Category Archives: Features

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: Influential Artists of All Time – Week 1: Michael W. Smith

It’s hard to think of Christian music and not think of Michael W. Smith, who, alongside Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman, have been the artists that have been around the industry the most. Now let me get a few things straight. Michael W. Smith is in no means the pioneer of Christian music. Leave that title to other artists like Larry Norman, Mylon LeFevre, Keith Green, Andrae Crouch, PETRA, 2nd Chapter of Acts, The Imperials and Gaither Vocal Band. But for me, I’ve always felt like Michael W. Smith has been the most influential for me personally, but also influential as an artist in society. Firstly because Michael, alongside Amy and Steven, is one of the only artists, who started their career in the 1980s, to be active currently. But also, I’ve felt that Michael has always had it in himself to re-invent himself if needed to reach a different culture, a different time period, and a different people group, as the years travel on. That’s not to say that any of the aforementioned artists are not musically ingenious, not at all. And I will be discussing artists like Keith Green and PETRA further along in my ‘Influential Artists of All Time’ list. But with Michael being one of the first of many artists to receive crossover success (influence in both CCM and the mainstream arena) throughout his career, his impact and reach, whether it be pop inspirational music, or as a worship artist, is nothing less than extraordinary. Michael’s devotion to creating music that not only is poignant and heartfelt, but also musically fashionable as well as interesting, is what I reckon has been a very big part of his success over the years. Dare I say, that now with Michael into his early sixties, that he could become the Christian version of either Rod Stewart or Johnny Farnham, a man well into his years delivering great hits with no intention of retiring?

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: Influential Artists of All Time

To say that this post has been stewing in my mind for the last few weeks is really a very big understatement. This series has been swirling in my mind for months. As my brother undertook what I reckon was perhaps one of the boldest decisions he has ever done with regards to this site (unveil a series about his most influential and impacting albums of all time, all in the span of this last year), I have decided to take up a similar, yet different task. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what constitutes a great artist or band, and what makes a band or artist impactful, and impacting in a society that is continuously churning though and spitting out artists as if they’re nothing more than just a stepping stone for record companies to be famous. Which bands and artists are timeless? Which artists and bands evoke emotion amongst old and young, black and white, across races, religions, creeds, beliefs and even sexual orientations, to create a sense of camaraderie and unity, as well as stir up questions that would’ve otherwise not been discussed had it not been for artists and songs, and the space to create freely and without restriction? Can crossover artists succeed without compromising on fundamental and core values that have made them successful initially in the industry they started off in?

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FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 34 (Something To Say by Matthew West)- If we’re living and breathing, is there really something to say?

The concept of me having something worthy to say to the world, or my friends, or my family, or even to myself; has really been tugging at my heart lately- around the past couple of weeks. A couple of weeks ago I spoke about how there is hope in the direst of situations (and that hope is Jesus Christ!), and that when you’re in the pit; it doesn’t have to be the end- that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Well that may be all fine and dandy, and good in theory for us to believe. But once we do believe that there is hope and there is a Saviour and that there is peace beyond all understanding that surpasses wisdom and knowledge; there is a next step. It’s what we choose to believe every day from then out, and what we choose to do with our lives from then out, that is actually the hardest part of the Christian life. And staring at us head on, an adversity to us fully stepping into the hope that is Jesus Christ and trusting His ultimate plans for us- is the lie spoken to us, that we as people have nothing to say to the world.

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BEST OF 2018- PART 13: TOP 30 ALBUMS OF THE ENTIRE YEAR

It’s been a while since I posted a best-of albums/EPs list here on the site. I’ve recently unveiled my favourite 30 songs for the entire year, along with 10 more for good measure (honourable mentions) and thereby, I also figured it was time to impart 30 albums that stood out over the entire year (the site has already uploaded 25 favourite EPs here in this link). And while I myself still haven’t reviewed everything that I’ve wanted to in the year of 2018, I have since come to the conclusion, that 2018 was and is one of my favourite years in terms of music (though I think I’ve said that about the year of 2017 in music, as well!). And thus here we are in January 2019, as I am unveiling my favourite 30 albums of the entire year, and ten more that would’ve fit in if I had listened to songs and albums in a different order than what I actually did. Nevertheless, what I will say is this- 2018 for was was the year of the worship artist; alongside folk artists [Andrew Peterson], alternative artists [The New Respects] and just plain pop artists [Riley Clemmons, for KING AND COUNTRY]. Without further ado, here below are 30 albums that have influenced us as a site for the entire duration of 2018 and then beyond. Which albums have impacted you? Let us know in the comments. Til next time!

