Tag Archives: first impressions review


When we’re travelling down a road for whatever reason, what do you reckon is the most important? The destination; or the journey? The end result; or the things you do and the people you meet along the way? This tension and figuring out the best way to approach the Christian life is the central theme to Building 429’s brand new album Live The Journey, which releases in about a month. And while I reckon Building 429’s smash hit “Where I Belong” as well as several other singles such as “Unashamed”, “Ocean Deep”, “Impossible”, “We Won’t Be Shaken”, “Press On”, “Listen To The Sound”, “Always”, “Fearless”, “You Carried Me” and of course their debut single “Glory Defined” form a formidable group of some of their biggest hits; I reckon so far you can group every single song from Live The Journey in that group as well. Because in my opinion- I think that Live The Journey will be the band’s most popular and impacting album they’ve ever recorded.



Group 1 Crew has always been one of my favourite artists- though it was only when the band released their 2010 album Outta Space Love that I truly became a fan. With their music always comprising of several genres (pop, CCM, rap, hip-hop, and a combination of all of the above!), songs like “Please Don’t Let Me Go”, “Live It Up”, “Walking On The Stars”, “Need Your Love”, “Beautiful”, “Lean On Me”, “He Said” all from the trio’s third album; have reminded me of their near flawless prowess as songwriters, performers and entertainers.



It’s always bittersweet when a lead singer leaves a band, because the band in question is then in a stage of flux, with the remaining members unsure how to move forward, whether they promote a new lead singer from within, get a new voice from outside the band, or just quit all together.


First Impressions Review (I Can Only Imagine)

Distributed By: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions

Opening Theatrical Release Date: March 16th 2018

Reviewed by Joshua Andre

I Can Only Imagine– Starring J Michael Finley, Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Priscilla Shirer; Directed by The Erwin Brothers (Jon and Andrew Erwin)

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 “…Our experience didn’t begin with a desire to be in an industry. As fellow human beings and Christ-followers, I think success is measured by the genuine and consistent love we have for Jesus and each other and how we put that into action. Point your gaze at Jesus, remain humble and faithful to serve as He calls you to serve, and do that – no matter what or where that may be…”


First Impression Review – Colton Dixon’s “Identity”

Eliminated from American Idol Season 11 in 7th place, pop/CCM artist Colton Dixon has been making waves within the CCM industry ever since his highly-publicised crossover hit of a first album A Messenger, that debuted in 2013 to critical acclaim. Using the same platform as many artists, like Carrie Underwood, Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Jason Castro, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson and Kris Allen; to start a career in music; Colton’s unexpected exit from the show was more of a blessing in disguise. Signing a record deal with Sparrow Records, and 2 albums later, Colton, alongside Mandisa, has been one of the most successful and greatest finds, out of anyone who has moved from American Idol to Christian music, ever. With much success, both critically and commercially, Colton, though only in his mid-twenties, writes and sings way beyond his years, so much so that his two successful albums A Messenger and Anchor were released within 1 and a half years of each other. Now he has journeyed into the unknown with his new album Identity, releasing March 24th- sure he still has his trademark pop-rock-radio sound, but this album is different from the rest- less rock than Anchor and much more dance and 1980s style music that is incorporated throughout his power-pop anthems in this 11 track album (17 in the deluxe edition).

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First Impression Review – Hollyn’s “One-Way Conversations”

Hollyn has been, if you could argue, one of the greatest finds in CCM within the last few years. If you would just pick one, I’d say it’d be her. Only 19, Hollyn has found her way into the hearts and living rooms of many listeners around the world, myself included. Signed to the small yet equally diverse Gottee Records (home to artists such as Finding Favour, Capital Kings and Ryan Stevenson to name a few), Hollyn’s maturity lyrically and stylistically, even vocally beyond her 19 years is as remarkable as it is awe-inspiring, which makes her new album One Way Conversations dropping February 10th digitally (and March 3rd physically) a must have for anyone who loves hip hop, pop, worship, rap, or even just plain something different compared to whatever is out there on the radio right now. Hollyn’s music is a sight to behold, full of hope, encouragement, emotion and raw honesty, something I reckon isn’t as expressed as it should within the confines of Christian radio.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVIEW – Danny Gokey’s “RISE” and Grayson Reed’s “Walk”

It’s been quite some time since we last uploaded a ‘first impressions’ review on our site. In fact, I think we’ve only had one- TobyMac’s “THIS IS NOT A TEST” way back in 2015. Now I have since thought long and hard about this new series (though what I am going to write is not a review per se, it is nevertheless my initial thoughts prior to the album releases), and I have decided to indeed revive what was once going to be a tool for us all to use, to see whether an album is even worth listening to as we make our very hard decisions of album purchases throughout the year.

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TobyMac – **THIS IS NOT A TEST** (First Impressions Review)


Welcome to our first ever ‘first impressions’ review, which is not really an official full length review per se, but rather an early collection of succinct and insightful thoughts. While we aim to hopefully post First Impression Reviews every week, we will at least write these pieces every fortnight (because we have to take into consideration things in our lives that may unexpectedly come up, right?), in anticipation of a review of a high profile album that we will be unveiling the week after. This week, our first instalment is peering using a metaphorical microscope at TobyMac’s 6th solo album **THIS IS NOT A Test** which releases August 7th. So let’s dive in and see whether this new album is worth our while taking a listen to!

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