the most interesting titles when it comes to album titles.

So yes you should get this album, I think it is one of the most amazing christian albums out this year.

BEST TRACKS

Amen

I Believe

Water Into Wine

A little More Of Jesus

Restore

Truth Is Still True

The Upside of Down

 

Perfectly Imperfect – Elle Varner

I have been a fan of Elle Varner for a long time, I have been following her project and I am happy to see her dreams come true finally. I remember when I first listened to a song by her called Welcome Home and then So Fly I liked her instantly her vocals were/are as raw and natural as the come and no studio gimmicks and stuff like that. She released a couple of new materials including a mixtape (Conversational Lush) and got verified on twitter and premiered videos on BET I was watching it all unfold. Anyway I have been waiting for her album for as long as I remember and finally Perfectly Imperfect her debut album is here. The album has 11 good R&B songs, she brought the real R&B game back in this album. Though I had technically heard almost half of this album due to the fact that I am a fan but for other people it will be very fresh sound heck it is fresh to me.

So if you love some good R&B music this one here won’t disappoint you.

Favorites

  • Not Tonight
  • Welcome Home
  • Oh What a Night
  • Stop the Clock
  • Only Give It To You
  • Sound Proof Room

I can’t stop listening to Not Tonight! Enjoy the album.

GET INSPIRED : Six Insipring Songs Of The Moment

Welcome to my very first music-related post, this will be the first of many. So today I will be introducing or re-introducing six songs I recently discovered that for the moment inspire me a lot or stir up something in my soul. Some of these songs are relatively old, I guess I have been living under a rock but still there are a blessing to me right now.

 

 

My Own Little Word – Matthew West

Its the song that made me get Matthew West’s album ( I just discovered him), it is the most incredible written song in the album in my opinion. I reckon you also get the album called The Story Of Your Life, apparently it is from 2010 but is is amazing. Before he wrote and record the album he asked his fans to send him letters about their life, joy, struggles and he got 10.000, he rented a cabin and read all the letter and then from the letters he wrote the album and it birthed this beautiful arrangement of songs about  pain, confusion, depression which God can take away due to his love, grace and mercy. Album preaches a message of hope and God’s power in the midst of everything. Okay here I am reviewing the album lol. REnjoy the song.

 

 

Clear the Stage – Jimmy Needham

I started writing a post that will come on this blog when I FINALLY finish, it is based on our love for things or people and how we put them before God thus making them our idols. So Clear the Stage talks about the same thing. My friend asked me to go listen to this song and she told me that she took three hours to listen to 4mins that the greatness of the song was too much to take it in all at once and I understood what she meant being a music lover. It is indeed a beautiful song even though I didn’t experience the same feeling she did, love the song nonetheless.

 

 

Our Sovereign God – Aaron Keyes

Okay this song right here sends me straight to tears (well not cry like cry but teary eyes), only gospel songs have the power to do that. It is a perfect worship song and I LOVE this song, the lyrics are great and the instrumentation and arrangement is perfect and above all it connects me with God once the first line rolls in no matter where I am it’s like I immediately get into the spirit.

 

 

The Well – Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns is one of my favourite christain bands and I loved their last album and when I thought it couldn’t get any better they came out with Come To The Well which is an amazing album, The Well happens to be a song on the album. We know the story of Jesus at the well and what he said that we should drink from his living water so we will never thirst no more. No matter the kind of thirst leave it all behind and come to the well. The song reminds us of the message and significance of leaving it all behind and going to the well (Jesus). Other noteable songs from the album are Jesus, Friend of Sinners and City on the Hill.

 

 

I Wont Go Back – William McDowell

William is one of those worship leaders I love and admire and I was just coming out of an old bad habit I have been fighting for a long time and then I heard I Wont Go Back and it broke my heart, it was as if God sent me the song at that particular moment saying Michael you cant go back to your past life. Song says ‘I wont go back I cant go back to the way it used to be before your presence came and changed me… all my sins have been forgiven no more chains….my past is over”. It is a song about freedom from sin, bondage and bad habits. Every now and then when the temptation crawls in I will say out 1 Cor 10:13  and play this song.

 

 

Where I Belong – Building 429

This song is a reminder that we are not of this world, and that our home is in heaven and with Jesus. Nice tune love the part that say “take this world and give me Jesus cos this is not where i belong”.

I hope you enjoyed my list and yes these songs mean a lot to me. Please do share songs that are inspiring you too.