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FLASHBACK FRIDAYS: WEEK 33 (Hope In Front Of Me by Danny Gokey)- In the direst of situations, is there really hope? What’s the point about New Year’s resolutions?

Hands up who loved 2018? Like really loved it? Like ‘everything I set out to do, I did; and everyone I set out to talk to and be friends with, I accomplished that; and every movie/TV show I wanted to see, I saw’? Or how about ‘2018 was the best year ever, I want to relive this past year all over again, exactly how it was?’ All of us? None of us? Each one of us has a different definition of what a ‘successful year’ entails, and according to you, 2018 might have been a breakthrough year. You may have had the best year ever: you might have had a promotion, gotten married, had kids, moved out of home, or maybe finally got around to having that catch up with that friend you’ve been planning to for the past couple of years, and you hit it off again like no time had passed. Or you may have had worst year ever: you could have just split from your spouse, or maybe found out about a terminal illness in a family member or friend or even yourself, or maybe you were betrayed by someone close to you. Whatever the reason for how you are feeling at the end of 2018 and coming into 2019, there is one truth that is true across the board, and there is one thing that we can hold onto for the next 365 days at least.

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TOP 10 ___: 2018 ALBUMS WE NEVER REVIEWED!

Last year around this time, we delved into 10 2017 albums we never reviewed (due to life getting in the way), including albums from Lecrae (All Things Work Together), GAWVI (Like We Belong) and Jesus Culture (Love Has A Name) to name a few. Now, the time has arrived for us to list 10 albums we never reviewed, which released last year (even though we really wanted to)! A few albums may not make this list though, but that’s only because we still intend to review them this upcoming January and February 2019. So…check out these 10 albums- which did you wish we reviewed?

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BEST OF 2018- PART 12: TOP 30 SONGS OF THE ENTIRE YEAR

Yes, I know, this is just another best-of list. But, for those who have been following our best-of 2018 lists as a site, you’d know that we’ve posted four installments of best songs of 2018- one of each quarter. So do you know what this post is about? Yes, one that compiles all the previous best-of songs posts together, making this one the one that encompasses the rest. Below are our 30 favourite songs of the entire year of 2018, along with 10 honourable mentions as well. Read on to find out which song out of our list was the most impacting to you!

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BEST OF 2018- PART 11: TOP 20 MUSIC VIDEOS OF JULY – DECEMBER

It’s New Year’s Day everyone! And that only means one thing! Yep, it’s time for another Best Of list- and this time we’re unveiling our top 20 music videos of the second half of the year (the Jan-June list can be viewed here)! So, without further ado everyone, here’s 20 music videos that have resonated with us over the past 6 months! And Happy New Year everyone; i hope and pray that you all have a blessed, enjoyable, relaxing, satisfying and fulfilling 2019!

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BEST OF 2018- PART 10: TOP TWENTY ANTICIPATED ALBUMS/EP’S OF 2019

It’s been a while everyone, so as I come back and before I start my post, let me say Merry Christmas, and I hope you all had a relaxing time dwelling upon the birth of Jesus. Now that we all have sat and reflected and thanked God for sending his Son; what else is there to do before year’s end?

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BEST OF 2018- PART 9: TOP 25 EPs OF 2018

So here we are in December- what does that mean? End of year lists, of course. Over the last few years here, around Decembertime, we as a site collate our favourite EPs, albums, songs and music videos of the year, videos and music that have impacted us throughout said particular year. And while I was intentionally meaning to have a best of Jan-June EP list and a best of July-Dec EP list, the busyness of life intervened, and thus here we are now, unveiling a best of 2018 list in terms of EPs, just one list. And so if this year was any indication, what I said at the end of 2017 of how 2017 was the year of the EP, let me just precursor this- that statement is only partly true. Because 2018 was more of an EP year than 2017 ever was. And because of this, I’ve compiled my top 25 EPs of 2018 thus far, alongside 10 honourable mentions, that have impacted my life thus far this year. And many, if not all these EPs, are emotive and powerful, some even being some of my favourites from that particular artist throughout their whole career up until now. Yes, I’m dead serious. And so without further ado, here below are 25 EPs (and 10 honourable mentions) that have shaped our own lives within the last 12 months. Let us know in the comments about your own favourite EPs. Til then, have a great week!

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